A Good Trip’s Smoky and Social Conclusion

Sixteen days ago, I-5 was a route out to new things; the turns, the views–despite the annoyances of Interstate driving–were pointing outwardly. Now, on return, everything seems lighted differently. I-5 is now a route of utility, and in some ways relief. Vacations have endings, and that’s when you want the driving to stop, and to sleep in your home again.

But we’re not ones to miss appreciating the Siskiyous or Shasta, though they are smoky. Once south of Red Bluff, the sights are pretty much gone, and we start to notice how saddle-sore we are.

I get ahead of myself. The penultimate day, Saturday, had pleasures that carried no shadow of dread for it being nearly the end. How well-spaced a trip that we had the satisfaction of seeing a national park on nearly the last day!

Crater Lake provided smoky views, thanks to regional fires, but was a treat nevertheless. It’s what the great wonder of the US’s deepest lake looks like when there are fires, and today we get to see it that way. Crater Lake does not owe me a post-card view. It’s like the people in your life–there are good days and bad, and I like them (mostly) as they are. The lake could have dressed up a bit more but we love her and enjoyed the visit.

We tried to find the spot where, years ago, John terrified Tessa by pretending to push her over the rim. Funny how old memories stay as slight filters to your vision of a revisited place.

Films, displays, overlooks, a stop in the shop, a drive on the rim and more smoky pics. The wind picked up in the afternoon and the view seemed to clear slightly.

Our evenings camped in Lemolo, 30 miles from Crater, were blessed with the social cheer of being with bro Greg and Marcy’s friends. Twenty or so of their long-standing pals from a former newspaper gig gather annually for a time of campfires, eats, hikes and water sports. Good folks. And we got to tag along and get a bit more Greg/Marcy time in the deal.

Folding down the pop up, I still revel in how cool it is to travel this way. Sleeping comfortably in the woods, having a refrig, stove, heater–a home! And then we pack up and move on! And even when delivering the trailer to storage it seems to be waiting to go again, as if the hitch, pointing north, is suggesting a return trip.

We are home, resting, Monday approaches.

(The pic here is during our smoky visit to Crater Lake on Saturday)

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