Oh, Deer

Posted by Susy in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Ranger families could not have dogs when we were growing up in California State Parks. We had one during the Second World War but the ruling must have come after that. At the time, we had an Irish Water Spaniel. She had nine pheidi-the-fawn0001uppies and we kept one. When we moved, we left the mother, Curly Locks, so that she could have a life as a hunting dog, for which she was trained before she ended up with us. Unfortunately, our little puppy ate some some salmon, got sick, and died before we moved from the coast to the mountains. So, no pets for us.

When we lived at Castle Crags we got lucky. A doe with a very young fawn was killed by a car and the Department of Fish and Game said we could raise the baby because we lived in the park. She was very young and needed to be bottle fed. My younger brother and I did most of the care although our mother probably started out with it. We named her Heidi. What an adorable animal! Wheidi-the-fawne had a leash for her and she loved taking walks with us. When we stopped for her to rest she would suck on our ear lobes! We kept her away from other people so she would not adapt to them, and might have a chance at being a wild deer when she grew up.

Heidi loved to be with us but we had to have her tied up part of the day; we couldn’t be with her conguy-the-fawnstantly. One day, when I was going to ride with my mother to the post office, I moved He
idi to a shaded spot by the little creek and tied her leash to a branch. Back at the house, ready to leave, I could see that the willow branches, which had been waving around from her efforts to follow, had stopped moving. I went down to do one last check on her and watched the light fading from her eyes as she died. Her collar was just a belt and the fastener had come loose as she leaped. She had choked to death.

We were devastated. This was a first loss of a much-loved pet. It took a long time for my brother and I to recuperate.

A few years later (1955) we ended up with another fawn, this one a little buck. His mother, too, had been hit by a car and died. He was so tiny our mother fed him with a straw, holding her thumb on one end to keep the milk in and then releasing it into his mouth. She did this oguy-the-fawn0002ff and on through a number of nights. When he got to where he could use a bottle my brother and I took care of him. He graduated from bottle to a bowl with a rubber glove in it so he could suck on our fingers as he ate. Pablum was added as he grew. This time our dad bought a little harness that went around his middle so there was no chance of another accident. He did wiggle out once though and, in the process, slit one ear about an inch. Our parents attached a large wool sock to the harness to make it tighter. When he got older and ran with other young deer we could recognize him from the split ear. This one we called Dear-deer and then, eventually, Guy. He was much more independent than the little doe had been, and not as affectionate. But he was a lovable handful.

As he grew, we stopped tying him up at night and he would join other deer but always came wheguy-the-fawn0001n we called if he knew food might be waiting. He was definitely a success story, gaining his independence and finding others with whom to roam. The last time we saw him he had a spike antler on each side. Guy ran up to my brother and reared up, striking out with his front feet as if to play. That showed us it was time to end the relationship. But what a wonderful experience! Every time we saw deer in the meadow or out in the woods we’d try to see whether one of them had a split ear.

Poetry Reading

Posted by Susy in Uncategorized | Comments Off

100_5770Yesterday afternoon I went to a poetry reading, in the Veneta area- west of Eugene, that was sponsored by Groundwaters Publishing http://groundwaterspublishing.com.

For 10 years Groundwaters published a quarterly literary magazine but now puts all the effort into a yearly edition, and this reading was a celebration of their 2nd Annual Issue. Their tagline is “Bubbling up in our own good time”.

The reading site was a Grange Hall/performing arts center at a former elementary school site. The little auditorium was perfect for this event and I’m sure everyone appreciated the tiers of seats that allowed all to see. And the use of a microphone is always appreciated. I didn’t read this year but enjoyed just listening to others.

Works are contributed by amateurs and professionals and include fiction, non-fiction, essays, poetry, artwork and photographs.

I have five pieces in this year’s publications, several poems and a short essay. The following is one of my poems.

Oxford Dictionary

Lest we lose our sense of belonging to
and coming from the land,
let us keep the words that name
what we love—the forests,
the meadows and streams,
the flowers and birds,
the echoes and sunbeams.

