Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Winding down

Our summer that is.  Seems like another season has come, and is going all too quickly to suit me...sigh.

I am weary of hot days in the 90's, but still.  Saying good-bye to summer is a little bit sad, it's like waiting forever for a dear friend.  They finally come, and it's time to leave before you realize it.  Just freaks me out how fast life is going.

I've already noticed signs of Autumn.  Cool nights, brisk mornings, the horses losing their summer coats, the trees shedding their leaves, and the changing colors all around us.  And most noticeably for me, it's dry.  Everything is dry, crunchy and so very, very brown.  This has been a hot, dry summer, and it's been a perfect summer for tomatoes.  I've never had such a bumper crop and a perfect one at that, of tomatoes!  They're absolutely beautiful in their perfection; and oh so, delicious.  We've been eating rather a lot of tomatoes lately.  I'm not complaining.

We've got a very large forest fire fairly near to us right now.  It's burning in excess of 3500 acres of pristine timber and forest lands.  I don't think any homes have been lost, but if they don't get a handle on it soon, that's likely to change.  The smoke in our valley was very intense last weekend and on Monday.  The winds have shifted now, and have redirected the smoke northerly and east from us.  What a relief!  Sure made for some beautiful sunsets though...

We will be saying farewell to summer with a bang!  Or more appropriately, with a splash!  We're leaving Friday after work for our vacation.  We're heading south and east to the McKenzie River Valley. We're taking our dogs and our camper and heading out on a road trip.  I can't wait!!!  We'll drive until we find a place to stop for the night, catch some sleep, wake up, have breakfast and then head to our pre-destined Olallie Campground on the McKenzie.  On Sunday (last day of summer), we're taking a whitewater rafting trip down the Upper McKenzie.  I've never done this before, and am super excited!!!  Sounds like so much fun to me.  Only problem is, I won't be able to shoot many pictures unless I buy one of those waterproof jobbies.  We'll see...I don't want to not live in the moment by trying to take a bunch of pics, but still.  It's a gorgeous river, and it's hard to imagine not having a camera in hand.  Let's hope I don't fly out of the raft and go bobbing down the rapids like a very large beach ball.  Picture that, if you will.  :)

On second thought, forget I said that.

We'll spend the first couple nights at Olallie, which is right next to the river.  From there, we're heading to a different campground near Cougar Reservoir.  Here, we'll enjoy the lake and hit the trail head to Cougar Hot Springs, which is a 1/2 mile hike to a gloriously beautiful and natural hot springs with 6 pools stair-stepped down the mountainside.  The incredibly hot mineral water bursts forth out of a crack in the wall of a small cave and cascades down into the increasingly cooler pools.  The top-most pool is very hot, and they gradually get cooler down to the bottom one.  I hope to try them all!  The mineral waters have a refreshing and especially rejuvenating effect on both body and mind.  Very energizing!  The whole area is in an old growth forest of Douglas firs and Western Red Cedars, and lush vegetation...canopied by starlight, it must be magical.  I definitely will have my camera here.

After that, we're heading south again on Aufderheide drive, which is a scenic bypass ending 60 some miles later at a small town.  We plan on stopping whenever and wherever we want to, and hope to visit many different mountain lakes and campgrounds, eventually ending up in Bend, which is the heart of Central Oregon.  I'm pretty sure we'll be ready for a hot shower and a nice dinner out by then.  :)  

Then it's on to Sisters, probably camp there for a night and decide which of 3 different routes we'll take to head back home.  We hope to have created some wonderful memories, relaxed and energized ourselves all at once.  We're all packed, camper is road-ready, groceries were bought today, caretaker is taken care of and we are mentally, already gone.

We sold our little "Ruby's Roost" last night.  This was one of my hubby's projects, and we had plans to use it to comfortably haul our dogs in when driving our truck.  We have a regular cab in our truck and it's a wee bit too crowded for comfort with 2 big Labs in tow...and you just know they think they have to go everywhere we go, right?  Anyway, a little extra cash for the road is a nice blessing.  If nothing else, it will pay Hannah for her critter care while we're gone.

In other news, I found Eagle's boots.  I would like a little ketchup with my crow, if you please?

They were on the floor, in the back seat area of my car.  I have no idea how, or why they were there.  I do not remember putting them in there, nor does my's a mystery to be sure, but a happy one.  So...that's something else I'm grateful for.

Anyhoo...hope you're all in good health, good spirits, and ready for a little change-o-the seasons.  Ready or not, here comes Autumn.

Let the squirreling begin...

Blessings, Lorie


L.Williams said...

Our only sign of the changing season here is the time of light in the day. I long for a nice cold rain.

aurora said...

I'm glad someone got a bumper crop of tomatoes. Our regular sized tomatoes are still green...our summer was on the cool side. It was so nice, but not for tomato growing - very different gardening year. Your upcoming trip sounds wonderful! White water rapids are a blast! Glad you'll have that memorable experience. Hope the water is running fast-ish, it's way more fun. In CO the host rafting company's have photographers stationed in key spots, maybe your's will too? The pictures are priceless. I like your mix of planned vs unplanned vacay time. What a great way to shift into the upcoming pensive season. I'm ready for Fall and look forward to playing in the winter snow (the cold not so much) but it is kinda sad to see things you enjoy disappear for a while. Safe travels & enjoy your trip! Will look forward to hearing about it!!

Carolynn Anctil said...

We got about a week of heavy frost and cold day time temperatures which put a swift end to my garden. Now we're back to summer weather and it's been such a blessing. I'm enjoying every last drop, even as I watch the leaves on the trees colour. *sigh*

Have a great time on your vacation!


Grey Horse Matters said...

Your trip sounds awesome! Have a great time.

fernvalley01 said...

Look at all those tomatoes! Yup gathering nuts here too, dad was out running the cat again and we are getting waterers all fixed up for winter as well

Keechy said...

Have a great holiday! I'ts spring here and i too am sorry the current season is going, exceot for me it's winter. But then our winters are like some people's summers, and it's when our grass grows and so on, so it is a living time full of energy. I hate summer here. It is so very hot, dry and long!

aurora said...

Hope you had a fab time and have a post brewing on your trip!?!! Can't wait to read (and see) your discoveries!

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I just have tomatoes and kale and lettuce now in the garden, with fall coming. Your horses look great!