Crater Lake, Nehalem 1976

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The children, Bob and I drove into Weaverville from the ranch on Saturday morning. Bob came out Friday night. Before we left I put poison barley in all the ground squirrel holes I could find. Now of course I know that’s not a great idea because things that eat ground squirrels can get poisoned.

The children and I left Weaverville Sunday morning a little after 8:00. I’d planned to get up at quarter to six but the alarm didn’t go off and I got up half an hour later. Then we had to get air in the tires before we left town. We stopped at Castle Crags and ended up eating an early lunch there around 11 as everyone was starved. We walked a little way up the River Trail and also tasted the sulfur water. From there we drove on up here to Crater Lake after getting gas in Klamath Falls and making a few other brief stops. We arrived around 3:00. We’re camped at Mazama Campground.

We found a reasonably private campsite (G1) and got the tent set up with only a few minutes of quandary when it appeared that one of the post sections was missing. Jeff found it after we’d substituted a cord tied to a tree. We ate dinner—green salad with a tomato and dressing while dinner was cooking on the prima stove. We went down for the campfire program, which fortunately was short. They have a really fancy screen with the projector from behind and even can have music. It went from 9:00 to 9:30. Oh, and yesterday afternoon after we’d set up camp we drove up to the rim so the children could see the lake. We heard the talk at Sinnott Overlook and I met a woman seasonal naturalist, Nancy F., who has been here 10 summers. She teaches in Eugene, Oregon. She was familiar with my name and said she’d heard only good things about me. Their uniforms now are more like the men’s—green slacks and jackets, Stetsons. I enjoyed meeting her. She seemed a person who took her work seriously.

I slept very little last night. Was very cold. Tonight I’m going to put a blanket between the mattress and me. The children all slept in the tent, which they love, and slept right through. It had rained here recently and was a little threatening looking when we first got here. (We had a tremendous thunderstorm Friday night when we were out at the ranch. Lightening striking across the river and downriver from us. Lots of rain also. The robin’s nest blew out of the apple tree and we found three babies on the ground. Two were dead. I buried the dead ones and we fed the live one a small worm and put it and the nest up in the tree house. We don’t know whether the parents came but it was still alive when we left. In Weaverville the mother quail was sitting on her nest.)

After breakfast we loaded a lot of the stuff into the car and the rest into the tent so it wouldn’t get wet in case of rain. Then we drove up to the rim. Bought film and postcards and left the rim as quickly as possible–jammed with people. Awful. We then drove around the rim. Made frequent stops to look at the lake and a couple of stops for the children to slide in the snow. There are still a number of large patches—dirty from hemlocks’ debris and road dust. We ate lunch at Whitebark Pine Picnic Area looking out at Mt. Scott. Had it all to ourselves. We made a quick walk up to Sun Notch and stopped at Vidae Falls for a picture. Got back to camp around 3:30.

The boys are grubbing around with their trucks in the dirt. Rebecca read for a while and now appears to have joined them. They really seem glad to be out of the car. These camps are among lodgepole pine and red fir and Mt. Hemlock, mostly lodgepole pine. We have no one on one side of us, someone about 150 feet away on the other (screened by trees) and someone across from us (semi-screened). The bathroom and water and garbage can are not far. Lots of birds-tanagers, Steller’s Jays. Saw a woodpecker feeding its young ones, robins, Clark’s Nutcrackers (much to Clarke’s delight). We saw a golden eagle from the overlook yesterday and gray jays on the rim today. All three children fed a Golden
Mantle Ground Squirrel. Before we went up to the rim this morning we walked through Castle Crest Garden. Not many flowers in bloom yet. Overall today we saw Elephant’s Head Pedicularis, Pussy Paws, Mt. Ash, Bleeding Hearts, Avalanche Lilies (near Sun Notch), Forget-me-nots, Dwarf Purple Monkey Flowers, Hellebore, Shooting Stars and others, including Indian Paintbrush and Western Pasque Flowers. We also drove down to the Pinnacles.

