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east lake, summer 2015

east lake, oregon ... summer 2015

Morning came with a cold smack in the face.  The sun was just beginning to light the day, soft and melancholy.  The campground was quiet as dawn tip-toed in. 

Snuggling down a little further in my flannel lined sleeping bag, I noticed my visible breath; evidence of the chill.  In a sleepy, pre-coffee state of mind, I heard the chop of an axe, crumpling paper and the promising strike of a match.  Crackling flames stirred me from my cocoon, mocking me to emerge and join the day.   Silent mornings have a cold heart.

This snippet pretty much sums up a recent camping trip to East Lake.  We had an unseasonal cold front move through, dropping the temperatures from the usual mid to upper 40’s at night down to, well, seeing my breath conditions.  Fortunately, I had not only my not-made-for-backpacking sleeping bag, but a wool quilt piled on top.  Add to that sweats and I was all toasty.

I did emerge to meet the cold morning and roaring fire.  

The warmth of the flames felt hot on my cheeks.  My coffee slipped down like an elixir of stimulation.  What is it about camp coffee that always tastes so earthy?  Maybe the water, maybe the smoke from the camp fire; I don’t know, but I had seconds.

A short bio on East Lake:  It is one of the twin lakes cradled in Newberry Caldera.  When I was growing up, the lakes were called Twin Lakes (capital letters) and Newberry was a crater.  There have been to-dos   about calderas vs craters and mountains vs buttes.   While all of the scientific mumbo-jumbo can be quite interesting, it doesn’t distract from the magnificence of these natural wonders.

Newberry Volcano was the largest volcano in the Cascades.  It last blew its top about 1300 years ago, making it the youngest lava flow in Oregon.  Thanks to President George H W Bush, Newberry enjoys the prestige of a National Monument.

Clearly, after a day of exploring, hiking and snapping pics a glass of wine down at the lake was in order.  We drug our chairs down to the water’s edge and let the sun soak our bodies as it sparkled on the lapping water.

 One question I had while sitting with the beach grass and scrub pines, “why are there seagulls at a landlocked lake?” 

I don’t know … I got nothing on that one!


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