Thursday, October 16, 2008

If you been a missin' me........

Yes, I know - I am waaayyy behind on posting. I have had a lot of "stuff" on my plate lately - good "stuff" but "stuff" none the less.
Been watching the debates - I find them quite interesting. I am lucky that we have a DVR and I can fast forward through all the political commercials, but when I do see them I am reminded of how much I HATE political campaigns. No matter how much they say they are going to run a clean campaign, it always ends up this way. I, for one, am more likely to vote for "the other guy" because of a mailing or ad than I am to vote for the person who sent it when it contains all the finger pointing stuff. In other words, the ads have a negative impact on me rather than convince me to vote a certain way. If they all could just point out what THEY are going to do instead of bringing up all the negative things about the other person. OK - enough about that!
I don't know if I have any readers in California (except you, Lori) but if you're out there, be SURE to vote NO on Prop 8. VERY IMPORTANT!!!!! Those who know me well know that I could really get on the soapbox on this one, but I will spare you the rants for now.
The weather here has been very fall-ish. We had a low of 22ยบ the other night, so the garden is officially gone for the season. The neighbors put in new, more energy efficient windows in the past few days, so we are taking some of the old ones and building a small green house so we can get a good start on the garden next year. We have been on a healthy eating kick lately and purchasing veggies gets expensive. Next year, though, we WILL have enough to put up and carry us through!! Really, we will!

As soon as I get all my "stuff" taken care of, I will be back to irregular posting.

Don't forget to vote! Vote early and vote for OBAMA!!! Or, the candidate of your choice - who I really hope is OBAMA because we really need improved school funding and standards, energy independence, ethics reforms, fiscal responsibility, we need to fight poverty, bring the soldiers home, maintain a woman's right to choose while reducing the necessity for abortions through improved social programs, we could use the tax break, helping us retired folks, and, and, and......

Friday, October 3, 2008

A slight detour.........

......from the trip - since I haven't been too good at getting it all on here :( We decided to take one last camping trip, since the weather is going to be turning.
One of our very favorite places to camp and kayak is Hosmer Lake - up in the Cascade range south of the Three Sisters and just west of Mt Bachelor. The lake itself is kind of hour-glass shaped with a boat launch on the south end. The two large portions of the lake are connected by a narrow channel which winds through the reeds. There are 2 campgrounds - very primitive - no water, vault toilets, but they have large wonderful sites and nice people camp there because Hosmer is #1-electric motors only (and there are very few), #2-fly fishing only, #3-catch and release for the Atlantic Salmon (the only place in Oregon), #4-prime kayaking territory.
We got there Monday morning and found our favorite site open - next to the trail that leads to a small dock on the canal portion of the lake. We unloaded and set up the tent - yes, tent! We are really roughing it for this trip.
Then we headed out for an afternoon paddle. That is South Sister in the background.
And Mt Bachelor without snow. This is the primo skiing area in the state. Dry snow and lots of it. I used to ski here - before too many knee injuries made me give it up :(The next morning, we went out early to check out the birds and fish - and dragon flies - making whoopee?The weather was beginning to change - more clouds, but still warm. I took a (walking) trail which goes north along the channel. Beautiful view of South Sister. The trail was about 1 1/2 miles, cut up through the forest among a large amount of blow down. Abby enjoyed the walk.
And, speaking of Abby - she sure did get dirty! She loved chasing the chipmonks through the trees. We never have to worry about her catching one - they are MUCH faster than she is!As I mentioned above, the campground is rather primitive. The picnic tables and fire pits are the only amenities. This site has 2 site # signs, though. Curious. The only one that had 2. And # 13, too. Hmmmm.........During the summer prime time, there is a campground host on duty. His name is Max Peel and he has been there for as long as I can remember. Seems like I once read an article about him stating that he has been there every summer for something like 20 some years. (I looked, but couldn't find any info on him) He brings up a bunch of canoes when the lake is accessible in the late spring/early summer and rents them out, donating the $ to his church. He has quite a neat campsite - across from ours. This is his built up campfire pit. This is a structure he has built - covers it with tarps.
And, another paddle as the sun was going down............
Up early on Wednesday - very cold! Dean built a fire and we sat around to warm up for a while. Abby stayed where it was warm - on Dean's bed! We took our down comforter in case it got REALLY cold.
I paddled down the outlet channel to see if I could spot some otters - no luck. Mt Bachelor, again, in the background. This part of the lake is pretty sterile - no fish and only the grasses and reeds along the shore. The north end of the lake is similar - very shallow and warmer water. There is very limited access to the lake because of the grasses and reeds, so a canoe or kayak is the way to see it. Paddling through the channel, the water is so clear that you can see hundreds of fish. Also common are bald eagles, osprey, lots and lots of birds, deer, and elk.
This is the gate controlling the flow out of the lake. The lava rock dams the lake and the water flows through the rocks to the area shown below, then disappears into the lava rocks until it reappears at Lava Lake, several miles to the south. This is the beginning of the Deschutes River, I believe.
This is Broken Top, which is to the SE of South Sister
Abby is waiting on the dock for Dean to come back from fishing.
Here he comes paddling up the narrow channel to the dock.
While there, we located a Geocache. For those who don't know about geocaching, it is a fun "sport" Using a handheld GPS, you find specific locations by longitude and latitude. The sites are listed on the website. After you locate your target, you log in and report it on the website. People leave various things in the container at the site, depending on it's size. This one was large - an ammo box. Some are very small, like a film cannister (remember those? before digital.....), and some even smaller - micro. Dean found this one hidden in the lava rocks. In the photo on the right is what the location looked like.

So, we had a good time, I read a long book, even got sunburned through the clouds. We came home so we would have time to unpack and clean up so we could watch the debate on Thursday night. I was surprised (disappointed.....) at how well Palin did. I still won't vote for her and it still scares me to think that she could be a heartbeat away (literally) from the presidency. She is probably more qualified than I am, but that's not saying much! Can you really imagine her negotiating with another world leader? I sure can't. Scary thought!