Let us drink deeply from snowbroth,
restore vigor to our jargogled brains,
and camp in a heather-filled mountain glade
To recuperate from a long hike.
let us prepare dinner at twitter-light
and plan tomorrow’s climb up the arête.

Afterwards, I want to go spangin’ along the trails,
collecting forgotten words.

Last Day at Crater Lake

Posted by Susy in Uncategorized | Comments Off

My view early in the day.

We got up at 6:00 a.m. and had hot cereal for breakfast. Tom gave me a ride to park headquarters where I ended up being the only passenger on a bus heading up the hill to the North Junction, with a quick drive-by at Rim Village in case there were others there needing a ride.


Bike corral and parking along road.

My driver told me he drives trolleys at Crater Lake during the summer but, now that school has started, he drives school buses in the Klamath area. I asked him whether he had discipline problems with kids and he told me how he handles those possibilities. These days school buses have cameras that help with that. And it sounds as if bus-driver attitude is important too.

There were already people biking the road between park headquarters and the North Junction. It was cold, no sunlight yet, and there was a mile-and-a-half of gravel road. No shoulders on this highway so bikers had to squeeze into just a few inches of pavement when the bus went by. My driver was saying, out loud, “Move over, move over, move over!”


Bicycle built for four.

From the time I got to the station until noon I didn’t sit down. I was the only member of Friends of Crater Lake at our station. The others were with Discover Klamath, associated with the Chamber of Commerce. They were in charge of registration and various issues. There was no charge to participate but they wanted to keep track of how many people rode, where they were from, etc. I did refilling of Clif Bars and Goo, oranges and bananas. Also helped with giving people tickets to put bikes in the valet corral. One ticket they kept and one got stuck onto their bike. This allowed us to make sure no one took the wrong bike. Some put their bikes there while they went to find parking. Some took the bus back down to park headquarters where they’d left their vehicle and then drove up to get their bike. I don’t know how many boxes of Clif products I opened but it was hard on my fingers!


Riding in style!

It was really cold at first, although most of the snow had melted—I had four or five layers on. When the sun finally hit our spot I peeled them off: jacket, down vest, etc. I was glad I’d brought sun screen because I’d left my sun hat in the trailer and, although my knit cap kept my head warm in the early hours, it didn’t do a lot as a sun shelter. We had a beautiful, warm day. Such a contrast to the day before when we drove through rain and fog.


People taking dangerous chances.

This was an enjoyable job though. It was nice to see so many smiling faces. It was during this time I came to see how many of the riders belong to biking groups and bike often. That’s why they were in such good biking shape (versus my sporadic rides). A group from Sacramento goes to 5,000 feet fairly often to ride. There were all kinds of bikes, some quite expensive. And they varied from a unicycle (not sure how this person managed the hills!) to a bicycle built for four.

By mid-afternoon we were out of water and Clif bars and left with just oranges and bananas, which soon became just bananas. Finally more water arrived around 4:00 p.m. At one point a park ranger car, with red lights and siren, drove past us and up the road. Someone had fallen from his bike, broken his clavicle and gotten a lot of road scrapes. An ambulance was called. There was no way of communicating (this will be resolved next year) but 911 still worked from cell phones. Another person fell in the gravel area but we had disinfectant and band-aids which his traveling companion applied.

I took the 6:00 p.m. bus down, again the only rider, a different driver. Again there were bikes on this nine-mile stretch of road that had remained open to automobile traffic. Tom was waiting for me at the park headquarters aid station. I dropped off my Friends of Crater Lake vest at the ranger office. The couple volunteering there, the Woodleys, turned out to be related to the Goodyear family from Weaverville so we briefly talked about who we knew in common. I told them I was Facebook friends with Jan. Funny how you can be someplace and find these unexpected connections.


Wizard Island from near my post.

Tom got a late start riding but had gone from headquarters in the opposite direction. He rode past Vidae Falls and up to where he could see Crater Lake’s Phantom Ship, a craggy island with a ship-like shape. It’s about 500 by 200 feet in size and rises about 170 feet above the water. He said he needed to adjust his handlebars but enjoyed his ride.

