Archive for June, 2005

June 30, Thurs.–1.2 miles–Oregon F

Thurs. June 30   Miles today: 1.2    Total so far: 873.5         Oregon Section F

There was no rush to do anything this morning, so we enjoyed our nice quiet camp in the forest.  I decided to do some writing in the dining hall before breakfast, but when I got there, a huge delivery truck had just brought several pallets of food, including frozen stuff that needed to be put away ASAP.  So I volunteered to help, and in the process got a good look at the youth camp kitchen.  I ws totally impressed.  They7 make their own bread from scratch, for example.  We had another awesome breakfast, then had more time to just relax on the beach with my Bible to read, and watch the kids sailing on Big Lake. 

After lunch, we packed up our camp so we’d be ready to go with our daughter from Corvallis when she arrived.  And when she did, surprise, surprise!  We hardly recognized her…she’d dyed her hair blonde, just for fun.  (Normally she’s a very dark brunette!)  We went with her to the town of Sisters, where Bill got new gloves, and we all got ice cream, followed by dinner at “Bronco Billy’s” steak house, because poor Bill was dying for a steak after so much trail food, and then all the vegetarian food at the Youth Camp!  We had a great time talking and visiting, since we don’t get to see each other very often. Our daughter was in the Marine Corps for 4 years, after she finished high school and a year of college.  Then she got a degree in accounting and worked in that field for several years, till she decided she’d rather be doing something to help people more directly.  That’s how she ended up getting into her “new field” of pharmacy.  She’s really good at math, and pharmacy is a math-heavy discipline.  So now she’s back in college, at her own expense, working part time, and pursuing a doctorate in pharmacy. 

It was starting to get late, but on the way back to the Camp, I stopped at a grocery store to get some bleach so I could try to disinfect our Platypus drinking tubes, which had been turning pink–not a good thing!  Our daughter was horrified (Germs!  Germs!) that we’d been using them in such a state. Then we went to a picnic area that had water so I could make a dilute solution to rinse out the tubes.  That done, our daughter dropped us off at the Youth Camp parking lot, and we headed back to the PCT.  We’d only done a bit over a mile before the sun went down, so we just stopped and camped in the woods.

June 29, Wed.–2 miles–Oregon Sect.F Big Lake Youth Camp

Wed. June 29   Miles today: 2    Total so far: 847.3     Oregon Section F

At Big Lake Youth Camp

At Big Lake Youth Camp

We “slept in” till the sun was up this morning, then packed up and hurried along the PCT, thinking “Hot breakfast at Big Lake Youth Camp!”  We met a couple of the camp staff out jogging, and they told us we were on the correct side trail for the Camp. 

And there it was–what a place!  It was far more extensive than most of the resorts we’ve seen so far.  There were horse corrals with lots of horses, many cabins, several boat docks with every conceivable type of watercraft–even a San Francisco Bay size sailing yacht, and zillions of other activities–archery, golf, videography, crafts, and lots more.  Everything looked clean and well-cared for. 

What puzzled us, though, was that the whole camp was very quiet.  We wondered where all the kids were, as we wandered through to find the dining hall.  The great college students who staff everything gave us a warm welcome and offered hot drinks (no coffee–it’s a Seventh Day Adventist camp, and Adventists do not drink coffee) and they also gave us some cereal to eat while they were still busy cooking breakfast.  They also explained that there is a “time warp” operating here.  In order to give the kids the thrill of a campfire time at NIGHT, in the DARK, in OREGON in SUMMER, they run the place on “camp time” instead of daylight savings time.  Actually, it’s no big deal–it’s just ordinary Standard Time.  So all the kids were still in bed.

"Rubber Ducky....!!"

"Rubber Ducky....!!"

We happily drank our hot chocolate, then went to the office to “check in”.  The office lady finally came and gave us a warm welcome, too, then turned on the loudspeakers for a rousing rendition of “Rubber Ducky” as the morning wakeup call. That brought back memories for me of the “wakeup call” songs they used to play at 4-H camps when I was one of the camp “chaperones.”

 Soon kids were out and about.  The camp encourages “lake showers” in the morning–which means you go for a swim.  I’d say maybe 1/8 of the campers did.  The rest did ordinary showers.  Then after morning chapel, they finally got breakfast at 8:30 am, Camp Time.  The staff take turns eating with the kids (it gets pretty loud in the kid dining hall!) while the rest of the staff eat separately in peace.  Bill and I ate with the staff, who are all college kids, and wonderful to talk to.  What a feast we had!  Adventists are vegetarians, so there’s no sausage or bacon, but thy don’t need those, ’cause the food they DO make is so awesome.

By the way, for those of you who are hesitating to resupply here because “those people are religious and might try to convert me”–FEAR NOT.  “Those people” have real joy, real peace and they’re vegetarians (in case you are one, too).  They will love you and help you in any way they can, because they love Christ, but NOBODY will bug you about it or try to convert you.  If you really want to know HOW to have the same joy and peace that shines from them, YOU have to ASK, and only then will they happily tell you.  I repeat, nobody will bug you.  The staff told us that the thru-hikers who stay here say, “I want my kids to come to this place someday.” 

After breakfast, we tended to our resupply, raiding the impressive hiker box for several items, then called our daughter in Corvallis to set up a time to get together.  She is at Oregon State, in summer school, and it turned out she was in the middle of finals, so she couldn’t come up here till tomorrow.  Not a problem.  Bill and I need a rest very badly, and I had lots of writing to do.

The dock at Big Lake Youth Camp

The dock at Big Lake Youth Camp

We had fun watching the campers.  They spend their morning polishing and developing skills in one “focus” activity which they choose before coming to camp.  The activities are amazingly varied.  Since we are from the San Francisco Bay area, we were especially interested in their watercraft.  They had sailing, boardsailing, jetskis, canoes, fishing boats, and many others. 

Campers sailing on Big Lake

Campers sailing on Big Lake

 And Big Lake itself is just beautiful!  The view from the beach is breathtaking.  We enjoyed a great lunch (again eating with the staff) and I spent the afternoon resting and writing, while Bill found a nice campsite for us a little way beyond the beach.

After a great dinner, we enjoyed talking with some of the staff.  It is a blessing to be able to be with brothers and sisters who know Jesus and are doing their best to follow Him.  They told us it is a joy to them to help thru-hikers.  The Bible from cover to cover strongly encourages being kind to “wayfarers and sojourners” which certainly describes us hikers.  We went to the campfire program–lots of singing, plus some short talks that were really good and had even the squiggliest campers listening. 

Our camp in the woods near Big Lake

Our camp in the woods near Big Lake

Then we walked along the lakeshore to our campsite and went happily to bed, glad of the net tent, though, ’cause the mossies were out.