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On the Lake: Our Oregon Adventure Part XII

The cabin on Tenmile Lake was our dream home. We kept running the details of the house through our minds. We planned out where our things would go and how much we would need to get rid of to downsize and fit into the smaller home. Was it possible we could move into this beautiful cabin in the woods, sitting over a lake? I kept talking about how much the house already felt like home when we visited with the real estate agent. Sitting on the couch, looking through the amass of windows out at that beautiful view – I could have stayed forever. I suggested that we rent a boat and see the house from the lake plus take a tour of the lake to see where we would be living. We were, after all, considering moving there. In my heart, I knew it would be beautiful, but what I didn’t know is how magical it would be.

We headed over to Ringo’s Marina in Lakeside to rent a small boat to drive over to the house. The day was lovely – filled with sunshine, blue skies, and little white puffy clouds. The water wasn’t even very cold. For late October, the weather was exceeding our expectations, especially after all of the rainy days we had experienced on the trip thus far. Dennis drove the little aluminum boat out towards the house. The sweet gal in the marina gave us a map of the lake and highlighted where the house was on it. It’s a big lake and takes some time to learn the way to the different areas. We were told the lake is called Tenmile Lake because of the Tenmile Creek, but that the perimeter of the lake was actually 42 miles all the way around. Wow!

I had the biggest smile on my face. I was wearing my giant black and white woven sun hat, a scarf and a little cardigan sweater. The wind on our faces was cool but the sun was so warm that it was the perfect combination – not too hot, not too cold. I kept looking back at Dennis as he steered us through the canal and over to the North side of the lake. His smile went across from ear to ear. We were already having the time of our lives and we hadn’t even approached the house yet. I had visions of spending afternoons out on the lake. Picnicking, swimming, and just cruising around. Of course, we didn’t have a boat yet, all of that would have to come later.

As we entered the Big Creek Arm of the lake, our anticipation grew. We both could not wait to see the house from the lake. We got closer and closer, but the house was still out of view. The trees and forest obscured the view until we were almost there. Suddenly, I could see the tall, gray cabin covered in windows, standing proudly over the lake. It was even more beautiful from the water. My heart raced as we approached. I signaled for Dennis to slow down. I took a million pictures as we came in towards the dock. I wanted to take in every bit of the moment.

Dennis pulled up alongside the dock and tied off the boat. He stepped out and helped me step out onto the dock. We stood there for several moments looking out at the lake, at that beautiful view of forest and water. Birds of all sorts flew about. The tall, white Egrets were striking against the green of the forest. We walked up the gangway, up the steps, to the deck of the house. It was new and exciting and somehow at the same time felt like home. It all felt meant to be. We walked around a bit, looked in the windows – since we didn’t have an agent with us this time to go back inside – and took tons of pictures and video. We wanted to stay forever and we knew that we would do whatever it took to make this beautiful cabin our new home.

The landscape was overgrown but absolutely breathtaking. Ferns, rhododendrons, myrtle wood, pines, cedar, and blackberries filled the property. There was more green in a square foot than we had in our whole yard at our old house. Everything was damp and wet from the rain and the fog that the lake gets in the mornings because of its proximity to the beach. It smelled clean and fresh and wonderful. We couldn’t stop smiling. We were truly in love with the place. As much as we didn’t want to leave, we knew that if we really wanted the house, we’d have to get back on the road and get home. Our house in the desert wasn’t even listed yet and the lake house already had a potentially interested buyer.

We jumped back in the little boat and drove across the lake and through the canal to the south side of the lake. We had a little more than an hour left on the rental, so we drove around South Lake for a bit to check out the other side. Just as gorgeous as North Lake. All of the houses were so unique – no two were alike. After a bit, I checked the time and we had about 20 minutes to get the boat back. We hadn’t traveled the whole lake, but we saw a lot and knew we wanted to get on the road. We were excited about the idea of traveling the entire lake later when we returned and moved into our dream house.

All of a sudden, the boat died. Dennis tried to start it back up a few times and then realized that we must be out of gas. Good thing for cell phones! I called the marina and let them know we were out of gas. We could see the marina but it was a good distance from the spot we were in and paddling would take some time. The gal at the desk, Cathy, was super sweet and drove some gas out to us. We were laughing through it all. It just added to the adventure of the day! She apologized for the inconvenience, realizing that she had filled a different boat for us to take out but then had changed her mind and gave us this one – forgetting that this one hadn’t been topped off. It was all really funny and absolutely no big deal. She told us that if we could handle a snafu like that with such ease that we would do just fine living on the lake.

Dennis drove us over to the marina, we dropped off the boat and got in the van. It was late afternoon, but we decided to drive a bit – at least until dark. We drove two hours south to Gold Beach and stopped at our new favorite little campground there, the Honey Bear Campground. It was raining, so we checked in and drove into town for some dinner. There were only a couple places open and we had eaten at the pizza place on the way up, so we tried the steak house this time. I ordered fish & chips and Dennis ordered a pasta dish. My fish & chips were lacking in the breading department but the fish itself was quite good. Dennis said his pasta was delicious. After dinner, we had a wonderful night’s sleep. The campground was very lightly booked and we had the whole section to ourselves. We had showers there – they have a great shower/restroom, so warm and home-ey. Definitely not the typical concrete camp shower/restroom combo. Then we were on the road again – this time, headed towards home! Click here to read the next part of Our Oregon Adventure!

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Illustration by Blume Bauer ©

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