Wednesday, September 17, 2008

lapine adventure

Last Saturday we (ie, Mum, Tim, & I) embarked on the great LaPine adventure. We drove south-easterly, lunched at Smith Rock, consulted with Mer, who decided to leave a day early, set up camp, fed the golden mantled ground squirrels (think: larger, more aggressive, & pudgier version of the chipmunk), and waited for Mer.

Here's one golden mantled jumping out of the frame after grabbing a piece of cinnamon bread, which claims, on the side of the bag, to be "a good source of deliciousness" -- not calcium, iron, or whole grains, but DELICIOUSNESS:

Mer arrived, but her grand plan of showing up just in time for dinner was thwarted. Unfortunately, our cooler was too effective, so we had to defrost elk hamburger (ie, cut it up into chunks on a plate and wait) before we could make dinner -- ate around the campfire, drank beer, made s'mores... the usual. Mer and I slept in the tent. I had a down comforter and wool blanket, and both of us had not so comfy sleeping mats (in other words: an ancient backpacking mat, and, poor Mer, a woven rug). Don't ask me why I didn't have the COLD WEATHER LIGHT WEIGHT REI SLEEPING BAG I BOUGHT LAST SUMMER. ASK THE UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE.

Anyways, long story short, it was like 34 degrees that night. At one point I woke up and would have gone to the bathroom, BUT IT WAS 34 DEGREES. Later, I woke up freezing. And in the morning, it took a great deal of will power to emerge from the blankets. After realizing that Mer had been cold too, we kind of felt stupid for not combining our powers and making one big bundle out of our coats and blankets.

But all was well, because the next two nights would be spent in a spiffy cabin.

Mer and I participated in the group lunch, but left Mum & Tim to their own devices, touring the lava caves, as Mer wanted a new swimsuit. And apparently, when you live in Lakeview, that's difficult to make happen. So we drove up to Bend's Target, and got not only a teeny tiny green polka dot bikini, but matching dresses and leggings (although: in different colors). We got back in time to go floating in the Deschutes River.

Mer catches a crayfish. She's been doing this sort of thing for as long as I've known her:

Floating on:

Hung out at the cabin. And took over dinner preparations: makin' chili. Friday I had done ridiculous food prep: I picked a gallon of blackberries, and baked cornbread, biscuits, and chocolate chip cookies. So I took the aluminum foil off the cornbread for dinner, and it became clear that SOMEHOW, the aluminum foil had been LEACHING INTO THE BREAD. It was literally speckled. Well, knowing that aluminum has been linked to Alzheimer's, I had to sacrifice the top half of it. SAFEWAY BRAND ALUMINUM FOIL: makes pretty designs on your baked goods.

Cookin' dinner:

One more technical difficulty, in the form of Netflix sending us a scratched up copy of Blazing Saddles, which I now have STILL NOT SEEN. Mer's dvd collection saved us: I was tempted by the my little pony movie, but we watched About a Boy instead (which we first saw while house sitting together years ago, and loved the music).

The next day we headed up to Paulina Lake -- Mer and I did part of the around the lake hike, which had some beautiful views... the water looked pristine and blue-green. But once we hit the exposed section of the lake, we headed back to the wooded area to wade and hang out. Then we scouted out the lodge... floated in East Lake... drove up the precarious road to the top of Paulina Peak (my favorite part was the lack of guard rails along the deeply washboarded gravel road).

From the peak:

After, we met up with Mom and Tim for dinner at Gordy's restaurant, which is kind of a glorified truck stop. But in LaPine, it was that, Dairy Queen, or the pizza place.

Sad to leave! Especially as I just had to pack everything to head to CA tonight... which kind of scares me, because I need to write a dissertation proposal this quarter, and I'll have to make a final decision about what direction to take. Also: Mt Hood is on fire. The smoke is worse today, much more of it, and spreading. Last night I could see the red of the fire and the reflection on the smoke.

On the river:

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