When we got back to our campsite we discovered the refrigerator and the heater weren’t working. There wasn’t enough power from the trailer battery. It was cold and dark and we were tired and hungry. Tom hooked the trailer power to the car and ran the it for awhile so we had lights. We still had propane, of course, but it took power to start the heater to run on propane. I heated up soup (again thank goodness for having made that big pot of soup at home) and I put most of the food that was in the refrigerator outside in the bear-proof cabinet. Any leftover meat I put in the freezer compartment of the refrigerator. It was cold enough in the trailer so that might not have been necessary! Once again we were thankful for the big down comforter.

In the morning we stopped at the Mazama Resort restaurant for a good breakfast before we headed for home. One last treat awaited us though. On the way out, as we drove past the Crater Lake junction on the north side, a large bear ran across the road.

Crater Lake, Part 6-Mazama Campground

Posted by Susy in Uncategorized | Comments Off

View from the car as we got close to the Rim.

Friday, we checked out of Diamond Lake RV and headed for Crater Lake with the goal of reaching Mazama Village Campground on the south side of the park (214 tent and RV sites, no hookups for RVs). When I worked at the park in the early 1960s this was just a campground. Now there is a lodge and a restaurant.

It was raining and chilly. Just past the check-in station at the north entrance the windshield wiper on my side broke and it flopped around like an injured bird. Uh-oh… There was no immediate place to turn off so Tom shut the wipers down. After a mile or so we came to a turnout and pulled off the road. He got out, removed the wiper blade and pulled the support out so that it wouldn’t scratch the windshield. For the rest of our trip I rode with what appeared to be a giant insect antenna in front of me. We were really glad it wasn’t snowing.

When we got to the Rim we could see snow, some still on the trees. We slowed down and, putting our window down, talked to a young man who had a bicycle on top of his car. He didn’t know about the Rim closure for the next day but said he’d planned to ride his bike so thought he’d probably join the riders and seemed pleased to know there would be water and things to eat. He was traveling around the U.S. and Crater Lake was a place he wanted to visit. We inched into a line of cars waiting for a pilot car at the construction site. I had my trac-phone out, just watching the No Service at the top when suddenly it said Home so quickly texted a brief message to my youngest son so that someone in the family would know we were still alive. We’d had no contact since leaving Eugene. There was no time to wait for a response as the traffic began moving again. The fog was dense everywhere. Anyone driving up for a view of the lake would have been really disappointed.

At Mazama we found a pull-through site that was nice and within reasonable walking distance of a restroom—no showers although apparently there are showers to be had someplace in the campground. Everything was dripping wet though and the table had puddles on it. We were so glad we weren’t in a tent! Fir needles stuck to the bottoms of our shoes and tracked inside but there wasn’t anything to be done about it.

I fixed instant mac & cheese for dinner, draining the pasta by resting the colander on top of the bear-proof container outside. Tom cut up some of the canned ham to add to it. Not bad! I also used the last of the lettuce, some tomato and some avocado for a salad. After dinner I washed the dishes in one of our big, red, plastic containers on the very wet table. We shared a faucet across the road with numerous tent campers. The propane worked for the heater, much to my relief. And the lights worked from the trailer battery.

I made lunches for both of us before fixing dinner so we’d be ready to go early in the morning. Saturday I’d be helping staff an aid booth and Tom would be doing some riding.

Crater Lake, Part 5

Posted by Susy in Uncategorized | Comments Off

view-fromm-restaurant-breakfastWednesday: VERY cold last night and this morning. We drove up the road to Diamond Lake Lodge for breakfast. This building has been there since the 1920s and has grown since then. It is not at all fancy but serves its purpose. Has rooms upstairs and a dining area downstairs. The resort also has cabins and motel units. The dining room has a nice view of the marina area and pictures from the past on one wall. We had a table by the window and could look at the marina and the lake. We saw a number of gray Jays going from tree to tree. It was nice to be waited on and not going in and out of the trailer to get water for coffee and cereal. We talked to a man outside who was working on the road construction at Crater Lake and he said it was snowing up there. I’d noticed snow stuck to the running board of the truck that he was driving and asked where he’d been where there was snow.

