This has become my personal mantra of 2014, something I say to myself quite a lot. And I've been trying my best to live by it because I think it's important to have something or someone as sort of a guiding force in one's life -- a way to stay grounded, I suppose. For me, I still find a lot of inspiration and solace in words, though my life does not revolve around them quite as much anymore. My goal in coming out here was to push myself to do and see things I haven't before, so that's what I have been focusing on.
I recently went on the grandest adventure I've been on since moving West. My friend Erik and I spent a few days exploring the Umpqua and Crater Lake areas of Southwestern Oregon. It was everything I thought it would be and more, so much more.
We stayed in a cabin on Lemolo Lake, which was about halfway between our two destinations: Umpqua Hot Springs and Crater Lake. After arriving pretty late Friday night, we attempted to get as much sleep as possible for an early rise. We set out to the Umpqua Hot Springs early the next morning to ensure some hippie-free time. The springs are known to get pretty crowded, especially at night, so we figured the early morning might be best. We were right. There were hardly any people except for a guy in cut-off jean shorts and a cowboy hat... The springs were pretty incredible.
After a nap, we ventured out to Crater Lake despite cloudy and dreary conditions. I felt bad for all the poor cyclists riding around the rim of the lake. They looked pretty miserable in the cold weather and lots of uphills didn't help I'm sure. We hiked up to Watchmen's Peak, which gave beautiful views of the lake and surrounding forest. Afterwards, we drove down to a nearby restaurant for a hot meal and some treats for later on. Once we got back to the cabin, we made quite possibly the best s'mores in history, seriously. They consisted of a snickerdoodle cookie (quartered), Cadbury milk chocolate with caramel (both cookie and chocolate warmed in the microwave), and obviously the toasted marshmallow. Only eat this if you want your world to change. I promise it will.
Sunday was glorious. We hiked up Mt. Scott, the highest point in the park. And though it was cloudy and cold on the way up, once we got to the top, the clouds parted every now and then for amazing views of the lake.
The rest of the time was comprised of Erik beating me horribly at cribbage and sometimes Briscola (Baklava, as Erik likes to call it) and me being mad about it. I feel like I am really losing my touch at cribbage, though I think it mostly has to do with the luck of the cards. Oh well, you lose some, you lose some. Now, enjoy these pretty pictures.