Sunday, August 15, 2010

OBR 2010

OBR this year went to some of my favorite places in Oregon, places with memories, places with no cars, places I like to share with friends. On OBR I got to share them with 240 friends.
We started in Klamath Falls. I got to know K Falls, as we used to call it before I knew anything about Bend. It was 1970 when I got a job with the US Forest Service working in Chiloquin. K Falls was the place to go to buy a book, binoculars, get a good meal, see a movie the fun stuff and I did all of that 40 years ago. Until Bend finally got it's new library a few years ago Klamath Falls had a much bigger and modern library than Bend. It sits on the largest fresh water lake West of the Mississippi, and it shares its name with the Klamath River, which traveled to my College stomping grounds. We headed to Bly, Silver Lake and then a stop over day at Diamond Lake. This meant we made a big circle around the area I worked in all those years ago. We even rode by my "driveway" which is the upper photo. A few miles down that road, I had a small mobile home that was my guard house. It was close to a spring and hundreds of Sandhill Cranes. That was the summer I was a bird watcher. There were so many and so beautiful I went and got the bird book and binoculars (those were actually a birthday present for Kathy). What a
great job for a boy of 19. I felt like a man then but I have come to realize what a boy I was. I say that as a good thing.
On our lay over day at Diamond Lake ( besides feeding the mosquitoes) we went and rode our bikes around Crater Lake. Crater Lake will always be special for me because Kathy and I spent a very important and romantic 4th of July weekend there in 1969. When I see the Lake I see and feel all of those years we have been together. Though Kathy wasn't there on this trip she was there in my mind as she always is.
Traveling in a National Park is always a bit different than other places. The brown interpretive signs, the vehicles with so many different license plates, and the Rangers always ready to answer those questions. I have to share two of my favorite tourist stories. One I was at the rim and someone asked if the water was really that blue. The other was the "husband" explaining to the "wife" that the lake filled up in the winter. The wife, who was quite observant, wanted to know how all of those pine trees near the lake shore survived. Our ever ready husband was quick to answer that they were a special species of trees that could live under water.
The rest of the OBR was also quite fun as we made stops in Butte Falls and Fort Klamath. I was impressed at all of the riders who told me how much fun they had. I am glad they were able to enjoy an area I have enjoyed for over 40 years.