Monday, August 15, 2016

Klamath Falls, Oregon: Land O'Lakes

Our last stop before heading back east on this crazy five week road trip was Klamath Falls in Oregon. My parents retired there a couple of years ago, so we went from seeing one side of the family in San Diego to seeing the other just over the border of Oregon.

For someone who grew up in Washington, DC, that's a lot of west coast family.

The kids and I visited last year (via plane), but it was Chris' first trip to KF. He would be there for two full days and I planned to spend the first at Crater Lake and then the second on a hike with friends. Then I remembered that he has that whole "relaxation" priority on vacation and decided that we could just hang around the house like sloths the first day and on the second, meet our friends at a lake for a swim (and more sitting around).

Luckily, my parents live in a resort community, so there are walking trails, a golf course, a little market and coffee shop in walking distance...and other activities that we don't do. Like golf. The kids and I spent some time outside, periodically checking in with Chris between his naps.

My Dad joined us for some of our wandering. He's a "fun grandpa."

Not sure why I only have pictures of him with Eleanor...

We also had good family friends over for a casual dinner party, so much of the day was spent getting ready for that.

You can stop snoring now - the boring "day of relaxation" part of this post is over. The following day we got out and did stuff.

I think I've mentioned before that Oliver is obsessed with trains... Well last year while we were in Oregon, I heard about a little train park about 45 minutes away. The Klamath and Western Railroad is run by model train enthusiasts who don't charge for rides (though donations are welcome). It's only open on Saturdays though, and we weren't able to go. I just added it to my "next time" list.

I highly recommend this to families with small children - but I have to say, my not-so-small children had a great time. The ride itself was at least 15 minutes long, and even if you have no interest in trains, it was a nice relaxing activity (and you know how we value our relaxation time).

After that, we met my friend and her son (who moved back to Oregon last winter) at Howard Prairie Lake.

Lake. Big lake.

Oliver spotted a bald eagle (which I first identified as a seagull - silly girl who doesn't wear her glasses!) I don't think I've ever seen one in the wild before. Sadly I cannot include a picture since my iphone camera could see it just as clearly as I did.

Driving home, I took a picture of the trees which are towering Goliaths.

My favorite trees, though are Quaking Aspen. They have pretty birch bark and little round leaves that look like confetti in a breeze.

The following day, we stayed close to home. Chris' flight home was early the next morning, so instead for getting up before dawn to make the hour drive to Medford, I booked us a hotel for the night. This meant that we could actually GO OUT. TO DINNER. We almost never do this, so I was pretty excited at the prospect of dining without a kids' menu.

We ended up at Liquid Assets, a restaurant/wine bar.

The host station looked very promising.

Hey! A rare picture of me! Wish I had blown dry my hair for the occasion.
Our view.
We drove 30 mintues from Medford to Ashland for dinner since we had tickets to see Hamlet at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Outdoor theater requires a sweater...but totally worth it.
When I researched this online, I thought it looked pretty cool - but I had no idea! Watching theater outside as the sun sets and the stars appear overhead is like nothing I've ever experienced. And this wasn't Shakespeare as you would expect it - it was Hamlet with a rock opera vibe. I loved it.

After dropping Chris off at the airport before dawn, I made the long drive back to Klamath Falls. I got home so early that two of my three children were still asleep. I tried to get back into bed myself, but no dice. My need for rest directly corresponds with my family's need for me to pay attention to them.

That day I had plans to take my mother to a neighborhood ladies' lunch and I really wanted to get the kids outside for a while before they attached themselves to electronic devices.

Last year, we drove by a playground on Klamath Lake about 50 times, but never had time to stop and check it out. This seemed like a good day to visit Moore Park. As a generally not fun person, it speaks volumes that I really enjoyed myself there.

Can you see the lake? So pretty!

Play that funky music white girl.

Top of the world, ma!
Later when I brought my mother to the luncheon, I discovered that there is a whole section of houses in their community with gorgeous views of Klamath Lake. I had no idea! I thought it might be a little weird to take pictures while visiting a stranger's home, but managed to sneak in one quick shot.

While it was a lovely event, I find small talk at social gatherings exhausting. So that combined with my early morning meant NAP TIME.

Sadly - that did not work out.

I guess my children didn't get much rest either while I was away. Oliver decided to climb into bed with me, making sure to fall asleep directly on my arm for maximum discomfort. Then the twins who did not nap, came in every five minutes to ask me about something that none of us can recall because OHMYGOD WHOCARES!? I think it's all a plot to advance the progress of my facial wrinkles (look at that forehead!)

For our last day in town, my parents took us to Lake of the Woods. This was probably my favorite lake we visited. Definitely the most picturesque. Since it was a cool day, I thought we would take in the views and maybe do a little hiking.

The water is CRYSTAL clear.

Of course, all my kids wanted to do once we got there was SWIM. I didn't bring bathing suits. So obviously, I ruined their lives.

Beyond pissed.

Later that evening as I was making dinner, Eleanor pointed out the sunset.

Perfect end to our stay. Goodnight Klamath Falls - see you next time...

Yes - I am WAY behind on posting (we've already visited two national parks!) I started this last week but have been either driving, touring or too exhausted to do anything but watch television. Time to catch up! Next post: Jackson, Wyoming...

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