More Fun in Crescent Lake

Welcome to Part Two –

Of our time in Crescent Lake, Oregon. As we shared in our previous post, we had just purchased a new-to-us vehicle and were both super excited and happy. Jim was fussing with it all day, and we both began reading the owner’s manual online. Unbelievable, it was 639 pages, no wonder they don’t print it! It wouldn’t fit in the glove compartment.

The day after the purchase, after we had fiddled with it for hours, trying all the buttons to see what happened, Jim went out to turn it on and move it to the carport. But it wouldn’t start. Oh, my god – of course – we didn’t have the car checked out by a mechanic before purchasing it, and it’s a lemon from a shitty used car salesman! All those thoughts came rushing in. 

That was not a comfortable position: spent all our money on a car, two days later it’s dead, we’re miles from any mechanics, even road services were out of reach on Saturday night so far up in the mountains. We called the dealer, and they wanted to help and did. The next day, AAA came to our rescue, all the way from Eugene, and they put in a new battery. Somehow the battery was older than the car. How did that happen and why? Some questions you just don’t ask. It started now, and that’s all we cared about.

Hey, Let’s See it in Daylight!

Well, the weather had finally turned, our vehicle worked, and we took off for Highway 138. As you may recall we’d driven along that stretch of highway late at night in a snowstorm and consequently not seen any of it. After reading about it, we thought we should see in daylight as it promised to be one of the great east-west drives in Oregon.

This same road takes you to Crater Lake, down a very straight road through a flat area. Then you just keep going and things get interesting. A roaring river back and forth under along the way and there are waterfalls everywhere you look, well almost.

I had heard about a place called Toketee Falls and when we saw the sign we had to stop and find it. The path began right off the ‘highway,’ and everything was green and lush and covered in moss.

We passed a few other people walking the trail, but it certainly wasn’t crazy busy. It was quite chilly for me as there wasn’t any sun, good thing I had winter boots, a jacket, and hat – it was May and still freezing so high in the mountains.

Before you get to the falls, there is a stream running along part of the path, so I shot a short video.

The path went up and down, over boulders and finally down to a platform from which you could view the falls. Ah, that’s what we came to see. Good stop that one. 


Meeting Homeowners

We had agreed to a summer house sit near Portland, and it turned out the homeowners were going to be at their second home only 45 minutes from us. We off we went for a visit. They had a new puppy, a very lively Lab, who would be traveling with them. However, we’d still have lots of animals in our care – three cats, four chickens, 17 sheep, and 16 goats, including babies. Hurray! That’s why I took the sit; we would get to take care of some baby goats, something I’ve wanted to do for years!

On our trip home, we took the back way along the Cascade Lakes Highway and stopped at Davis Lake for a few minutes. We did that walk under a dark and dreary sky! It was cold and windy, but we pushed through it and took a short walk down to the water.  

This area had burned recently and was sad to see up close. But the downed trees were fascinating in all stages of decomposition.

Okay, here’s a video with light snow on May 12th – that’s almost summer!

The Dogs

Two dogs live in this house, but the owners had taken them along for the first part of their RV trip. Soon those pooches got dropped off, and we had a full house during the last two weeks of our stay. As you can see by looking at this face, one of the dogs was a young and friendly fellow. He was full of vim and vigor and loved people.

Well, he loved just about everything except loud noises! Those scared him a lot. In fact, he was rather scared of many things. For example, there was a tray on the floor under the dog food and water bowls in the kitchen just outside our door. His normal speed was full blast, no matter what he was up to. But whenever he passed that tray he would slow down and walk around it as if it were explosive, which of course, he wouldn’t know about anyway. But that’s how it looked. We are not licensed to give any dog psychological diagnoses, but that sure seemed strange to us. 

He loved tug of war and taking toys from his housemate. It was great to see a dog that had space to run outside, too: no leash laws in that area. 

Here’s the main thing about this fellow – you NEVER had to look for him. Wherever you would go, he would follow. He didn’t want to miss anything and rarely did: a great companion all day long. 