When we got back I washed last night’s dinner dishes outside on the wooden table, which was now bathed by warm sunlight. I took a shower and washed my hair when it was overcast. I’d forgotten to bring a blow dryer and stuck my head under the hand dryer for a while, which worked pretty well! Just as I came out the door to walk to our trailer the hail began. Then we had hail and rain showers for a couple of hours.

Tom decided to do the laundry. I gave him a magazine to read but he came back between the washing and the drying. He had soap in the trailer from our Idaho trip so just needed quarters, which we also had on hand.

He talked asnow-on-mt-baileybout wanting to bike again tomorrow but I wasn’t sure I wanted to.
Thursday we were ready to go for a short bike ride but it started raining again. Rained all last night and it’s cold. We went to the lodge gain for breakfast. We waited another 15 minutes after getting ready and to see whether it would clear off. It didn’t. Not good for us to be cooped up together in small space! When the clouds lifted a little we could see snow on Mt. Bailey across the lake.

After dinner Tom suggested we go for a short hike so we bundled up and walked down the trail from near our site. It comes out on the road just across from a rather ramshackle looking pizza place. We crossed the highway onto the bike path. It was dusk but we could still see the lake and Tom spotted ducks cruising around. They had a lot of white on them and were diving ducks but we weren’t sure what kind. I took a couple of pictures. It was cloudy but the setting sun brought a metallic sheen to the lake’s surface as it reflected from behind tevening-walk-2he clouds.

We took a short loop from the main trail past a restroom that had lights on and right nearby was a small tent. It must have been freezing in the tent. I told Tom if it were me I’d put my sleeping bag in the restroom where it was warmer although I guess the lights might be a problem.

We walked a little further and then cut back to the highway and walked back until we came to the pizza place. I’d thought to slip my small LED flashlight into my pocket before we left the traileevening-walkr although it had been quite light at the time. It came in handy when traffic approached. We went into the pizza parlor and were pleasantly surprised by how nice it was inside—appeared to be newly remodeled with rustic boards and beams. They also had ice cream and beer. We didn’t order anything but looked at a menu to get an idea of prices for future reference and stayed long enough to warm up, then crossed the highway and made our way up the trail, with the aid of the flashlight, to our camp.

Friday we’d be returning to Crater Lake and wondered whether the Ride the Rim would be cancelled due to snow.

Crater Lake, Part 4

Posted by Susy in Uncategorized | Comments Off



It was a good day although we didn’t get going until late. The morning started cloudy and cold. Hot cereal, pears and coffee for breakfast. We decided to ride bikes. Tom wanted to see some of the trail he’d missed. I was just going to go to the store and see whether they had batteries from my small flashlight, which had gotten very dim, and maybe buy a can of food to stretch the meals. After riding 19 miles on Saturday and 12 Monday I really didn’t feel like ridintom-on-bridge-2g much.

The store, which is part of the resort three miles from the RV park, is very small and pricey but they have a variety of goods. We rode the trail that goes along the lake. And they did have just enough small batteries left for my flashlight. I bought the last of them. At this point I decided we should probably stick together and that I’d go wherever it was Tom was going rather than heading back to our campsite.

I remembered from the previous day, riding up this trail, that it is rather narrow and running off of it would result in going down a steep bank and into the lake. We maneuvered down with no accidents and the sun had come out by then so it was warm and cheerful. Along a short stretch of this part of the trail there were a number of ponderosa pines, in the midst of all the lodgpoles, standing like old friends from the past. And the dry needles in the sunlight smelled good. We took the trail back the way I had come and that included riding through the stretch with the very tall fireweed. Then we arrived at a road (just past the fork that goes to Thielsen View Campground). Here, I’d come down from the woods and across the road to continue on the trail. nice-of-silent-creekTom suggested we turn left and ride the road for a while. I had doubts but it turned out to be really fun. No cars came from either direction and we had the highway to ourselves. The few hills were doable and we loved riding fast down the other side—very short hills compared to those on the Rim, but great fun. My odometer registered 18-20 mph a couple of times.

