|Girlfriends are happy to be at Lemolo Falls, via a 1.5-mile steep trail |
at the end of an off-the-beaten track 4WD road.
Photo credit - Margaret Bradford
That's not us. Instead I'm talking about women friends who own plain vanilla RVs, most often with a man, but who are capable of handling said RV without the man. And also, they occasionally want to get the H out of Dodge with their girlfriends. Hence our three-day getaway to one of Southern Oregon's most iconic areas - the North Umpqua River corridor along highway 138.
Ten waterfalls. Thirteen public campgrounds. Numerous trails. Beauty abounds.
|Our camp was close to Lake Lemolo.|
|Lemolo Lake in the early morning, steam rising from lake water that's warmer than the air. Mt. Thielsen is reflected. Crater Lake is close by. A few hours later, this view was obscured by wildfire smoke.|
|Just a few miles from Lemolo Lake is a short easy trail to Warm Springs Falls.|
We all have petite rigs. Gail pulls a Casita and Margaret an ECON trailer, a bit more commodious with a 3-foot pullout, but still smallish. Jeanne drives a 4WD truck with a cozy pick-up camper. Sueji pilots an older Pleasure Way van and I enjoy road tripping in a 2008 Roadtrek Agile van.
|Nothing wrong with a little wine on a before-dinner hike around the lake, is there?|
|Lots of gray hair here, but not an "old lady" in the bunch. Spirited? Yes. Even feisty.|
And our recent trip together was what we all needed, in one way or another. Sometimes it isn't just getting into the outdoors, but who you're with when you go there.
We caravaned about 100 miles from our Southern Oregon homes to Lemolo Lake, not far from Crater Lake. What did we do besides hike to waterfalls and around the lake? Talked a lot about life changes, ate voluptuous salads and allowed ourselves ginger bars and thin slices of coffeecake dripping with icing. We drank wine and a tad bit too much vodka.
We did not spend even one second man bashing. Of a certain age, between 62 and 72, we explored the new reality we're all facing in different stages. (Sorry, Paula. You might be younger.)
|I'd never seen this butterfly, but Jeanne knew|
its name immediately - a mourning cloak.
One thing we reaffirmed. Life is bitter sweet. Grab every moment and run for the hills, the ocean, the rivers, the woods and the wild places while you still can.
And don't forget to spend quality time with your friends.
If you want to visit the Lemolo Lake areaHere's a guide to all the North Umpqua River waterfalls along Highway 138. Including ones accessed via Lemolo Lake. Note that the directions for Lemolo Falls do not lead to the view-from-the-bottom as my photo above depicts. It's a lot easier to reach the trailhead described. But if you want to see the falls from below (way better) check with the resort for directions and condition of the 4WD road. Muddy may not be good. Otherwise, no problem except clearance.
I'll leave you with a photo of a close-by waterfall we'd all seen before and didn't visit this time.
|Even without a kayaker in it, I think Toketee Falls|
is the most spectacular of the North Umpqua's waterfalls.
That is son Chris Korbulic in 2011.
HIGHWAY OF WATERFALLS