Saturday, July 24th: We’re in Florence, Oregon at a much too expensive motel–$26.00. Dinner was $10.60. Should have camped I guess but it was windy and cool and a motel is a big treat for the kids. They took a swim before dinner, sliding down the slide with a big splash. Clarke had to be caught by Rebecca. He paddled near the ladder where I sat. We ate at the same restaurant as last year—still just as slow service.

We had a pretty good time at Nehalem—not quite as hard on me as last year. Wednesday we went with Mary and Ben to Tillamook so they could buy groceries. It seemed to take forever, and we drove down to a park for a picnic, which we didn’t have until about 4 o’clock and children bickering. Cape Meares has thick brush with trails cut through it, paved of course. Lots of brush rabbits. There was a big rock covered with gulls and cormorants and guano. There was an old lighthouse on the point. We all pushed Mary up to the bathroom, which had bars in it, much to her relief. We all went, except Mary, up to look at what was called an octopus tree. It was a large Sitka Spruce with many large branches about 12 feet in circumference. The base of the tree was about 50 feet in circumference. Jeffrey and Clarke had gone up and Jeff came down to get me. So I went up and Clarke was up there, all by himself, perched on the fence singing loudly “I love to go a-wandering”. He had started a song about the spruce tree when I got there. I think he was singing so loudly because of being by himself. My brothers and I called our parents by their first names and, believe me, with every much respect as if we’d called them Mom and Dad.

Thursday I fixed a lunch and the children and I went up to Oswald West State Park. This place has a parking lot along the highway and you walk down to the beach through a beautiful spruce and hemlock forest. Lots of red elderberry, vine maples and ferns. Rebecca and Jeffrey ended up wet to their armpits from standing in the waves. Clarke and I got wet too—Clarke especially. We went up to where a waterfall runs into the ocean and found some tide pools. The children lifted a starfish off the rocks and put it in the ocean. We then went back and ate our lunch. Then back to the sea. It was a beautiful day and we all got a little sunburned. There were surfers and there were a number of boats off the coast.

When we got home we took Mary for a walk up the road.

Friday Bing called and said he and Pat would be down that evening. They were calling from Seattle. We took some cheese, crackers, apples, granola bars, etc. And went up to Ecola Beach State Park. At first it was foggy and cool but later warmed up. After lunch the kids and I went down to the beach. There were lots of little tide pools and we got some interesting shells. Met a man from Germany who had some young boys with him and I showed them how to put their fingers into sea anemones and have the anemones close over them. They were with a relative from British Columbia.

Bing and Pat arrived around 6:30. They brought lots of food including salmon, which Ben broiled with laurel wood. We had a delicious dinner. This morning Pat gave us all blueberries to have with our breakfast.

We left around 11:30. Stopped briefly at the Tillamook Cheese Factory. Decided at the last minute to stop at Newport at the Marine Biology Lab. The children enjoyed it and then we learned that their research ship was open until 4:00 and it was then quarter to 4:00. We ran over there, buffeted by a strong wind, and got on the ship. There was a long line. As we were going into the ship a little sailboat began to have problems and everyone stopped to watch. Eventually they capsized. They tried to right it but it tipped over the other way. This happened several times. Finally they both, a man and a boy, got on the hull and a small boat came alongside while the coastguard started out from the shore. The men in the small boat lifted the tip of the sail; the man pulled on the keel and it was up. With the coastguard hovering they turned around and headed up river. It was very exciting and we really didn’t get much out of the boat tour. We got to Florence around 5:30 and there wasn’t much available in motels. Anyhow, we’re here and tomorrow we’ll stop at the sand dunes and head for home.

I’m noticing that my writing is coming less frequently and that some slides seem permanently lost although I imagine they are someplace in my possessions. For instance, I can’t find any pictures for Crater Lake for this trip.

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