Lots of forest thinning is taking place on that side of the lake and we could see a number of summer homes tucked away in the trees. I think most of these cabins were grandfathered in years ago. I’ve researched a bit for possible sewage runoff to the lake but the studies I found ditom-on-bike-pathdn’t show any. We hope the thinning isn’t for more houses but is for reducing fire danger.

After a while we came to another trail crossing and this was where we turned to go back to the bridge that arches over Silent Creek. We stayed at the bridge for at least a half hour, enjoying the warmth and color of this fall day. The creek truly is silent as its waters flow quietly over rocks and logs toward the lake. Silent Creek, amber in the late afternoon sun, is the main water source for Diamond Lake. I took pictures, trying to include some of the blueberry leaves turning color, and then joined Tom on the bridge where we were pleased to see two hooded msunset-with-wiresergansers gliding swiftly down toward us. They must have spotted us because as they emerged from under the bridge they rose briefly into the air before landing to continue their journey. We went 12 miles today, according to my odometer.

Lovely sunset tonsunset-from-diamond-lk-campight.

Crater Lake, Part 3

Posted by Susy in Uncategorized | Comments Off

mt-bailey-diamond-lakeThe morning we were going to leave Lost Creek I was outside washing the soup pan from the night before—on the wooden table—when a man came up with a coffee mug in hand and asked whether we had any hot water. I didn’t have any heated but told him I’d heat some for him. He and Tom chatted while I did that and then poured it into his cup where he had powdered hot chocolate or something. After he left we ate instant hot cereal for breakfast, topped by a banana. Then I crossed Lost Creek to look at some birds—yellow-dumped warblers, juncos, and chickadees–before we both walked up the dirt road that went through the trees behind us. It was blocked by a locked gate but we’d been told it eventually arched the Rim road. We just wandered along looking at deer tracks–I’d seen
two disappear when I went across the creek. We turned back shortly and were then
diamon-lake-9-18startled by the approach of a pickup behind us—two park rangers on patrol. They told Tom that elk are common further up the road.

Our next stop was an RV park at Diamond Lake. Tom had asked for a site near a restroom since we have never used the one in our trailer, using the space for closet/pantry. They did give us a site near a restroom—but it was locked. Oh, well. Our camp had a concrete pad with picnic table (rather decrepit but quite functional) and benches, electric hookup, and standpipe with water. If we’d wanted it there was also a sewage hookup. We were at the bottom end of Loop meadow-mt-bailey-from-bike-pathC with no one on our downhill side, which we appreciated. Yay, privacy on that side. We could just see a bit of the lake through the lodgepole pines and across the highway. A spruce, a hemlock and a red fir were at one end of the pad. There was a fire ring at the other end. Our restroom and shower building was several hundred yards away, up a slight hill. I bought a newspaper at the RV office so we could catch up a little on news and read the weather forecast. Later I worked on a crossword puzzle from the paper. Tom chatted with the neighbor on our uphill side while he did some work on his bike.

It was cold in the mornings and this first day, as the sun got higher, I practiced some tai chi outside, looking toward the lake.

There were yellow-rumped warblers here in addition to chipmunks, a burr-cutter (Douglas squirrel) and a golden-mantled ground squirrel, which seemed to live under the concrete slab.

A paved trail encircles Diamond Lake. We rode the trail a number of years ago (11-12 miles) and this first day we decided to ride it again. It would give Tom more practice for his riding at the Rim and both of us practice exercising at 5,000 feet elevation. So off we went. This is a really pretty area and, at this time of year, not at all crowded. The extensive campgrounds (240 USFS sites) were mostly empty and very few people were using the trail. The meadows we passed were turning a light gold and wild blueberry leaves were turning red. Mt. Bailey forms a backdrop for the lake, rising to over 8,000 feet.

