Reub's journey

07 August 2011

Freeloading and off-course

 There wasn't even time to get over jet lag: as soon as we got back from a big three week trip abroad, we headed into the Cascades for a couple of days. Not that I'm complaining.

I owe both trips to John, who works as an anthropologist in OSU's college of forestry, and who from time to time teaches and speaks in places like Spain and Germany. In his other life, though, he is a guitarist, and that comes with its own special blend of perks.

There is something weird in this pic; can you spot it?
It was a music gig that got us a free stay at Odell Lake Lodge, about a 2 hour drive away.

I am a total freeloader on these trips. No worries, just eating, reading, walking. Ed and Reub really appreciated being included on this one.

Here they are competing over who has rights to the interesting beaver stump floating in the water. (Eddy won, but didn't have a big enough mouth to drag it ashore.)

Hooded mergansers swimming past, far enough away to be unperturbed about the dogs wrangling at water's edge.

Waterfall pictures all look the same! It's really hard to capture their amazing qualities.
Driving home mid-day we decided to stop at Salt Creek Falls, a place we've passed dozens of times but never devoted the time for a visit. That's because once we have our destination, it's hard to pause and go off-course; we're like old trail horses who, once they are turned towards the stable, are positively unstoppable.

I am so glad we stopped this time. You know what's cool about this veil of water? Behind it, on a ledge in the vertical basalt wall of rock, lies a nest. There are probably several nests, but because this is completely inaccessible, nobody knows.

That place beyond the fall of water is home to a beautiful rare bird, the secretive Black Swift. Black Swifts choose to live behind waterfalls, where they lay one egg each year. The adults disappear high in the sky before sunrise, and return at nightfall, feeding their young at that time. When the fledgling is old enough to leave the nest, the family flies away to...nobody knows for sure...Colombia?

Wow. I wonder what other stupendous things we've missed by never veering off-course.


  1. how neat! love all the photos, but the bird info is very cool!

  2. Wow! How nice. How do I get a gig like that? Very cool about the black swallow.

  3. Thanks for the glimpse of the swift and the great study of happy dogs in a lake.

  4. TWG: I think this might be my new favorite bird.

    Ellen: Swifts and swallows are nearly the same thing; I knew what you meant!

    English Rider: E&R were really happy to have time in the lake. Me too, because they came home so clean.

  5. What a beautiful blog you have, Kerry. It's so nice to make your acquaintance and visit such a picturesque part of the world vicariously through you.

    Thank you, and give Ed and Reub a belly rub from a new friend.

  6. It's fun to see places that I know about on your blog.

    Methinks that you've had John long enough, and that it's my turn. The only trip that Nurse Peggy ever got was to stupid old Portland.

  7. Jo: E&R say thanks for the belly rub! Any time you want to give another one, they're ready.

    Snow: hahaha! Not a chance, dude; he's mine, all mine!


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