Now for the little one – he didn’t think of himself as small, and he was convinced he was in charge! Since he was the elder of the two dogs, he ruled the roost, especially his larger friend. The big lab was always first on the scene, no matter where or what. We got to calling our little friend “me too” as he would waddle up to the action once he heard it and figured out where everyone was. 

This fellow took a while warming up to us, but once he did, what a lover. He seemed to have something to prove, perhaps a charming version of the Napoleon complex? It didn’t last too long though, and he was soon as friendly as can be. Just one issue: if the action was more than a foot off the floor he needed help getting up to it. 

The owners had a ramp made so that he could get up on the beds. Many times he preferred to be lifted, rather than climbing himself. He would stand by the bed or couch and wiggle, making impatient sounds, until a pair of willing hands lifted him up. Then all was well. He just wanted to be in on things and hadn’t figured out a graceful way of getting what he needed. All huff and puff though, no bite. A funny little fellow he was.  

We had a ton of fun watching these two play. I even captured a bit of the fun on my camera.

As you can tell, our bed was a central hub for much of the dog activity. They wanted to be with us often and used the opportunity to get into all sorts of mischief. The big guy loved getting under the blanket – take a look.

One Scary Pet Episode

The only downside to house sitting with the dogs as well as the cat was that they’re not really on friendly terms. The smaller dog liked to chase the cat – who knows why? The big dog didn’t chase her as such. Let’s just say they were not the best of pals and the cat lived in her bedroom, up in her cat tree, and outside. 

One day all of us were outside, and suddenly the little dog started chasing her, and the big dog joined in too. They made a racket running back and forth around the house. Then the kitty had enough and climbed up high in a pine tree. We got the dogs inside and began negotiations with her to come down. She just was wailing and meowing up in the tree afraid to move at all.

I stood on the balcony talking to her, telling her it was okay and she just kept meowing, you know that awful sound. Jim went and got a ladder, put it up against the tree, climbed up as high as he could safely and started talking to her. She was trying to get down, but she was just too afraid because she would have to jump down to the bottom branch. 

Finally, she tried but soon gave up and went back up where she had been stationed. After a few more minutes, she was brave enough to try to make her way straight down the trunk. Jim reached out and was able to break her fall about halfway down, then off she scampered to some safer (and lower) place. Jim was still up on the top of the ladder in the tree, but even he came down after a while if not as dramatically. Wow, that was scary!

A Painful Ending

Jim is blessed with good health, except for the occasional tooth problem. Not even coffee can help with that! These chopper episodes have usually happened close to or in Los Angeles, luckily. This time the pain started up far from LA. He thought it was from eating hard granola, and that it would go away: a ‘chew on the other side’ kind of thing.

Well, it didn’t go away, and he started feeling poorly all over: tired, achy, throbbing pain, all that. Finally, I helped him see that it wasn’t going away and was bound to get worse, which is exactly what happened.

We found a dentist in Bend and were happy to find a very nice office and friendly staff who took him right in. The dentist came in and sat next to him, looked at him closely and said, “You need a root canal. And a crown. Very infected.” That was quick Jim said. The dentist said he could tell even looking at the x-ray from across the room. 

Since we were headed south in three days, not long enough to start and finish the procedure, he couldn’t do much but prescribe antibiotics and painkillers, which sounded good to Jim.

The painkillers worked, in fact, things were much better before we got home. The antibiotics, though, caused a significant reaction the next day: rashes, fuzzy brain, dizzy, inflamed skin. It was bad. The tooth was better, but the patient wasn’t. Late in the day, Jim called his son the doctor, described the symptoms, and was advised to call the dentist and get a different prescription. 

Ever the obedient father, Jim called the dentist and got a new prescription. I drove to Bend for new meds. I also called the homeowners and asked if they could come back a day early. They hopped on it, drove all day and got home late that afternoon. We left almost immediately and headed south. Not the best way to end a house sit. But our dentist was a long way away in LA. Thank goodness the owners were (and still are) great friends! This would be a different kind of road trip with a toothache along for the ride: not the best traveling companion. But the meds were finally working – that’s all we can say about that.

What’s NextA week of camping

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