Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Vacation, pt 1: Paradise found

You know you're someplace special when you can't wait to get out of a comfy warm trailer bed on a cold morning and get down to lake's edge to take in the view. With a hot mug hot mug of fresh coffee (left) providing added inspiration, mornings like this at Waldo Lake in the central Oregon Cascades are what I go on vacation for. How to describe Waldo Lake.....Stunning? Breathtaking? Idyllic? A place I would go back to again and again? All of the previous, and probably the most beautiful camping I've ever done. Keeping in mind this was at the end of a week long tour of central and southern Oregon where we did some amazing hiking and saw the natural insanity that is the beauty of Crater Lake, it is saying a lot.
w standing lakeside in front of "our" island
There are three campgrounds at Waldo, and w had her eyes set on the southern most area called Shadow Bay. We had our sights set on a lakeside spot, but could se the place was filling fast. Then at the end of our loop tour, we came across site....and I'm giving up this site number assuming you won't be keeping it from me....F-80. Perfect for backing the trailer into. Far enough away from the neighbors so you hardly know they're there. A 100' walk to lakes edge, where two little islands sat just offshore, serenely and scenically awaiting our exploration. Yeah, this was it. The weather was fabulous, the water warm enough to swim in and crystal clear. Waldo Lake, along with Crater Lake and some lake in Siberia, is one of the three purest lakes in the world. I almost felt guilty tainting it with my body. But I did and it felt goooood! The water was shallow enough off of our 'beach" that you could practically walk out to the islands. The larger of the two even had huckleberries ripening on its bushes. Amazing! What we didn't have, and I wish we did, was a canoe as there were flotillas of kayaks and canoes skimming across the lake. But with enough cocktails (including that delicious Manhattan....in your honor K...at right), beer, wine, and some pretty kickass camp cooking, we did just fine. Oh, and a bit of hiking was thrown in just to rationalize all the indulgence. I suggest you check out the Twin Peaks hike about a 1/4 mile from the campground entrance. A 6-1/2 mile round trip up to 7300' where you can look down at waldo and take in staggering views of the Three Sisters and various other cascade peaks. Did I mention this was a pretty complete experience? Enough talk, here's some photo evidence to help you make your next year's vacation plans....
w on the top of Twin Peaks looking out at the Three Sisters
Chopper relaxing by the water's edge,
pondering which chipmunk to chase
me in yet another fruitless attempt to get Chopper
to run back to camp for beer
if you could see behind the camera you'd find a very happy camper
enjoying another stunning sunset with a fizzy gin and tonic in his hand. Ahhhhh..........


Annie S. said...

We were camping there a few weeks ago, and I agree - it is perfectly beautiful. We were told, however, that they are going to close the campgrounds next year for renovation. Also they are going to poison the catfish. So much for pristine.

Annie S. said...

Oops - wrong lake. The one I mentioned is Walton - also lovely.

So sorry.

bb said...

annie....don't do that to me!! I was thinking "Damn, just when I found heaven!" sorry for Walton Lake but happy for Waldo!

dds said...

Next October...it's a date. We'll bring the kayaks and maraschino cherries.

bb said...

Consider yourselves campers next October!
Hahaha....I would expect you to call me out on my lack of cherry, Miss Eagle Eye. Well played!!