Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Camping Part Three: Blue River

Last weekend, I went camping up the McKenzie River highway out of Springfield.  I camped at Delta campground, just off the road that continues on up to Cougar Reservoir.  A couple miles west of the turn off to Cougar Reservoir off highway 126, is the one to Blue Lake Reservoir, which then is just a few miles up the road.

Blue Lake Reservoir was warm, the water levels normal and there was no toxic green algae in the lake yet.

We drove past the boat ramp at the dam, on to Mona campground, but it was clogged with people, and my friends didn't want to get out there.  So we went back to the boat ramp.  I got my raft out and blew it up, then went rowing.  They went fishing and immediately began catching trout, before I even got my boat pumped up.

Blue Lake Reservoir.  Photo taken from the boat ramp near the dam itself.
I don't take my camera out in the boat. It isn't water proof and even I get wet rowing my raft.  So I don't have many pictures from the reservoir trip.

My beloved raft!
I rowed down the reservoir for a while, then crossed it and went around an arm and down that.  Speed boats pulling skiers zoomed by.  But they were not on traditional water skis or wake boards I've seen before.  One guy or girl was on what looked like a single water ski, but it had a post on the bottom of the ski, that looked to be two or three feet long, and a smaller "ski" attached to that.  The skier would rise above the water two or three feet, riding that smaller board, that was under the water, or come down from a wake jump and the smaller board would disappear beneath the water and the skier would then ride the water on the board his or her feet were attached upon.  It was amazing.  One skier was doing flips as he jumped the wakes.

Another boat was slow pulling teens on what looked like small surfboards or wake boards, but right behind the boat, in the large waves created at slow speeds.  They would step right off a swimmers platform at water level at the back of the boat backwards onto their boards, holding a very short ski rope with one hand.

These boats created huge waves and I enjoyed riding them with my raft.

I kept rowing and rowing down that one arm.  I wanted to see where it ended.  Jet skiis passed me and disappeared for quite some time before returning.

I finally rowed across the arm and hugged the steep rocky and tree lined shore until I found a shale bank, where I could step out of the raft into the water, on loose shale, keeping my balance by holding onto the side of my raft until I found firm footing with my sandaled feet.

I sat half submerged in the water, watching the last boat disappear from view, then tied up my raft by securing the rope around a larger loose piece of rock and piling a couple more rocks on that.  I grabbed my own Goodwill wakeboard from the raft and set out for a swim.  It was spectacular!

I was alone, along a rocky shoreline up from which extended trees as far as I could see.  The sky was pure blue against the blue green water, dark green evergreens, and pale gray shale.  I could have stayed there swimming forever.  I was overwhelmed by the beauty and the pure joy of being immersed in water.

After a time, boats again appeared from around the corner that led to the main body of the reservoir.  After another lapse of time, I knew my friends would have caught their limit and be ready to leave.

I rowed back around the arm, catching waves from boats to propel me faster.  I rounded the final point and looked across to see the boat ramp.  One of my friends raised an arm in greeting.

Once back, I swam there, then took out my raft.  They had indeed quickly caught their limit of trout and were overjoyed that they had a couple of kids come over, there with their parents.  They let each kid reel in a fish then gave them the fish.

Their dogs were enjoying themselves also!  This is Patches, a semi psychotic dog, who likes to lick the floor, the frig, and even furniture, and chases spots of light.  I just adore Patches.

The White Viking with Yellow Glasses!
 This character was there with his friends for a fun day and agreed to me taking his photo.

I've described the great camping trip of 2013 in three posts.  It lasted three days and I'm still tired, mostly because of missing most of the first night's sleep over the stolen campsite fiasco, but I will recover.

Oregon is beautiful, that is for sure and I intend to get out again very soon.

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