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Weekend Camping

We went camping this weekend in celebration of a friend’s 40th birthday. Once upon a time, 40 seemed so far away, but now that I am creeping up there myself, I can’t say I feel like I thought I’d feel. While I do feel like a grown-up (especially after the baby was born), I don’t feel as “grown-up” as I thought I’d feel by this point. I’m guessing it is true for most people, that though we live our adult lives every day, being grown-up doesn’t feel like we thought it would feel when we were kids thinking about being grown-up. Does that make sense?

Anyway, the highlight of this trip for me was the 2.2 mile hike to the Blue Pool, also known as Tamolitch Falls. The “Falls” actually no longer exists here. What used to be the upper section of the McKenzie river has been diverted, and now the water that fills this pool comes from an underground source. This is my favorite kind of hike -  with a destination, or “reward” at the end, and this one did not disappoint. As a matter of fact, the pool contained the bluest water I’ve ever seen in my life, more like a really deep turquoise. The photo does not do the color justice, nor does it even hint at it’s incredible depth.  Let me tell you, it was hard to resist the pull of all that glistening water on a summer day, but a quick temperature check with a dipped hand into the freezing cold instantly warned us that would not be a good idea.

And did I mention that I carried Chloe on my back on the hike up? I was pretty proud of myself. I think it actually made the experience more fun, hiking with friends with our babies on our backs. We brought the Beco carrier instead of the framed Kelty carrier because it packs down so much smaller in an already full car (Barkley was also with us). I’m happy to say the Beco continues to be worth every penny, although we use it less now than when Chloe was a newborn. And although camping with a toddler is quite challenging at times, I think it was still a good experience.


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The Deschutes & White River Falls

deschutes river

David and I went flyfishing on the Deschutes. It was so nice to drive out of the grey and see some sunshine and blue sky for a change. This is the third time I’ve been fishing and still no luck. I’m trying not to be disheartened about the whole thing, because I know that David really wants me to like it. I certainly don’t mind going, but I think taking pictures of the surrounding areas is more fun, at least at this point.

near maupin

sage

desert flower seeds

blue desert flower

yellow desert flowers

sun flare deshutes

The Deschutes River is located in dry, rocky gorge surrounded by a high plains-like desert, filled with yellowed prairie grasses and sage growing all over. The landscape changes dramatically in the mere 2.5 hours east of Portland. I really like it. I think that some people find it boring and desolate, but I like its ruggedness, and the little surprises of natural beauty in small things. I also like how you can see for miles and how it feels so open and free.

We stayed on the Deschutes the whole afternoon trying different flies – blue wing olive parachutes, a cripple wing, and several patterns of stoneflies. Although the fish were scarce, we did see lots of other wildlife. I spotted 3 mule deer when we first arrived, as well as a blue heron and several other large birds of prey. David was even lucky enough to be surprised by a river otter.

deschutes river

By the time we reached White River Falls State Park it was almost dark and closing time. I was disappointed not to have enough light for any really good photos, nor time to walk down the steep and winding path for a closer look. There were two main legs of the falls where the water thundered down over an approx. 90ft high basalt shelf. David said there was twice as much water flowing over than he’s ever seen. Incredible.

white river falls

Tired and hungry from our day’s adventure we returned to the tiny town of Maupin for dinner at the Oasis Cafe for a good burger and hard ice-cream chocolate malt. It was a long drive home in the dark, interspersed with more deer on the road than I have ever encountered. Luckily, there were hardly any cars for miles so I could slow-down as needed to avoid an accident. It was almost as if some were simply lying in wait. David says I’m amazing at spotting deer. Must be because my Dad was always pointing to hidden animals when we went for drives when I was little. Glad to know I picked up some of that.

See more photos from this trip here.

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