Since our first escape from 100+°F heat worked so well, we decided to do again, but this time, we were in Oregon. Even though Lake Wallowa was over 2 hours away from where we were staying in Pendleton, it was absolutely worth the trip.
The drive there wound us through some beautiful parts of Oregon, from mountains and hills to endless fields of corn and hay. These are such special days because we never know what we are going to come across as we venture onward.
Before heading too far into the mountains where the lake and state park were located, we found a little playground in a teeny tiny town that suited Bird and our needs for lunch and some outside time perfectly. There were even chickens living next door with a very vocal rooster. Bird has been perfecting her cock-a-doodle-doo and spent most of our lunch conversing with the rooster.
Even though we were a bit higher in elevation when we reached the lake, the temperatures were still in the 90s and there was no shade to be found. First, we drove past the community beach, which was packed, then we drove around the lake to the state park, which was also packed. We had hoped to find a short hike, but the first trail we tried required a permit that we did not have and could not figure out how to acquire, and the second hike took us 30 minutes away, up a dirt Forest Service road, to a dead-end road (not the trailhead) and another permit area. Needless to say, we had a nice air conditioned drive before heading back to the community beach.
By the time we reached the lake again, it was getting close to dinner, which meant many people were packing up for the day. We were able to find a picnic table in the shade for Will and Daisy to relax at while Bird and I enjoyed getting our feet wet in the lake, watching the tiny fish swim around, and collecting all the rocks.
The lake was absolutely gorgeous, and the scene with it nestled at the base of the mountains was truly magical. The water was just the right amount of chilly and as clear as clear could be. We only allow Bird to wade in to where the water is a few inches deep, but I wanted nothing more than to dive in headfirst and enjoy a nice swim.
We made our way back to the shade for a picnic dinner, then we all headed down to the water. Daisy can be funny around water, and she was just not having it on the rocky beach, so since she was ready to go and it was getting late anyway, we reluctantly packed it in for the day and turned the truck toward home.
The drive home seemed to take forever, but we returned to the camper in cooler temperatures and ready for a good rest. Playing in water just seems to go together with hot summer days, and our trip to Lake Wallowa took the edge off the heat with the added spectacular scenery. Another day, another adventure, and another win.