Lake Creek , Oregon
"The Grace of an Unplanned Day"
March 13 , 2005


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Malia's Miles
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Yesterday was another stellar weather day, so I thought I've drive out to Crater Lake to see how much it had changed since I was last there in all the snow. I got an earlier start than usual, knew I had plenty of time, so I started off on the back roads to get to the main road to Crater Lake. I had noticed before that there are lots of orchards on this road and wanted to get pictures of the pear trees in their current naked state and then go back when they're covered in buds and fruit.

 

Lake Creek bridge was built "about 1881."

However, before I even got to the main road, I saw a "detour" I couldn't resist. I saw a sign pointing down a road to the right saying there was a historic covered bridge down there. Although it was only 5 miles through a little town I'd never heard of called Lake Creek, it was a twisty narrow road. Don't ask me why, but I just LOVE covered bridges.

Very near the bridge, I noticed a really nice ranch house with a for sale sign in front. I thought - "wow, if I had to give up RVing, THIS would be a place I could be happy settling into." It was such a nice pastoral scene with a precious horse & little donkey across the road, that I took a couple of pictures of it.

As I was leaving the area, a woman starting driving up the driveway and I waved to her. She stopped and after I introduced myself, she gave her name as Morah. She said she usually introduces herself as "Mo" but after being confronted with such a beautiful name as Malia, she decided to go with her "real" name. That was just the beginning of our giggling together, and we ended up visiting for quite a while. She and her family have been tenants of the house for about 13 years. I remarked she must be unhappy about having to leave such a gorgeous place when it sells, but she just smiled and shrugged, saying something like "change is a good thing, even if we don't think so at the time." We then got into this whole conversation about such esoteric thoughts, laughing and sharing examples of such blessings in our lives that we weren't so sure weren't curses at the time. She was such a neat lady and our little talk and her sweet smile reminded me how we are taken care of by the universe even when we think things really aren't going our way.

She pointed me to a nice little park I wouldn't have seen if not for her directions and after that, I headed back to the main road still thinking I might have time to make it to Crater Lake. But then I stopped at the market in Lake Creek for a snack and got to talking to Mike, who was running the store there. I introduced myself to him as a fulltime RVer exploring the area.

He said I should go across the street to the historical society and meet its director, Kathy, as he knew we'd enjoy each other. He was right - she was a sweet lady with the perfect job because you could tell she loved it. Her family has been here since the 1800's and she took me all through the little historical society exhibits telling me about the area, and loaded me down with brochures and info she thought I'd like. I think she could tell from my accent that I'd be interested in the recreation of a civil war skirmish, the "Battle of Lake Creek," so she invited me to that costumed reenactment which takes place in June. I didn't even know Oregon had any part in that war!

Right next to the market was the town's fire station and they had an old-timey fire engine out front. I decided to take a picture of it to send one of my cyber-buddies, a retired fire captain. When the volunteer firefighters got curious about what I was doing and came outside, I told them about my mission and my friend. I then asked the female if she would take a picture of me with the 2 cute male firefighters to make my friends at home jealous. They all laughed, then told me about some other places to get great pictures from. See pic of Mt. McLoughlin below.
Mt. McLoughlin as seen from the fire station in Lake Creek

Mt. McLoughlin as seen from road to Lake of the Woods Resort.

It was a beautiful warm sunny day, but snow was still clinging to the water's edge.

COWBOY CHURCH
Mike also asked if I had gone to the "Cowboy Church." I said I had seen the sign to it off the main road, but didn't know if it was really open to the public. He said it's not always open, but there was a meeting going on there now, but they were on a break and I should go up and tell them Mike sent me. So I drove up the path to the church, drooling at the views of Mt. McLoughlin all the way.
As I arrived, there were people sitting outside, so I told them I was the ultimate tourist and Mike told me I shouldn't miss the ultimate attraction of the area, the Cowboy Church. They laughed as I asked if I could take some pictures and they said, "sure - shoot away."

The people were so informal, nice and friendly (as cowboys should be) and asked me to join them for their weekly service that begins each Saturday at 5:00 with a free BBQ dinner. They stressed how casual it all is and how the music is good 'ole "cowboy gospel" and they just have a blast as they thank the creator who made such beauty as that surrounding them. The timing wasn't right for today, but I plan to join them in that thanksgiving before leaving this area!

So by the time I got through with all of these little unexpected delightful detours, I made it only as far as Klamath Falls, which is only about 82 miles from where I started at 9:30 in the morning. I realized I'd never make it back before sunset if I went on to Crater Lake, so decided to just head back home slowly, taking the back roads through some National Forest roads. As warm as the weather had been, the road was clear, but the snow was still not finished with the upper forested part of Oregon, anyway, and I really enjoyed the contrast once again. I stopped several times just to listen to the blissful silence of the snow covered forest floor.

These are the kind of days that make not meeting your original "destination" worthwhile and when you truly learn that "The Journey IS the Reward!"

Moving on to Grants Pass
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