Sep. 17th, 2008

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I have been very busy since my return from seeing the girls and am under certain time constraints but here is the short version of the weekend.  Their decision to shorten their hiking day was a wise one and physically they were not as bushed as when I saw them last week.  Obviously they are learning as they go along and one of the things that has become apparent is that the next time they undertake a venture like this they will do without a weekly visit from LeB.  It isn't that they are not perfectly happy to see me or that they don't appreciate fresh laundry and meals and such.  It is that there is a definite stress associated with having a two day break in the hiking routine.  Actually it is more than two days because there is the anticipation before the weekend and then there is the time it takes to get back into the 'zen' of it after I have left.  That having been said we have been having a really good time together.

I met them at Fish Lake - about 30 miles east of Medford in stunning countryside.They had spent the day hiking over lava beds about which they were exuberantly enthusiastic.  We drove into Klamath Falls and found a motel with a laundromat and great shower.  Pizza was ordered and beer drunk.  I had taken Grllpup's laptop with me and Sang lay on the bed and read my previous reports on LJ aloud to Grrlpup.  They seemed to both enjoy my accounts.  Then an early night.  On Sunday, coffee was followed by a trip to a hardware store for Sang to pick up material to make a rain tarp in case they were to meet inclement weather.  Letting Sang loose in a hardware store is a bit like giving me free rein in a guitar shop.  This particular store was there to cater to local ranches and had lots of stuff you wouldn't find in a city hardware establishment.  At one point Sang turned to me and said "Oooooo.  This gives me goose-bumps!"

Then it was time to return to Fish Lake and set up camp for the night.  I had prepared a very good three-cheese mac and cheese which we had with roast chicken.  The mac and cheese got a bit dried out in being heated over the fire but that didn't seem to diminish appetites.  After dinner we wnadered down to the lake where I had previously watched an osprey and we enjoyed a spectacular sunset before we again had an early night with Sang and Grrlpup in their hammocks and me in the tent where I was very cosy and slept like a log. The following morning I made fresh peach pancakes and bacon and eggs.  Unfortunately yellow-jackets made eating outside a miserable chore and Sang and Grrlpup finally sat in the car to have their breakfast.

Breaking camp and making room in the car for all of us and the equipment, including their packs, took about three hours but finally we got on the road and headed north to Crater Lake where we played tourist for a while.  The grls had to make a detour from their planned route because of forest fires and at about 6pm I dropped them where the PCT crosses Rt 138. and I bid them a cheery farewell.  They were to hike just a couple of miles before making camp for the night.

I arrived back in Portland having driven a total of 750 miles and was ready for a good night's rest.

They are in excellent spirits and all-in-all this is proving to be a wonderful experience for them both.  This coming weekend we meet at Crescent Lake, a spot about 75 miles east of Eugene for two nights of car camping.  I shall be taking Louie with me this time.  He hates the trip but will be delighted to be reunited with Sang and Grrlpup.

Further reports as events warrant.  A picture link will be posted shortly.

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September 2008

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