Thursday, July 16, 2009

Three Day Camping Escape - Finally!

I can't even count how many times my very patient husband had asked, "When can we go camping?" Nor how many times I had something on my "plate" that just wouldn't give me a three day break and still have me give full measure to commitment. But finally, I knew I just had to skip a planned 'plein air' paintout with PASSO,, "Plein Air Society of Southern Oregon", in addition to a memorial service for a dear artist friend. Besides, I knew my friend would have preferred me out living life more fully by being out in nature, than staying inside telling her how much I respect and love her. She knows that already. Ok, we're going camping!!!

My husband had been researching this divine area up just past Diamond Lake heading towards Roseburg along the North Umpqua. With many lakes, numerous waterfalls, plentiful hiking trails and countless camp grounds, it beckoned with all we love. He'd settled in on Lake Lemolo where our campsite was right on the lake. Arriving on Wednesday gave us the pick of sites and a quiet seldom present during weekends.

Our full day's stay had a mile and a half hike planned, with the reward of the spectacular 72 foot Lemolo Waterfall at the end. The hike in was a shade sprinkled decline and about three quarters of the way down, we could hear the roar of the waterfall. When we turned to corner, we began to get glimpses of it thru the trees. I immediately "knew" what I was going to sketch. There was only one prefect "sitting" rock and I landed, pulling out my journal. Roland got a sweet shot of me painting. The 'boys' went off to go play down under the waterfall in the full rush of the mist. After about a hour and a half I'd finished my sketch. I'm pretty pleased - for a quick sketch! I joined 'my boys' down at the foot of the intense waterfall, chilly mists and taiko-like drums pounded at the base. It was breathtaking! The hike back to the truck was more difficult but went quickly. Along the trail I picked up a fallen Azalea. Yes, wild Azalea's I'd been flabbergasted to see along these rugged trails, and brought her home to be honored in my journal.

Our afternoon was more touring of the area: the Lemolo Store and several campgrounds around the lake. We took a left turn after going over the Lake's dam, checking out the other 'higher' trail going to the Lemolo Falls but found a warning sign that it was flooded, waist deep, farther down. Never mind. We leisured at our campsite and dinnered on a fruit salad and a good book we enjoy reading to one another. During the night we were awoken a couple of times by dancing rain drops on our roof. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh, nature!

It was hard to leave this perfect scene - but our plans for our return home day were to sample 4 or 5 more waterfalls and peruse other potential campgrounds en route to Roseburg. The first we stopped at proved to be our VERY FAVORITE - Clearwater Falls! It's a wide water tumble over green rocks and fallen trees - that is beautiful in itself - BUT - above it were extensive shallow, clear pools (much like beaver dams form, but this was a result of the ridge of the waterfall), with a lovely diverse 'painting' in each. We wandered for quite awhile ... then on to all the other waterfalls and many, many campgrounds. My husband has voted for his favorite - the one with hot showers and he has offered to stay for a week. Now you and I are witnesses!!! So if he backs out, I'm calling you, k?

We had a strange deli dinner in Roseburg and an ice cream treat just before we hopped back on Highway 5 to head south back to our Jacksonville. When I got home, I proceeded to finish up my journal page entry, with this view of the Clearwater Falls. Here's the full double page spread, with a zippy sketch I did the first night of camping at Lemolo Lake off to the top left. Love having a full, wide spread of an event or scene, it encompasses me again, much like being back at the site. Hope you get the feel too and enjoy even half as much as I did.

Don't we live in paradise?


Bend Beanies said...

Have you been to Toketee Falls? Just up from Clearwater. That's the Grand-daddy of all waterfalls in the area (ther's quite a few on the highways in that area).

Toketee is very spiritual, I get goose bumps when I'm there!

Oma3 said...

What a great trip, Elaine, isn't it wonderful to get away and just "be"?

I love your pages... E.