Home Again

June 11th, 2007  |  Published in etc

Al & I rolled back into town from a quick fifth anniversary vacation down to Crater Lake and Bend, two parts of Oregon I’ve never been.

I’m still sorting through the photos and downloading GPS tracks, and I’m looking for a new home for my photos post-flickr, but that thumbnail links to a picture of Al sitting in a cave. We were about 3/4 of a mile from the entrance there, and I’m not sure how far underground (though not very … it’s a largely level lava tube that ran as close as 50 feet from the surface at one point pretty far in).

I’ve never experienced darkness that complete before. About 3/4 of the way back we came across a grandmother who’d chosen to stay put while her daughter and grandchildren forged ahead through a crawl-only patch. We loaned her one of our flashlights and spent much of the rest of our walk through the cave noting that anyone who’s ever seen “The Descent” has probably been rendered incapable of what she was doing, which was sitting patiently in the blackness waiting for everyone to come back. And coming up on someone sitting like that was creepy. We made a few jokes about what the rangers at the lantern checkout might say if we came back to pick up our flashlight: “Oh … you musta seen Flashlight Annie! They say she shows up around this time of year … but I’m afraid your flashlight is lost forever. Just like her.

Besides wandering around the cave, we spent a day at Crater Lake, rode horses in Deschutes National Forest and visited a few waterfalls. Al’s folks generously gave us a night’s stay at a hotel in Bend, so we had two evenings out at the movies, too.

And that’s that for now. I’m going to spend today fiddling around with pictures and getting used to being at home again. It feels like we’ve been away for weeks.

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