Friend and fellow blogger Sue Malone lives in the little community of Rocky Point, Oregon. Since we’ve spent the entire summer in the Pacific Northwest, we knew we would stop by to visit, but our plans didn’t gel until now, traveling south to warmer weather. Sue and Mo have four kayaks, so we often talked about taking a little kayak trip when we visited – a first for Odel and me. It seemed less and less likely as summer ended and cold weather arrived.
After an easy drive down Hwy 97 from Bend, we pulled into Collier Memorial State Park (click here to read our review) before noon. When we first visited this park two year ago, we were lucky to find an open site, very surprising in October! This time we had our pick of many, many spacious, level sites - so many that it took us way too long to pick one. Once we finally got settled, we took advantage of the cool sunshine to reacquaint ourselves with the riverside trails.
The next day was our Big Adventure. Since I was not positive my kayak would always be right-side up, I left my camera at home, knowing photographer Sue would document our day. Not only did she take the photographs (including these), she has already posted a blog that describes our day (click here to read it and see additional photos).
Picture the perfect first kayak experience: calm winds and smooth water; unlimited sunshine but cool temperatures (low 60’s); good-humored “instructors” who provide and transport the equipment and know the route… really, there was nothing that could have been changed for the better. We saw white pelicans floating and watched big trout dart underneath our kayaks – even saw two little snakes going for a swim!
Both Odel and I managed to stay dry (mostly), and our trip was just the right length. We celebrated our success with a round of cold brews at the nearby Rocky Point Resort restaurant, admiring the sunshine on the water and laughing our heads off.
Then… dinner! Back at Sue and Mo’s house, Sue bustled around the kitchen full of energy. She fired up the grill to cook a huge slab of Copper River salmon on a cedar plank, while fresh asparagus simmered on the stove next to freshly made Hollandaise sauce and a side of grains – all of this while we sat on bar stools drinking wine and eating appetizers, chatting with Mo and kibitzing the cook.
Dinner was WONDERFUL, followed by bowls of vanilla ice cream with fresh strawberries and sweet, syrupy balsamic vinegar. When Sue said the recipe specified a shake of black pepper on top, I wrinkled my nose, but Odel grabbed the shaker and went for it. Once he approved, Sue and I added pepper to our bowls, too (Mo stuck with chocolate sauce). Huh! True! It was an excellent addition. Who would have thought it?
Sue and Mo, thanks for much. We had so much FUN, and such a great meal – and I’m hardly even sore. :)