All went well until we reached a fork in the trail. I’d dropped behind a little when I stopped to take a picture but I’d soon caught up enough to be able to see Tom’s green shirt just a short distance ahead. He was nowhere in sight at the fork though. There was a small wooden sign that said “Road ½ mile” straight ahead and “Lake Loop” to the right across a nice little arched bridge. The creek was wide, shallow and quiet, quite lovely. Later we learned it is named Silent Creek!

Our plan, as I understood it, was to ride around the lake so I took one more picture and crossed the bridge. I pedaled rapidly thinking that I would soon catch up to Tom and was surprisemt-thielsen-from-bike-pathd he was going so fast. The trail headed uphill through the woods and wound around some fairly sharp turns. There were pine needles along both sides making the visible paved part rather narrow. The alternating sunlight and shadows meant I had to stay alert. Plus chipmunks kept darting across and I really didn’t want to hit one. Finally the trail emerged from the forest and crossed a road, then meandered along the lake again, at one point going between fireweeds, mostly gone to seed, that rose above my head. I soon came to more open places and stopped where there was a sandy beach and a great view of Mt. Thielsen (an extinct shield volcano with a horn-shaped peak). We hiked the Mt. Thielsen trail when we were here before but didn’t attempt the peak.

At this view location there were two men resting in the shade on either side of the trail. One man was lounging in the shade in a canvas chair reading, the other sitting on a log with his two dogs nearby. I asked whether they’d seen a man in a green shirt. “We’ve been here an hour and no one has gone by,” said the man on the left. “He must have taken a different trail.”

“Oh, gremt-thielsen-from-bike-path-2at,” I said, hoping my spouse hadn’t run off the trail someplace and been injured. I took a photo of the mountain, ate half of my granola bar and drank some water. My odometer showed that I was about half way around the lake so it would be just as quick to keep going rather than turn back and still maybe miss him.

“Well, if he comes by would you tell him I’m going back to our campsite?” I paused, thinking ahead. “At the very least there will be some kind of fight.”

The man on the left said, “I’m sure you are in the right.”

“Thank you,” I smiled, and started pedaling.

As it turned out I got back to our site almost an hour before Tom did and had time to change my clothes and eat some cheese, salami and crackers, saving half of what I’d fixed for him. I thought I’d wait one more hour and then, if he weren’t back, notify someone. About then I looked up and saw his green shirt up the hill at the office. Whew! There were a few words but food seemed to resolve the situation. It turned out he hadn’t seen the signs at the bridge and had gone straight ahead while I’d turned right. He’d done some riding on the road and then returned to the trail and come back the way we’d gone, looking for me. It was funny afterwards, but a bit worrisome at the time. Wine with dinner that night!

Crater Lake, Part 2

Posted by Susy in Uncategorized | Comments Off

“Are yome-my-thielsen-9-17u ever going to ride that bike?” a man’s voice asked. Well, yes, off and on. Bundled in layers again
st the cold, I started up the hill from the North Junction to Rim Drive, along with numerous other bike riders. Within a short distance I realized that something was wrong–probably with me but also with my bicycle. I couldn’t get it to go into the three lowest gears. After half a mile of struggle I was off the bike and gasping for air. A couple of men stopped to see whether they could help but they said I needed to find some tools. So back to the start I welooking-toward-mt-thielsennt, somewhat sview-from-a-turnout-9-17haken. I’d been a bit nervous about trying this at all but to have to turn back so soon was very discouraging.

Back at the aid station another bicyclist came to my rescue with a cluster of small screwdrivers and was able to make it so I could use those lowest gears although requiring a huge reach for my right thumb. I started back up the hill and soate-lunch-here-9-17jpgon stopped to walk, pushing my bike until I reached the top. The altitude was a huge factor and, although I’m sure age made a difference, there were others close to my age moving slowly along, pedal by pedal, as well as those who were much younger working their way past me.

