For Father's Day weekend my family and I spent a day at gorgeous Clear Lake
in Oregon's Cascade Mountains
— yet still within our very own Linn County.
According to the book Best Hikes with Kids in Oregon
it seemed a fairly easy five-mile hike around the lake. But I guess Oregon's late winter made things a bit more interesting — there was a fair amount of snow on the trail, and in some places it was over three feet deep! In a few locations large trees had fallen across the path. And our youngest child was only six-and-a-half years old. These adventures helped us to imagine what it was like for the pioneers to cross the Cascades with wagons and families and no trails. All in all, it took us five hours to make the five mile loop. Now that's slow goin'!
After we had finally trudged back to the parking lot, we made a brief stop at the lodge store/café for homemade berry pie with ice cream. Then we were ready for our next adventure: an hour in a row boat. Since none of us had ever rowed a boat before, I'm sure we were a very entertaining sight! One interesting fact we discovered: our two teenagers could for sure row better by themselves than together!
Once we were back on terra firma we took a walk around the cabins to see the one we would spend the night in for my wife birthday in early September. Then it was time for our hour and forty-five-minute drive back home. We had finally made our first visit to the Cascades after living in Oregon for almost two years!
In September, we started with a hike around the lake. Fortunately there was no snow on the trail, unlike a few months previously in June, so it didn't take us as long to get around. Actually it was a gorgeous day, and a little on the warm side, especially when we walked through the lava beds on the southeastern side of the lake.
Once we had unloaded the car and hauled all of our stuff into the upper-floor cabin, the kids pumped up their rubber dinghy and carried it the short distance from the cabin to the lake. The two teens took turns rowing out on the lake individually, as well as taking little sister for rides with them. She wasn't quite convinced that the ducks wouldn't bite her, so at one point she was ready to jump overboard even before her brother got the boat back to shore!
For dinner we barbecued sausages on the cabin balcony, and then roasted marshmallows and bananas stuffed with pieces of chocolate. Yum! After a good night's sleep for those who chose to wear ear plugs, we got up early for a breakfast of sausages, hash browns, scrambled eggs and biscuits. Then we headed to the marina for a row to the end of the lake and back. Even my youngest daughter took her turn at rowing ... you should have seen those muscles bulge!
Out of the many pictures I took during these two trips to Clear Lake, 33 of the best have made it into this collection.