I want very badly to stop the travelogue again and focus on what is happening here in Ashland, but I am dedicated to getting these full day recaps out while I can. Don’t get used to it though. Once I get out on the road for real it just won’t be practical. I won’t have enough access to the internet to do so. In fact, there won’t even be a post everyday. But for now soak it up.
Lindsay and I left on an overcast morning. A great thing that happens when you travel, especially by active means you learn about the Earth. We crossed a mountain range. Weather shifts after you cross a mountain range because winds get blocked or introduced at their peaks. Well that mountain that we climbed over and that other mountain that we climbed up gave us new winds and pressures that completely shifted our weather. I put on my wool cap line, my wool glove liners (thanks Auntie Pam) and a pair of tights Lindsay let me borrow (something that I need to get for myself). I was nice and warm on the brisk day. It was all uphill, just like the day before. And really, it wasn’t all that beautiful. Wait, I take that back. It was fascinating to watch the trees shift from the Doug Firs of the North Umpqua Corridor to the Dry Pines of the High Cascades. Huckleberry groundcover eroded away as red pumice started to cover the ground. It was spectacular to see how beautiful a land Oregon is. “Why am I leaving to find beauty when there is so much of it here?” I asked Lindsay. I don’t remember her answer. She was probably speechless from taking in the view (cheese-factor of the day). I would show you the pictures I took, but they don’t apply to this section.
But they do here. Right around Diamond Lake it started to rain and get very cold. Not enough to soak our gear but enough to make us both very uncomfortable. We were tired from the day of climbing so we went inside to have our first dine-out meal of the trip. Damn it was expensive and not totally worth it. I got the Bailey Bacon Cheeseburger. Nothing to write home about but the name sure is something to type to the world about (bah-dum-ching).
Mt. Bailey is across the lake and therefore the reason behind the name of the burger. No, it wasn’t prophesying my arrival. There was a fire and so after lunch Lindsay and I got out our books and our coffee mugs and sat down for a long time. We met a friend named John who is travelling the US with his dog in his RV. He was a pilot by trade and then when he retired he couldn’t get rid of the travelling itch (there’s no cream) and so just does it as a home. I like that there are still nomads in the world. I wish they didn’t use a motor and four wheels to do it, but the idea of someone so enraptured with the world that it is too boring to sit still they have to go out and explore it everyday. It is so different from what I am used to and I hope that I can rub elbows with them and contract their disease. After talking with John I fell asleep in front of the fire. It was a much-needed nap. I am a napper. Always have been. I even have a sticker on my bike now that says nap. That has been the hardest thing about travelling with Lindsay. She is not a napper. I need to pause and take a nap. She does not. Limitless energy. I don’t understand people like her.
Throughout the day I snapped some photos and read and talked to people. I made a friend, Kevin, who I later met up with in Ashland. Hopefully there will be more on him later as he lives in Grants Pass and has offered me a place on the way to the coast. You know, so I can take it easy over the coastal range. Easy.
Diamond Lake reminded me a lot of Priest Lake, Idaho where my family used to spend the last week of summer with family friends. A perfect boating lake for fishing and waterskiing surrounded by a lush forest and a sandy beach. Those were some of the best summers. The only difference is Diamond Lake is a resort, not our friend’s private vacation home.
But this place did have free hiker/biker camp spots so Lindsay and I still didn’t have to pay for a campsite. Once it started to get dark we headed off for the fabled sites through a dead zone of large and abandoned car camping sites. We found out later there was 300 of them! The campground was rebuilding all of the tables and so were closed for the season. We made it to the hiker/biker sites and were completely disappointed. Crowded by tall, skinny trees that blocked out any views of Mt. Thielsen, the lake, and Mt. Bailey. Boo. So, we rode back to the wasteland and chose our favorite car parking spot and set-up camp. As we started it began to rain. This was fine because Lindsay and I had agreed to share a tent because it was so cold. We figured that if we pressed our naked bodies against each other everything would be fine. Her tent was for us and my tent stowed our gear. Everything was dry except for the grilled cheese sandwiches we made on the fire. The rain died down a bit and we dodged a wet night.
I somehow woke up completely clothed (damn whiskey) in Lindsay’s tent and prepared for the day. But not before snapping a few more photos.
Totals of the Day:
Elevation: 2,600 ft.
Cookies consumed: 3
Friends made: 4