In early August we finished our last 3 weeks at Klamath falls doing our volunteer work for the Wildlife management area pretty uneventfully. I was there the last week alone while Kat was away working and I didn’t get as much done on my own as I would have liked. Two reasons for that… One is I had a cold that really made it hard to breathe and just sapped my energy. We haven’t had colds in a really long time and this one got us both pretty good. The other reason is because it was super hot. I never expected 100 degree weather in Oregon, but I don’t think many people in Oregon expected it either, but what can you do? We had air conditioning and it wasn’t bad in the shade, plus there was usually a breeze, so it was all ok.
We were told we were a tremendous help, but there were still picnic benches to paint, a couple of signs to be replaced and I never did finish that weeding. Some of those weeds were huge and it took my whole body weight and a bit of wiggling the roots around to get them out, so it wasn’t a fast job. I put in about 74 hours for the month of July. I lost a few pounds and I think I have a few new muscles ( Kat can’t see them for some reason, but I can.) We were pretty tan for the first couple of weeks, but then it faded because it was just too hot to be in the direct sun. Oh well, we are probably better off without skin cancer anyway.
We never made it over to the coast of Oregon. We half heartedly looked at some places to stay and then Kat got a cold and also just didn’t want to make the 4 hour drive to get there. Crazy since we are driving all over the country. We loved our camping space and our routine, so we were content right there. We did have some visitors that brightened up the trip though. Tracy and Lee came down from their volunteer position in Estacada, OR and pitched their tent on our grounds and we went to Crater lake with them. Tracy has some really great pictures you can see on her blog here: Tracy’s Crater Lake blog That trip was really cool because it was a bucket list item for Tracy since she was little and it’s exciting to share someone else’s excitement about being somewhere. It was so beautiful and amazing that we all really enjoyed it a lot. We had good conversation and great food as we hung out in the evenings. The other visitors we had the following week were Casey and Julie who are living in Portland. They lucked out and got a room at the Crater Lake lodge, but they took the hour drive down to our place and had dinner. The next day we went up and met them to drive around the other side of Crater lake that had still been closed for snow when Tracy and Lee were visiting. Such amazing views no matter where you are on the lake. The water is incredibly blue and the whole area is great. A few weeks later there was a fire in the area around there and on the news they reported that the water looked brown and the air was smokey, so we were really happy we got to go twice while it was clear and beautiful. Sharing those adventures with friends was a good time too. I know I have said it before, but the rare occasions we get to visit with friends are great because we it is usually just us two hanging out together.
We did finally go out bowling with Mike and his friend Marissa and had him over for dinner a few times where we played games and just talked. The last Friday night before Kat came home I had Mike and Marissa over and we played more games and just ate and talked. Somehow we got to discussing big buildings and Marissa said people who live in tall buildings on the lower floors live longer than the ones who live on the higher floors. I told her a random fact that Cher can do a five minute plank! So of course, she and Mike are very competitive and dropped down to see who could hold a plank the longest. Marissa did a 3:06 plank! I bet she could have even gone longer, but Mike had already given up, so why go longer?
I am still amazed by the area around Klamath falls because of all the lakes, reservoirs and rivers there, but there is no one on the water. It’s weird to see all these beautiful boating, swimming and fishing places with no one using them. I was told that in late June and July the blue green algae is really prevalent and their aren’t many fish, there aren’t even a lot of birds on the water and the water is gross, That explains it, plus the Klamath lake is only 14 feet deep! There is a lot of harvesting of the algae though and it’s used as vitamin supplements and in some drug manufacturing. I don’t think I’d be pursuing that as a supplement. Although it wasn’t the season for migrating birds we did see some really cool birds while we were working. My favorite is still the California quail.
I had no idea a wildlife area took so much work to maintain and it was interesting to learn about. They try to develop the area so that birds are attracted away from other agricultural areas in the Klamath basin. It has to be done in any weather and I admire those guys who do the work to keep the wildlife happy and thriving. We would do it again as volunteers. Volunteering was good because we could work as hard as we wanted, but we were told some volunteers do as little as possible. That is just not our style, so we did as much as we could. And we really enjoyed it. We are really happy we had the chance to do that. The time went really quickly and all that quiet time was good in preparation for a couple of busy weeks to come. Kat’s brother and his family are coming for a vacation on the California coast and they rented an RV, so we will travel together. The kids are super excited about it and so are we, so the next blog will be much more exciting and full of adventures on the California coast.