July 23 24 25 Jeanne comes to Visit

Current Location:  Running Y Resort Klamath Falls Oregon Partly cloudy and pleasant

Once again, if you have read my blog in the past, you might recognize the name “Jeanne”.  Jeanne is a friend I made during my soil survey years in the Klamath Basin.  She was a botanist who at the time worked for the Forest Service and we worked together identifying specific soils and the plants that were connected to them.  Our friendship began 15 years ago and in spite of Jeanne leaving Klamath Falls for her native Vermont, it still flourishes.

This is where Jeanne lives now, in a timber frame home that was only a dream when I last visited.

I attended her beautiful wedding with the love of her life in Vermont 3 years ago, and Jeanne manages to get out to Oregon nearly every year for crazy times with her wild bunch of extreme friends, then comes to my house to catch up on some down time.  As you may have noticed over the years, I am a bit in awe of Jeanne.  Her physical prowess is legendary, and she plays like a teenager.  A Jeanne day often includes yoga, a trip to the gym, some laps in the pool, a run, a hike, and maybe a bike ride.  I could never keep up with her or her friends, so I am lucky that Jeanne also likes to go a bit slower, enjoys hanging out and talking and laughing, eating good food, and doing some slow sports.

We had three really great days here at what Jeanne referred to as “La La Land”, the Running Y.  We swam in the pool, walked the path, ate, talked and ate some more.  I cooked a few meals, including some ribs on the BBQ, one of Jeanne’s favorite things that I cook. However, one of the highlights of the week was our second dinner in a week at the Ruddy Duck restaurant.

We planned for dinner a bit later in the evening, hoping the sunny deck would have cooled some by then.  What we didn’t count on was the magnificent thunderstorm that moved in as we were waiting to be served.  The skies got darker and darker and as the huge drops started falling and the thunder boomed all around us with huge bolts of lightning, we decided to at least retreat a bit under the deck overhang.

What a dinner it was!  What a great view, and so incredibly dramatic.  Later, as we retreated to the villa to watch the storm, the sky started turning blood red, with more bolts of lightning streaking across the sky in all directions.  I have never seen a sunset storm quite like this one.  It was Jeanne’s last night in Klamath Falls, and was quite a dramatic sendoff!

Earlier that day, Jeanne’s friend Margo came out to go on a hike on the Skillet Handle, a peninsula that extends northward from the Running Y into Klamath Lake.  Mo and I had kayaked the lake adjacent to the peninsula last month and I was looking forward to seeing the beautiful white oak habitat up close.

It was hot.  Really hot.  The trail was a choice between a gravelly old road and a dusty path through high weeds.  Jeanne and Margo moved quickly, covering a lot of ground once we finally decided to get back on the “real” trail. 

It was way too hot for me, and I bid them farewell about a mile and a half in and walked back slowly trying to keep from getting heat stroke.  Geez, it was hot.  The huge thunderheads above were dramatic, but gave no clue of the show that was waiting in store for us that evening.

On Tuesday, Jeanne and I left early for a morning kayak.  We now have only two boats, and Mo offered to stay home with Mattie while we kayaked.  A week earlier, Mo and I had kayaked the beautiful Spring Creek Run with the Klamath Basin Land Trust.  We have driven to the site in the past, but never actually kayaked the creek.  It was so incredibly gorgeous that I knew it was the place I wanted to take Jeanne for our morning outing.  Jeanne has kayaked Recreation Creek with us many times in the past, so this was a nice change for both of us. 

The morning was just cool enough to be perfect and the skies had just enough clouds to be interesting but not threatening.  It only takes about 2 hours to kayak to the spring and back to the launch.  I think this is the most delightful boat launch I have ever experienced, even if the water was cold enough to put an ache in your feet in just seconds.

We had the entire run completely to ourselves, without another soul on the water the entire time.  On the way back down, a mysterious mist rose from the water, backlit by sunlight, and the coolness was like a river of chill air as we paddled back downstream. 

We took photos of the bubbling springs, of the Mares Eggs, a globular translucent algae that is indigenous to the Basin, of the skies, and of the water which is as clear as any spring run in Florida. 

Such a beautiful morning, such a wonderful experience to share with such a good friend.

Later that day, we took Jeanne to Medford where she checked into a hotel to be ready for her early morning flight.  Mo and I drove back to the MoHo at the new house, checked all the changes that had been accomplished in our absence, and crashed for a nap in the cool dimness of the MoHo for the rest of the evening. 

It was time to pack up the MoHo and head back down with our rig to Valley of the Rogue State Park, where we would meet more friendsfor another few days of fun times in beautiful Oregon, everyone’s favorite summer destination. Next story, Crater Lake with Maryruth and Gerald!

Author: kyotesue

Soil scientist/mapper working for 35 years in the wild lands of the West. I am now retired, enjoying my freedom to travel, to hike without a shovel and a pack, to knit and quilt and play, to play with photography and write stories about all of it.

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