Monday, October 10, 2011


Laurie and Odel at Harriman SpringsDriving through fresh snow at Newberry Crater, I never imagined we’d be out on the water in kayaks two days later!

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.

something that makes me glad I am in a kayak and not in the waterThe 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. 

back out the creek toward the bay with Odel, Mo and Abby, and LaurieThen… 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.  :)


  1. What fun...looks like a wonderful day with friends -- food sounds YUMMY!

  2. Thanks for the new format. I enjoyed reading the entire blog on my iPad today.

  3. Pepper on ice cream with vinegar. I would be the one with chocolate on mine also. What a great day.

  4. The only thing better than strawberries on vanilla ice cream, is pure maple syrup! Not sure I could go for the pepper...

  5. Thanks so much for your sweet words and your lovely companionship! We had a blast as well and really look forward to your next visit. In the mean time, I hope you find sunny weather in California, it is now pouring rain here! Just think, it could have been doing that 2 days ago.

  6. I'm glad you had a good first kayaking experience, and I hope you'll have many more. We think it's the best way to explore and see nature.

    Your hosts sounded wonderful!

  7. A perfect day is right! And I might have had to stick with Malone's recipe--chocolate on my ice cream!

  8. Looks like a lot of fun ~ except for the snakes... lol
    Have fun & Travel safe

  9. I'm glad to see there are others out there who have never kayaked. I'm looking forward to trying it someday.

  10. Kayaking...not so much for me...especailly after I saw that snake. But your dinner sounded fabulous!! Salmon, asparagus, wine, snacks...and the dessert...All things I would love...even the black pepper...Oregon..what a glorious state!

  11. That looks like a pretty BIG snake to me. So will you be buying kayaks now?

  12. Howdy L&O,
    Now go read the Gypsy Journal blog
    entry for today.. Thatz the kayak to
    get. Roll it up & stuff it in a bag!
    If it'll hold Nick, Odell doesn't have a thing to worry about.. Enjoyed your's and Malone's stories
    sounded like y'all must have been together.. Cedar-planked salmon,umm
    mmm, Was that some of that'special' stock wine you just bought??

    Be careful on the 'bad' wet roads
    in California..

  13. What a small world! I was updating my blog to include Armitage Campground near Eugene, saw your review, went to your website, and realized you are the folks parked next to us at the Bend Elk's!!

    Lynda & Howard
    2000' Country Coach Intrigue

  14. So glad to see you two out on the water in a kayak. It's one of my favorite things about full timing.

    But delicious fresh strawberries and vinegar? I really don't know about that. And pepper??? Wish I had been there to try yours without risking my strawberries.

  15. Oh my, you did it! And you had FUN! Proud of you both for trying out a new adventure (and nobody got hurt!)

  16. Looks fabulous...AND you caught some sun!! Not bad considering the rain we're getting in Eugene.

  17. Spent the last week reading your wonderful blog. We will follow in your footsteps in January and plan to blog about our adventures. Hope we can meet up someday.

  18. Been reading your wonderful blog this week. We will follow in your footsteps in January. Hope we can meet up some day.p