Ryder Creek drainage is where Terwilliger, also known as Cougar Hot Springs is located. Nestled in a tiny draw, surrounded by old-growth, pouring hot water out of a small cave into 4 nice soaking pools. When we arrived for our job, Hoodoo had a crew rebuilding the pools. Over the winter, two large old-growth trees fell over the pools neccessating the rebuild and partial removal of the downed firs. Below are pictures of Alan, the Stonemason, and some of the crew after finishing the top pool. No concrete was used in this project! This project ran past its allotted time with the hot springs not officially opening till July 1. All 4 pools now are complete and soakable.
We enjoyed the springs many times while spending the summer, each time a new experience. The pools were constantly undergoing changes as construction progressed. When driving by, if not crowded we might stop and soak. On off days, a morning hot tub was just the ticket.
Chipper, our boss, let us take this afternoon off in order to attend this unique event. We hustled through our morning run in record time, and drove down to Eugene to catch the bus to the fair arriving around lunch time.
Entering the Oregon Country Fair is entering into a different world. A figure-eight shaped trail lined with over 700 wooden craft and food stalls winds its way through a forest giving the place a feel of a medieval village or, well, a fairyland. The Fair is part hippy party, part floating crafts and food market, part costumed carnival and political forum, part ewok village, part concert festival, and an all around good time. The Oregon Country Fair is a three day festival held on private property about fifteen miles west of Eugene in Veneta. It's an alternative culture celebration with a heritage straight from the 1960's. It is a distant cousin of Woodstock and an older uncle of Burning Man. There are twelve different stages dedicated to music, vaudeville, storytelling, and magic shows.
We spent the day wandering from stage to stage, trying to take in the whole festival. Music and rythm everwhere.We heard loud applause at one event. Those entering were greeted by an entertainer onstage who had the large crowd screaming, yelling and clapping while doing nothing. We did not stay long as he was not a very good juggler either. A Chinese-style, giant dragon danced down the path, forcing us to the side, as a hundred or so people followed it in an impromptu parade. We listened to a wise Takelma Indian woman that goes by the name Grandma Agnes Baker-Pilgrim , one of the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers, speak of respecting ourselves and our enviornment. We located Treebeard, see picture on right. We listened to various musicians performing onstage and just fairgoers of all ages along the paths making music with a hat out for the George Washingtons'. People dressed up, undressed, painted themselves, walked on stilts, put on wings or horns, juggled, sang, danced, beat on drums of all shapes, and just enjoyed life.
This is a true explosion of all one's senses: sight, sound, smell and taste. Though we would not attend again, we would urge you to go once to see all the craziness the second weekend of July.
Marcus took some time off from work to join us, flying out to Portland. David drove to the airport on a Wednesday evening to pick him up and return him to our camp. We spent time visiting and touring the area with him. Marc bought a fishing license and spent several days fishing the rivers in the area. The Huckleberries were ripe and delicious and the water was fine for swimming as well.
We waited until Marc's visit to journey to the beach. Florence, OR, is just a couple of hours west of us. The weather at the beach was cloudy, but the temperature was moderate. We spent time visiting the Heceta Head Lighthouse, and exploring the tidal pools. Our plan was to get a room at the Three Rivers Casino, but no room at the inn. We spent a night in a motel in Florence, then donated to the Indian's before returning to Blue River.
McKenzie Pass road opened while Marc visited. This narrow two lane road was being rebuilt and has been closed all summer. We ventured up the pass to view the beautiful Proxy Falls, two different falls requiring a short hike. At the top of the pass, 5,187 feet above sea level, is a huge lava field and the Dee Wright Observatory. From the smoothly sloping paved trail through the rocky lava field, the black basalt walls of the Dee Wright Observatory resemble some medieval fortification in an ancient European setting. The multi-story structure hewn from the abundant lava rock offers 360 degree views of the high Cascades along the crest of the McKenzie Pass Scenic Highway. The observatory was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression and completed in 1935.
As with each visit, this one came to an end. We both drove Marcus back to Portland for his return flight to Denver. Here is hoping that our kids continue to visit us wherever our MisAdventures may take us.