Time for a little exploring in our own backyard again so we loaded up the old folks (my sister, Laila and her husband, Brian) and headed to Odell Lake. Okay, They’re not THAT old, but they are older than we are!!
Odell lake sits at the top of the Willamette Pass on Hwy. 58, about 65 miles east of Eugene. We were looking forward to some cool mountain air (elevation about 5000 feet) and lunch by the lake. We hadn’t gone too far into the mountain when we discovered that it was NOT going to be clear mountain air. Apparently, the smoke from the fires burning in southern Oregon are creating a smoke blanket across a large part of the state. I thought we would be far enough away to avoid the worst of the smoke but it got worse the higher we went.
The fires are shown on the map and our approximate location is indicated by the yellow “X”.
There is a nice restaurant at the east end of Odell and that is where we headed for our lunch stop. The deck was cool and shady and afforded a great view of the lake. The problem was, you couldn’t see very far across the lake. Usually the air up at Odell is clear and the skies are blue, but not today.
We didn’t let that deter us and we sat on the patio for some time, enjoying a burger and watching the activities on the lake.
The mountains are nearly obscured by the smoke.
Heading home we stopped at the west end of the lake at Shelter Cove Resort. This is my favorite end of the lake but their food offerings are from the little store and consist of microwave pizza and corn dogs. No restaurant at this end. They do have lots of cabins and boat rentals as well as a nice campground.
Normally the view of the ski area across the road is crystal clear…not so much today. The bare spots on the mountain are winter ski runs.
We did see folks bringing in some good catches of fish. Guess the kokanee don’t care about the smoke – or maybe it helps hide the hook from their sharp eyes!
Even with the smoke we had a good day. It’s a beautiful drive up the pass and it was good to get out and see the lake (or what we could of it!!). We stopped at a sno-park area and let Laila gather a few rocks for her garden. I wish I had a picture of her carrying those rocks but I was helping and didn’t get the camera out. The back of the van reminded me of Lucy in the movie, “The Long, Long Trailer.” If you have never watched that old movie, please do. It’s one every RVer should see at least once!!
It’s good to enjoy every moment, regardless of the condition of the sky.