Elk Lake

Today we have a mission (besides trying to escape the choking smoke of the Sisters forest fire). We're going to drive the Cascade Lakes highway, take photographs, and enjoy all the lakes on Century Drive. We're also going to look for the old log house where we spent one long-ago week with friends.

After 30 years, this vacation exists as a series of random memories, although there are photographs packed away from the days of slides. One day I'll scan them, and add some to this post.

The memories are widespread: the long drive south from the Tri-Cities, climbing up over Mackenzie Pass, and exploring the lava rock lookout tower with its windows aimed at each mountain mountain peak in the area. Cathy admiring my button-front sweatshirt in grey with teal and burgundy trim. The long drive on gravel forest service roads to finally arrive at the log house on the shores of Elk Lake. The pair of cables that ran from the cabin to a huge concrete block, holding it upright. The division of rooms:  couples with babies in the log house, those without had the bunkhouse right on the lake, complete with wood stove. Dave & I cooked dinner the first night for everyone: my homemade Merlot pasta sauce over noodles, a huge tossed green salad, garlic sourdough bread, and brownies for dessert. Each night after dinner we'd sit on the shore, playing guitar and singing with the group. Cathy had a really nice voice, and so did John, and he knew all the songs I did. John Denver, Gordon Lightfoot, James Taylor, Dan Fogelberg. It was here that I realized the magic of singing by a lake, and the amazing acoustics the water provides.

During the day, we'd hike the nearby trails or go fishing, or just catch up on our reading. One long hike I was torn, wanting to stay with the girls and get better acquainted with them, but finally chose to hike with the guys because the girls walked too slow. On our last day before heading home, we went to a nearby lake to fish with Dave, Gary, and Cathy. At least, the guys fished. Cathy and I spread our beach towels and read and talked. The guys kept coming to check on us; we were pretty sure it was because they wanted to see their wives in bathing suits!

It was the first time we'd been here in the summer, and the scenery was unforgettable. The blue skies and sun each day, and the inky velvety black skies at night, full of stars.

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