Sunday, September 28, 2008


Klamath Falls, Oregon weather report: It was 34 degrees this morning at 6:30 am when I got up and Phil says it has been at freezing or nearly so a couple mornings when he got up a little later (I only get up early on Sunday ;-). The up side is that the days have been in the middle 70s and low 80s. However, those low night time temperatures dictate that we must move on to find warmer weather. Penny the Pace is not equipped to handle freezing cold and neither is her owners!

Monday is travel day on this 2008 trek southward. We are deliberately extending each stop to a one week stay in order to save fuel. One of the side benefits to this arrangement is the time to more broadly explore the area as well as visiting family and friends who might live nearby. Klamath Falls Oregon is no exception. There are two family connections for me here but unfortunately, one of them has resulted in a dead end (for now-but will do more research) although the other association has been acknowledged and will be examined and enjoyed later today. Genealogy is a capricious hobby or as in my case, passion; sometimes I can’t think about anything else and other times, I go for weeks without making any progress. Since we retired, in the past four years I have been less than aggressive in my inquiries and investigations so I am very happy to make this COX family connection today. I will tell you about the result next week. Interestingly, this stop came about because of extenuating circumstances and I will explain.

We have spent quality time this week with former Shelton friends, Pat and Dennis and their family. In the early sixties, Dennis and his sisters were like my own children as we lived across the street from each other. He and his siblings were older than my kids but without fanfare, they adopted me and the oldest girl, Shirley did some baby sitting for me. Later, after marrying Dennis, Pat worked for me when I managed a restaurant in Shelton and she became like a daughter to me on her own merit. I have stayed close to three of the four older siblings (another son was born later) over the years and this was a “must” stop on our way south since they moved here three months ago.

Several years ago, following a whole host of tests Pat was at long last diagnosed with fibromyalgia after suffering for an interminable length of time. In the interest of her health and on the advice of her doctor she left the wet, fungi infested northwest for a warmer, dry climate. Originally, about 18 months ago they moved to eastern Washington and have now relocated here to Bonanza Oregon. As hoped, over this time period, Pat has experienced a complete restoration of her well-being and we are all delighted with her recovery. Tony, their only child, a fine young man and father along with his lovely wife, Monica and their two sons, Forrest and Quinn—being transferred here by her employment—were a major factor in Pat and Dennis's decision to relocate to southern Oregon and we have really enjoyed our time spent with them.

Phil had never been to Crater Lake so we took The Lone Ranger on a day trip to the National Park this past Friday. The weather was beautiful and the lake was gorgeous. While exploring the newly renovated Crater Lake Lodge, we were fortunate to come across a ranger telling the story of the lake and all the things the park service has been doing to reduce the human impact on the area. My experience when I visited in 1968 was totally different. We picnicked on the lake edge and my kids went swimming in the cold clear water. Today there is no legal access to the lake except for a long challenging hike down (then up again!) to take a park service boat ride. The campground has been relocated to an elevation lower than the lake and the former septic system has been moved down as well and now all sewage is piped down and away from the lake. They are hopeful this will protect our National Park for future generations to enjoy.

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