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Visiting Lynda on
Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day weekend with Lynda and her family

High Desert in Oregon
Crossing Oregon's High Desert

Idrove from Yellowstone National Park to my niece Lynda's home just 50 miles east of the southern Oregon coast. Lynda is my brother Larry's the oldest daughter. My 2,000 mile journey was long, but pleasant. I traveled over the back roads of Montana, Glacier National park and then Idaho and Oregon. Finally, after a hot and dry crossing of central Oregon's high desert, I arrived in the bustling city of Roseburg just as the sun dipped behind the coastal mountains. I called Lynda to let her know that I arrived safely. We made plans to get together at 10 the next morning at her home in Idleyld Park.

 
Lynda's Flowers
A few of Lynda's lovely flowers

I stayed at the Super 8 in Roseburg. I like Super 8 motels. They are consistent; the beds are comfortable, the food is good, the phones work with computers and they almost always have the FOX News TV channel. Plus the price is usually reasonable at about $50.00 a night.

I slept a little late the next morning and then ate a good breakfast at the hotel. By nine I was on my way to Lynda's home. Along the way I stopped and bought her a pretty bouquet of cut flowers in a small basket. Lynda often spoke of her flowers. This year, she planted her first garden. Many of the plants Lynda started from seed. She put in many hours and the flowers endured an unusually wet spring. When I turned into her driveway her hard work was apparent. Beautiful flowers adorned Lynda's yard, hung in boxes from her deck and lined the stairs to her front door.

Lynda's children: Kaylyn, Nathan and Joslyn

Nathan and Kaylyn
Kaylyn and Nathan
in September, 2004

Lynda's children, Nathan, Kaylyn and Joslyn heard my car pull into the yard and promptly declared that Uncle Timmy had arrived. When I walked in James was busy cooking breakfast of eggs, sausages and hash browns for the entire family. The food looked delicious. After I was introduced to everyone, James and Lynda shared some of their photo albums with me. James grew up in Oregon and embodies the pioneer spirit of the people who first settled this state in the mid to late 1800s. James is an avid fisherman and bow hunter of big game. Nathan is following in his footsteps and showed me pictures of huge Salmon and Steelhead fish he caught in the nearby Umpqua river. A black bear and a coyote skin adorn the walls of Nathan's room.

 
Nathan, Kaylyn and Max
Nathan, Kaylyn and Max

Joslyn and Kaylyn introduced me to their new puppy named Max. He is a cute little dog with a patch over his right eye. The children love him and after a month or so still take him for walks and care for him.
We decided to visit Crater Lake National Park which is about 60 miles up the road. Yesterday I drove down the road from Crater Lake to Idleyld Park. Cliffs, canyons, rivers and waterfalls dot this beautiful part of Oregon. The small town of Idleyld Park is appropriately named. It is park like and a wonderful, adventurous and safe place to raise children. The winters are mild, mostly snow free and it rarely gets over 90 degrees in the summer.

 
Crater Lake National Park
Crater Lake National Park was our destination
Crater Lake and Mout Thierney
Crater Lake with Mount Thierney in the distance
 
Toketee Waterfalls
Toketee Waterfalls

Western Oregon is a land created by 200,000 year old volcanos and sculpted by water. The day after visiting Crater Lake National Park, we hiked to several beautiful waterfalls. The first stop was Toketee Falls, a twin waterfall on the North Umpqua river that drops forty feet over the edge of an old lava flow and then plummets another eighty feet to the valley floor. Old growth cedar and pine forest, trees that are two hundred years or older with massive trunks and crowns that seem to touch the clouds, lined the trail that winds along the valley floor. Toketee is a Chinook Indian word that means "pretty" or "graceful".

 
Nathan and Joslyn
Nathan and Joslyn
Susan Falls
Nathan, Kaylyn and Joslyn at Susan Falls
 
Man made falls
The Winchester dam at Roseburg

Susan Falls was our next stop as we traveled along the North Umpqua river valley. Like Toketee Falls Susan cascades over old lava flows. I thought Susan Falls was more graceful and beautiful than Toketee. The water rushed over the cliff's edge and then gently tumbled over several smaller cliffs on its way to the gurgling stream below. Unlike the roar of Toketee Falls, the sound of Susan was softer, almost musical and relaxing. I wish that Lynda's sister Susan could have seen the waterfalls that shared her name. I think she would have enjoyed the sight and I know that all of us would have enjoyed her companionship.

 
We bid you adieu
We bid you adieu

DOur last stop of the day was at the Winchester dam on the North Umpqua river in Roseburg, Oregon. A fish ladder with viewing windows sits at the base of the dam. We walked down the 99 steps and saw a few summer Steelhead fish jumping from pool to pool as they ascended the ladder. The water was aqua green and low which is normal for late summer. During the year Salmon, Steelhead, Chinook and Coho fish climb the ladder as they travel 113 miles or more from the sea to their upriver spawning grounds.

Our weekend together passed quickly but the pleasant memories we created will last a lifetime.

 
Lynda and family
Lynda and James Kutz and their family in Oregon

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