After regaining my breath I headed down the hill. That was fun! At the bottom were a couple more slight hills and then another downhill spurt until I came to the Cleetwood Cove aid station. This was a good spot to stop, get a snack, and use the porta-potty. I walked around a bit thinking about whether I should just go back and return to the start. But I really didn’t want to go back up that hill. Too much like admitting defeat, plus I knew I could go a little further. So back tanother-view-9-17o pumping….and walking. I stopped at several places to look at the view, which was pretty astonishing. There is something to be said for struggling mentally and physically along the edge of a not-quite-extinct volcano that holds a deep blue lake within colorful lava walls, clouds moving acrolooking-toward-mt-scott-9-17ss the sun, elevation ranging from 6500 to 7500 feet.

At one overlook I asked a woman whether she would take my picture for m
e and she gladly obliged. She told me that she and her husband were taking it kind of easy although they were going to turn around at park headquarters and come all the way back the same way. Taking it easy? One thing I discovered on these two Saturdays was that many people are BIKERS! Not just riding occasionally or riding on bike paths but serious bikers. They are in biking shape. They belong to biking groups, participate in many events, and ride at elevations of 5,000 feet fairly often. The children are in shape because active children ARE in shape. Sigh.

There was a lot of camaraderie though and when people pedaled past my plodding figure many asked whether I was ok, did I need anything, or gave me encouraging words. Everyone seemed to be having a good time.

Then I started up the hill toward Mt. Scott. This is a very long hill—probably three miles—a long push. At the last turnout, before this hill the wind was blowing in strong gusts. I’m kind of a light-weight and when I was riding my bike was nearly pushed into someone else several times by the wind. Later I found out that others were having the same difficulty.

looking-back-toward-llao-rock-9-17About a quarter of a mile from the Mt. Scott aid station I stopped to eat lunch, sitting on the stone wall that marked the edge of the road. A woman, in her mid-sixties, chatted with me for a few minutes andgave me a small cooky that had electrolytes in it. She said it was her last one but wanted me to have it. She also told me to really be aware of my body and said that if I hit the wall it would be abrupt, wise advice I think. A few minutes later I reached the aid station and decided this was a good place to turn back. I’d ridden/walked 10.9 miles and my legs just didn’t have any energy left. One of the Friends of Crater Lake at this stop I’d met the night before at our camp and I told him I was going to head back to Cleetwood, that I knew I could make it that far. I might have been able to make it all the way to park headquarters since I was nearly half-way there but I knew for sure what was behind me and not what was ahcleetwood-9-17ead, so turned back.

That long, downhill ride was pretty wonderful!! Then there were a couple of little hills and I was at Cleetwood. Here I rested and talked to Sally (82) and Chuck (91) Wells, long-time Friends of Crater Lake. They have led a fascinating life and were great fun to get to know. They even knew Lfrom-cleetwood-on-9-17ynn Jungworth, from Hayfork, California, having talked to her in the past about a project they had worked on in Klamath Falls. Also at this stop was a 16-year old exchange student from Denmark—a bright and interesting girl. I gave a young couple, who were heading back to the North Junction, a note to give to Tom telling him where I was so he could pick me up after six when the road opened. They assured me they would get it to him and did so.

After a couple of hours a ranger (female!) came to pick up the exchange student because her host fatfrom-cleetwood-again-9-17her had come to get her and she offered me a ride back to the aid station as well where Tom was just finishing up. By then it was six o’clock. We drove back to our campsite, ate dinner—homemade soup I’d brought, bread and wine–and collapsed. I’d ridden/walked a total of 19 miles (top elevation of about 7500 ft.) counting the ½ mile up and back when I needed gears adjusted. The whole process was an eye opener for me. I’m not used to giving up on anything but guess it’s also important to face the reality of physical limitations. This was a beautiful place to come to that realization.

Crater Lake and More

Posted by Susy in Uncategorized | Comments Off

campsite-at-lost-creek-9-16-16Crater Lake National Park and bicycle riding usually don’t occur in the same thought but my husband and I have just returned from mixing the two. We’ve been gone for nine days and are now dealing with the re-entry—cleaning out our little Casita trailer, laundry (he likes to do laundry, thank goodness!), washing dishes, getting rehydrated and caught up on rest—that will take a few days.

