She reached out to me on Facebook after I confessed my “cycle phobia” on the internet. Jim and I drove 3 hours after work on a Friday from Bend.
We stayed in the old Ashland Springs Hotel. Somehow I didn’t see the sign warning me about a not-so-obscure window in my bathroom. Fortunately, we were on the 5th floor. No harm, no foul.
In the morning, I got up early to do my mindset writing exercise. I walked the 5 flights of stairs to the huge lobby, because you know, possible COVID in the elevator. I settled myself with my clipboard and a Bic pen and started to write.
But, it’s an ancient hotel. There was no one around and the lobby was so big. I started to feel kinda creepy in there. The lobby’s beautiful but I sensed something. It’s filled with little stuffed birds in glass cases.
So many birds. Looking at me with unmoving glass eyes.
Did I hear a noise? Did I see something slip by near the fireplace? I scampered up 5 flights to my room where Jim was still sleeping and climbed back in bed. “I’ll do my mindset work later”, I said to myself.
The drive home was quiet. Because of COVID, we hadn’t reached out to good friends who live in the area. We passed Talent, Oregon where hundreds of homes had been destroyed in a devastating fire just 2 weeks before. Even with our car windows closed, we could smell it. So much loss.
Midway home, we took the detour to Crater Lake. I think we were hoping for something inspirational on our not so inspiring trip. We love Ashland. We even went there on our first wedding anniversary trip. It was hard to see Ashland so hard hit by COVID, fire, and economic loss.
We were greeted by an adorable National Park Service ranger at the front gate. “No charge today,” she said. She gave us a simple map and sent us on our way.
When we got to the edge of the crater, we were up almost 8000-feet. It was cold and windy. We walked to the edge and minded a sign that said STAND BACK. Not a good place for clumsy selfies.
We peered over the edge. Where was gorgeous Crater Lake? We couldn’t see anything at all. It was gone. It looked just like a sea of mist. Cold and gray. A fun experience but a disappointment.
We got back in our car and headed home. It wasn’t the trip we’d expected. Awe inspiring Crater Lake, famous for deep blue color and clarity was impossible to see.
Tragedy hung in the air around Ashland like the fog over Crater Lake.
There were too many stuffed birds in the Ashland Springs Hotel lobby. Creepy.
Little things. Not like the crushing disappointments many of us face every single day. But still different.
How about you? How do you react when things large and small get in the way of what you want? Can you see clarity and depth when things are covered by one fog or another?
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