Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sparks Lake, Deschutes National Forest

I recently had a couple of days off of work - so I thought what better time to go camping!  I did some research, asked my friends where their favorite camping spots are, and in the end I chose beautiful Sparks Lake outside of Bend - just south of South Sister for my first solo camping trip.

I knew the weather was not going to be terrific and I expected it to give me an extra challenge.  The rain and mist were constant, but that kept the bugs away.  The night-time temperatures were low 40's and it was too wet to build a fire, but I had built myself a little cave under a tarp and had plenty of time to cuddle up and read (which always feels like a luxury).

And it turns out I wasn't really alone. Along my walks I discovered camouflaged frogs, beautiful and cheerful birds, some tenacious chipmunks,  and one unfortunate deer.  She and I came into contact as I was driving down the highway.  In what seemed like a fraction of a second, she darted out of the forest and ran straight into my driver's side door - decapitating my side view mirror, bouncing off the passenger-side door, scrambling for her footing - then running back off into the woods.

After I found my breath again and released my white-knuckle grip from the steering wheel, I gathered the remnants of my mirror from the road and walked into the forest in the direction she took off.  I guess I thought I'd make sure she wasn't terminally injured, but she had disappeared into the woods and I really like to think once she calmed down, she just suffered from a tremendous headache.

I also brought my father's fishing gear on this trip, which included 2 gorgeous bamboo fishing rods handed down from my dad's dad, Gramp and some flies Gramp tied and left for me and my cousin Pete.  I didn't catch anything (as per usual), but it was such a pleasure to touch these treasured pieces and feel close to the men in my life who taught me to appreciate and value nature.  Thank you Gramp and Dad for accompanying me on my little adventure.

 J.S. Horton, Baker, ORE. (John Samuel Horton - my Gramp.  Baker City, OR, the city my father was born in.)
"Assorted fishing flies - all hand tied by Gramp.  For use by Kate Elizabeth Horton and Peter - 1985"

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