Crater Lake is Oregon’s only National Park (Oregon Caves being a National Monument) and is a volcano containing the deepest lake (1,949 ft.) in the U.S. and second deepest in N. America. When Mt. Mazama erupted 7,700 years ago, it collapsed into the interior after vast amounts of lava were expelled,leaving a crater (actually a caldera) six miles across that filled with rain and melting snow waters over the ensuing centuries.This was where I had two wonderful summers in 1961 and 1962 working as a seasonal ranger-naturalist.

I’ve been a member of Friends of Crater Lake for a number of years and receive their newsletters—a good way to keep up on events at the park. Last year we volunteered to help staff an aid station for Ride the Rim, a Saturday when the Rim Drive is closed to automobiles from about 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Visitors may still drive from park heabreakfast-at-lost-creek-9-18dquarters to Rim Village and out to the north but about 24 miles of the 33-mile drive are for foot and bicycle travel only. The event is sponsored by the Klamath Falls Chamber of Commerce and Friends of Crater Lake, with assistance from the park service. The Chamber works hard to get donations from different sponsors, with Clif Bars being one of the major participants. Also at each of the five aid stations are water, bananas and some oranges. This year some basic bike tools were available to use as were some first-aid materials such as bandages.

We had such a good time helping last year that this year we decided to have one of us help staff onlost-creek the first Saturday, while the other rode, and then reverse the process the next Saturday, the 16th and the 24th.

Last year, trolleys that usually take groups of people around the scenic drive were used to bring people and bikes up the hill from park headquarters, the one section of the highway still open to traffic and all uphill. That was a slow, cumbersome process so this time they had no bike hauling, just people, and used buses. If a biker needed to leave his or her bike, there was a corral at each end of this stretch of highway with valet parking. Raffle-type tickets were given to those individuals so the numbers could be matched when they came back to claim their bicycle. Most decided to use the bus service but some opted to bike up (or down) the hill.

We arrived at Lost Creek Campground, a very small (and dusty) camp that is reserved for tents only. Water is available and there are flush toilets but no showers. No lights in the restroom but maybe there are supposed to be. Solar panels provide enough electricity for a paper-towel dispenser, which seemed funny in this remote spot. Small trailers (no toilets) were allowed for volunteers this year, just for the ride weekend. Forest cover here is mostly lodgepole pine and some fir. Many lodgepoles seem to be dying and the park service has used some of the cut trees for firewood.

Behind our site a sign posted on a pine said “NO FISHING” and, in smaller letters, somethilost-creek-2ng about protecting Bulltrout. I remarked, out loud, “Where would anyone fish? There’s no water,” then realized, to my delight, that the small stream of Lost Creek ran not 25 feet from our table. The site was equipped with a heavy, metal bear-proof container to store food and a fire ring.

We could see the backside of Mt. Scott from here, rising above us. The moon was huge as it rose and I’m sure would have been reflecting beautifully on the lake. Two members of Friends of Crater Lake came by to register those of us (five I think) who would be volunteering the next day (and included me for the following weekend) so that all could go directly to their posts without having to check in at headquarters. Tom got his bright yellow and orange vest that read Friends of Crater Lake on the back and I could use it when my turn came.

We set the alarm for 6:00 a.m. but got up at 5:30 and ate a quick breakfast. Tom removed my bike from the trailer and put it on the rack on the back of the car. I’d made lunches after we arrived at the campsite the day before and we were soon on our way to the Rim. This was my day to ride.


Posted by Susy in Uncategorized | Comments Off






Sometimes I think I’ve been here before,
recognizing a particular boulder in a
small meadow along an alpine trail,
a trail that is new to me.
Sometimes a conversation
is word for word the same
as from the past
and the afternoon light slanting
just so.
Now, today, there is this image.
I’ve not seen it before,
at least not that I can remember,
not in this life,
not in this dimension.
And yet familiar—- winged
creature, delicate–
emerging from a tree’s heart,
a spirit shadow
released to wander
on autumn’s moonlit nights;
drifting across wetlands where pond turtles rest,
gliding through the oak savannah to the
river and beyond.
What do you seek in your wanderings?
Perhaps I can go with you.
Perhaps our answer lies upstream,
in the mountains.