A couple weeks ago, my wife and I decided to take a mini-vacation and we went to Clear Lake in the Oregon Cascades. My wife had been there a few times, but this was only my second time. It’s a beautiful glacier-fed lake (yes, freezing cold) that you can see the bottom of even at 75-foot depths. It’s amazing to float over ancient trees and actually see trout swimming around dozens of feet below you.
The resort (not really a resort) has about a dozen rustic cabins that can be rented out for the nights and we rented one. By rustic, I mean you have to hike to the bathroom and get your water from a pump outside. Very cool.
The first time I went with my wife, she enjoyed it so much I literally couldn’t get her to leave…seriously. Checkout was at 11 am and she went out on her paddleboard at about 8 am. Every time I looked out on the lake, she was just floating there, capturing every last sunray she could. I decided to let her be and I packed our stuff, cleaned out the cabin, checked out, and moved my Jeep to the parking area. Then I went to get my wife. I saw her floating about 50 feet from shore.
ME: It’s time to go!
ME: We need to be getting back!
Then she stood up on her paddleboard and I watched her paddle away. She finally came to shore after about two more hours and it was a quiet trip back home. She really, really didn’t want to leave. I wasn’t even upset at the late departure because I knew how she felt. I didn’t want to leave either.
The second time we went, I planned the departure better. I gave her something to look forward to. On the way home was the National Button Society convention. I didn’t have any problem getting her off her paddleboard this time.
While we were there the first time, we played in the water (what my wife loves) and took a hike (what I love). Of course, the hike didn’t go exactly how I thought it would. I was looking to get some exercise for my legs…but this happened instead…
MY WIFE: Oh! Look at that volcanic rock! I really want it!
ME: Um, that’s about twenty pounds and we’re about five miles into the hike.
By the time we got back, I was lugging 3 of those big rocks. I really do love my wife…
The second time we went, we did a little of the same thing. We played in the water then took a different hike. I had read about a little place nearby called The Blue Pool. It was a pond at the foot of a small yet high waterfall and was about a quarter acre in size. It’s surrounded by cliffs almost 75 feet high that the adventurous would jump off to land with a hard slap into the frigid water. Yes, the pool was very blue!
It was a steady two-mile hike to the pool. By steady, I mean steadily up and down, up and down, up and down…you get it. It actually felt more like five miles. When we got to the pool, it was worth it. We had to do some serious rock climbing and descending to get to the shore, but that was worth it too. There were about a dozen people down by the shore and my wife wasted no time getting into the water and making her way to the waterfall. If you read my blog post “What Fence?” you would already know that she was going to climb the waterfall. I just sat by the shore and absorbed the beauty and refreshed myself with the cool spray. After about a half-hour, my wife signed to me from a distance that she would meet me at the top as she continued to climb next to the waterfall. I nodded my agreement and made my way back up the trail. At one point, a young lady commented to me.
YOUNG LADY: Is that your wife climbing over there?
YOUNG LADY: She’s awesome! I hope I’m just like her when I get to be, um, uh…
ME: Our age? Yup, I hope so too although she’s getting harder for me to keep up with.
YOUNG LADY: I’ll bet.
We met at the top and gratefully only carted little rocks that fit in my pocket for the walk back. It felt like a longer walk than the walk to the pool and it wasn’t helped by the dust from the dry path all the way back. Funny how we didn’t notice it as much on the way there, but it really messed with my wife’s lungs going back. We made it to the Jeep and felt like all the refreshing we felt at the pool was wiped out. Still, it was well worth the hike.
After that, we went back to Clear Lake and spent our final night in our little rustic cabin. Our legs were sore, our feet were sore, but our spirits were high. We needed this getaway and now we find ourselves wishing we had stayed a few more nights…but then we would’ve missed the button convention. Hmm.