Elk Lake

img_5114We headed out Thursday morning with Linda and her pack, and headed up I-5 to Weed in order to dump tanks. That turned out to be a Pilot travel center and they can boast a five star rating for their dump station scenic view. They also weren’t too expensive ($10) and situated in a pocket of super fast LTE. Richard got some work done and I got to upload past pictures and get all caught up on the blog. Very productive.

img_5107From there, we cut eastwards along highway 97 until we came to Klamath Falls. There we met up to do a bit of grocery shopping. I will note a couple of things with groceries. First and foremost, so far the Blue Apron experiment is going very well, both with the grill outside and with the Dory stove indoors. My pantry is nicely stocked with the specialty stuff so all I have to get is meat and veg. Mostly we can find what we need, or at least substitute (like snow peas if we can’t find Bok Choy, for example). I am going to need to replace some of those things before we get home, pepper being one of the items because I had a pepper explosion earlier on. The corn and tomato salad was way way way too au poivre, but we were hungry and just picked most of it out. Mmm, crunchy. Point being, I’ll need pepper earlier than planned.

img_5121We climbed up into the Deschutes National Forest and got a little preview of the bike route Richard wanted to ride. Wow, what an incredibly beautiful place this is. There are lakes just about everywhere, with views of Mt. Bachelor and other snow covered volcanic peaks rising up around every turn in the road. The road conditions are excellent, well paved and evenly graded. There are some long climbs and descents, but nothing as steep as the Sierras.

img_5115We pulled into our Forest Service campground in the afternoon and got set up just as a short shower opened up. That was a good cue to hunker down and make dinner. Before bed, we took a little stroll downhill to the lake and grooved on the peace and quiet. And if that were not enough to make us feel jolly, once the sun set, we discovered the little tree right next to us had been decorated with solar Christmas lights. We’re not sure if someone forgot them from last December, or if it was an intentional gift to future campers. The temperatures approached freezing that night, so it certainly felt holiday-ish. It was so cold in fact that we ran the heater and resorted to pulling out the wintertime fleece blanket (which we refer to as “technology”). We had full-blown condensation on the windows in the morning, causing us both to remark that it was late June.

img_2857That day, Richard set out on an ambitious loop ride. I messed around with a tentative plan to go boating, until I got his text that he’d broken a spoke. No problem, that’s why I don’t go biking, I figure. Then there’s someone with a car who can cover 20-30 miles in as many minutes and bring sad bikers to the nearest bike shop. As Richard called around to see who might be able to do the repair job, he discovered that this was the weekend of a HUGE bunch of events in the area. There were triathlons, Iron Man races, bike races, just a ton of activity all centered in this region, and it was much harder than one would think to schedule time with a mechanic. Nevertheless, we brought sad biker with his sad wheel into the town of Sun River. There was a minimum of fifteen million bikers packed into this tiny village, I’d estimate. Every other store seemed to be a bike shop, and yet, with all of the craziness of pre-race festivities, only one place had a mechanic handy. Super thanks to 4 Seasons Recreation for doing the saving. They had him all fixed up and I had him back on the road, pretty close to where I’d picked him up, so he could continue his circuit.

img_2720It was actually a pleasure to go out and save him because I got to enjoy the spectacular scenery for myself. And there was plenty of time left in the day for an afternoon paddle on the lake. Linda et chiens joined me out there and we had fun gliding around and taking pictures of each other. A tiny yellow jacket appeared way off on the shore and that told me Richard was back and had completed his loop. He brought back some amazing pictures and a sense of triumph over adversity. We both agree I am way better as a SAG wagon than I ever was as a long distance biker. I imagined the scene had my butt been out there with his, broken down on the side of the road, looking at having to pedal seven miles out of the way to a bike store, with what? His wheel strapped to my back? Nope. I really like my car, thanks. I can cover that distance in no time, even up hill, plus listen to music.

img_5112This campground was super sweet and we thank Linda for letting us stalk her on this part of our trip. She knows her stuff. Some of the sites are reservable, some not. Ours was a great site with a view of the lake and a short walk down to a nice sandy beach. There are vault toilets and water spigots, and it’s a good thing we have lots of leveling blocks because the sites can be tippy. Nice place and we’d love to go back there!

Total miles from Fowler’s: 233.7, 4 hours 53 min, 17.9 mpg. Site 20. Excellent solar, excellent cell service for both. Water spigots, vault toilets. No dump.

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