Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Coldwater Cove's Cold Secret

Last night, scanning facebook, I notice a post out of Eugene.  Someone in a rescue group is reposting something they found on craigslist.  It's a dog.  The guy posting lives in Vermont.  He camped up at Clear Lake in Oregon over three weeks ago and could not get something out of his head.  A dog.

A dog, shy, skittish and alone, out there in the mountains.  Begging love and food off campers, anyone who'd accommodate.  The post says the dog has been out there six weeks and the Vermont poster begs someone to help her.   Here it is:

Hoping that you can rescue and find a good home for a sweet, young, abandoned dog that we met at the Cold Cove campground on Clear Lake. She has been there for six weeks. The campground will be closing soon for the season. We would be happy to make a financial contribution to help her find a good home. She is skittish, so catching her will require offering her some food, and then using a net or something. We will offer a reward for your help as we are in Vermont and can't help her ourselves. I've attached two pictures.
GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
44.36389, -121.98889
44°21'50"N, 121°59'20"W
The campground is located on Clear Lake between Eugene and Sisters, Oregon.
Thanks in advance,

I shared the post on my facebook page, then others did from mine.  Portland rescue people began to scheme about saving the dog, but first the dog would have to be located.  So they asked if I would go up, see what I could find out.  So I did today.

The drive takes about an hour and a half.   I headed up through Sweet Home on highway 20, then took the cut off back towards Springfield.  Clear Lake is 4 miles down 126 from highway 20.

Coldwater Cove campground is at Clear Lake's south end.  So I started there.  There were only a handful of campers in the campsite.   All were elderly and in trailers.  Only one couple had been there more than today and they had not seen a dog.  I gave dog food to an older couple who would be there til Friday and they pledged to fill the bowls I left in two locations just in case.

There's one bowl at the end of that guard rail in the first photo and one in the triangle as you come into the campground.

Then I went to the other end of the lake, to the resort, to ask the county parks employee there.  He'd seen the dog, but not for awhile, he said.  He wasn't sure how long.  He fed her once, maybe, not sure if he fed her more, said she was skittish and he heard she headed south to Coldwater Cove a month ago or so.  But then he said something in the night last night pulled his cooler and knocked it open.  He said he'd seen no coons in the area for a year or more, so he didn't know what might have done that.  I also found the trash pulled apart in the day use parking area where people park and then kayak, fish or hike around the lake, which is a popular thing to do.
This is Clear Lake from the resort end:

I went back to Coldwater Cove then and happened into the camp host from Big Lake, who is pulling extra duty since many camp hosts have left this late.  The Coldwater Cove camp host left last weekend, I heard.  She told me she heard that maybe two weeks ago, she didn't really know, some guy befriended the lost dog, then went on a hike to Sahalie Falls with his dog and the lost dog and nobody ever saw the dog again.  So they figure maybe he took her with him.  But nobody really knows for sure.   

I have a problem with the guy befriending the dog taking him or her home with him rumor.   There's too much detail.  Why is the part in it about the Sahalie Falls hike?  It's a short hike from Coldwater Cove campground.  If the guy was camped at Coldwater Cove, he'd just walk to the falls with the dog or dogs and come back.  Nobody would include the hike in the story.  Unless the guy was a backpacker and never came back either.  I don't put much into she says he says when trying to find something out.  I talked to one person who had seen the dog, that's it, the parks guy at the resort end of the lake, who fed the dog at least once but had not seen the dog for weeks.  But he had the cooler incident last night.  That's the only story I believe because it's the only one that isn't just "someone heard from someone else" to me.

I left her dog food also and she said she'd fill the bowls when they come down until they leave after the closures.  She or her husband come down from Big Lake to clean restrooms and check in on things every couple of days, til the 12th of October, when both campgrounds close for the year.

That big blue blob in the middle of the map on the left of this photo is Clear Lake and the line down to the left of it is highway 126.  Farther south on the left side of 126 is Sahalie Falls and there is a trail from Coldwater Cove to the falls and it's not long.  I then went to the Falls to have a look and I hiked a few trails.  I followed the sound of a hoarse barking dog, I thought, until I found it was just a crow playing games!

I hope the guy who was thought to befriend the dog took the dog with him.  I hope that happened.  For all I know the rumored guy that befriended the dog and the Vermont guy who posted on craigslist about the dog a few days ago are one and the same person and if so, that dog is probably dead or nearly starved to death by now.  If it didn't happen that the befriender took the dog home, I hope someone else finds the dog and helps her.  It's terrible to think of a dog lost out there in the mountains with winter coming on.  Even worse to think someone left her out there on her own.  I did my best today to pick up the trail.  I found no trace outside of the cooler incident and the disturbed trash.

Even though I didn't find the dog, or what happened to her, the day was uplifting for its beautiful weather and scenery.  And the fact that every person I talked to, outside of that parks employee for the county maybe, were concerned about the dog and its fate and eager to help.

I figured it could not hurt to put the story here too, maybe someone out there knows something.  It's not right a dog could be out there.  Not right.


  1. Not right at all. I hope that the dog did find a home with that guy - or with someone else.
    Thank you for caring, thank you for going out there. And I am glad that you had some wonderful scenery and air to enjoy.

  2. Well, you did what you could. That the dog was friendly suggests to me that she was abandoned because otherwise her owners would be looking for her.

    Have you ever hiked in to Tamolitch Pool?

  3. You mean the place also known as Blue Pool? I haven't. I thought about going yesterday since I was so close, but it was by then nearly 4:00 p.m. I might go hike to it this weekend! It's not that far from here. It's a short hike. Have you gone? That kid died there early last summer, that soccer star, or track star, some sort of sports stand out, tennis maybe? From U of O, jumping off rocks into the pool. Drowned, remember that?

  4. Yes, Blue Pool. I've been many times. It's best in summer when the water looks like something out of the Caribbean. In winter the river--instead of going underground as it summer--forms a waterfall, and there is no pool, but simply a widening of the river where the pool would be. Last year, a fellow jumped off a cliff into the pool, and the shock of the cold water stopped his heart.

  5. P.S. I guess we must be talking about the same person, only I think it was last year rather than this year, and he died of heart-failure rather than drowning. You can get down to the pool, but it's mostly surrounded by what I would call cliffs, although I guess they're only about 25-feet high. I don't know how the deep the Pool is, but it's like Clear Lake in that you can see all the way to the bottom, but unlike Clear Lake, the water is turquoise.