Tag Archives: Crater Lake National Park

Summer Daze

11 Aug

Summer is flying by… and it seems that everyone around me is so busy!  Maybe it’s just that we all try to cram a lot of fun into these two months knowing that it soon will be over?  I don’t really know…  but it sure makes sense to enjoy this time while we have it!


A few weeks back I delivered a blackberry peach pie to a dear woman who has been battling cancer.  I suggested that instead of cooking that night (since the outdoor temps were in the three digits) that she and her daughter have some of the warm pie with ice cream for dinner instead… and that idea seemed just fine with them.


For a couple of mornings each week I’ve been helping a friend at her B&B, and have discovered some delicious treats that are quick and easy to prepare.  One day I noticed that there was an abundance of plums at the inn so I decided to make plum kuchen, or plum cake.  This recipe is similar to the one I used.  I hope that you’ll try it soon… with plums, or peaches, or berries!  I am sure that you’ll be glad you did!

me and jamie at the wedding

Last month I attended the wedding reception of the mother of one of my “other sons.”  Coco and Taylor have been close buddies since fifth grade and I was delighted to see Taylor’s mom, Jamey, so happy!  I wish her and Ian the very best!

backyard buck

Ashland is a deer friendly town… and some folks would say that isn’t okay.  As for me, I am always awed and amazed when I look out on to my fairly small backyard and see a few bucks resting there.  This is definitely not a sight I ever saw growing up in the projects!


With Pam Marsh at the “Pie Social”


Demonstrating the method to my madness 

On July 26, the Ashland Emergency Food Bank hosted a “Pie Social” to thank their many volunteers and supporters.  For one of the activities, Pam Marsh, the director of the food bank, asked if I would be willing to give a demonstration on making pie crust and I was delighted to do so.  My goal was to show what method works for me and also to encourage those in the audience to have fun while baking. Remember folks… it’s just a pie!  If you make a mistake, you’ll learn from it… and get better next time.  When Julia Child dropped the turkey she did not toss it… but rather, brushed it off and laughed about it. We all should be able to do the same!

P1040168Crater Lake

P1040169 The research vesselDinner on the dock at Wizard IslandDinner on Wizard IslandBucket of Crayfish on Wizard IslandKristin and Scott with the crayfish

Kristin and me on Wizard Islandphantom ship at crater lake Phantom Ship

For a few days this last week, I was honored to prepare meals for a group of researchers studying the crayfish problem (they are an invasive species and are affecting the newt population) at Crater Lake National Park. Among the many offerings served were several apple cobblers (since I didn’t remember to bring along pie pans) and that seemed to work out just fine. It was a bit of a logistical challenge…  but I don’t think I have ever worked in a more beautiful place!  I’m ever so grateful to Mark Buktenica (the aquatic biologist at the park) for allowing me this amazing experience.

owl on Dead Indian

On the drive home from the lake, I saw an owl perched on the fence post as I drove by and couldn’t resist going back for a quick photo.  It was absolutely magnificent to see this guy spread his wings and lift off.  It was a rare (for me) and wonderful sight!

amaroticos at the beach

Finally, I came home after working this week to see our son, Coco.  He had driven from Missoula with a friend and will be here for only a few days.  His Dad and I took him over to Gold Beach for a quick overnight visit.  That night we went to Anna’s by the Sea for dinner. When we entered the restaurant, Peter, the owner, teasingly asked me, “Karen, where is my …..ing pie?”  Funny, I had wondered if he would remember us; apparently he did.  Though I hadn’t brought along a pie, I had brought along a box of Cary’s chocolates for him… and I could tell that Peter was pleased.

Though it’s been a very hectic time, and while I am a bit tired,  what I am feeling now is a bubbling up of emotion and joy at my good fortune.  I pray that I will always remember how very lucky I am.

“God gave you a gift of 84,600 seconds today. Have you used one of them to say thank you?” William Arthur Ward

Day 224: Coach Pete

16 Nov

We first met Pete when my son Coco signed up for the Nordic Ski Team at Ashland High School. Pete is the head coach for the Nordic team and has been the head coach for a long time. Both of his kids were on the team when they were in high school, but they have long since graduated. Yet Pete continues to coach the team… and that is something that we can be thankful for because Pete brings a wealth of experience with him and is highly respected.

When Coco was on the team, I volunteered a few times to help at ski meets – most often helping out in the snack booth and on the rare occasion, assisting on the race course. After a while I found that by sending fresh baked goodies to the team before they left for a meet was the best contribution I could make because the kids (and coaches) liked the snacks I provided and I liked staying warm at home.

When he is not coaching the Nordic team, Pete is the Chief Ranger at Crater Lake National Park. Pete is not one of those people who just “shows up for his job.” He brings energy and passion to just about everything does. The photo at the top of this post shows Pete at work rescuing a guy who jumped a barrier at the rim of Crater Lake. Pete is the kind of guy who always seems ready for moments like these; he pays attention, he has been trained, and he is in top condition.

This afternoon I brought Pete his favorite pie: lemon meringue. I want to thank him for leading the Nordic Team and for his part in giving our kids such a wonderful outdoor experience.

Day 222: Mark

14 Nov

Mark Buktenica is a biologist and he is the “aquatic ecologist” at Crater Lake National Park. He is “the first person to reach the deepest point in Oregon’s Crater Lake” according to National Geographic Adventure Magazine. Here is his description of what he saw while in a submarine at the bottom of the lake:

“There’s a ring of moss—like a band of hair around a bald man’s head—that circles all of Crater Lake. That was our first surprise; it’s invisible from the surface. The moss starts at a hundred feet in depth and is draped off cliffs and matted on rocks all the way down to 450 feet (137 meters)—so darn deep. Crater Lake has the clearest water ever measured, and that allows light to penetrate unusual distances.

“I made dives in 1988 and 1989 in the Deep Rover submarine, essentially a large plastic bubble with lights, oxygen tanks, and sampling equipment bolted to the outside. Deep Rover fits only one person, so you’re both the pilot and the scientist. It takes a long time—20 to 30 minutes—to drop to the bottom of the lake, going from daylight into the blue, then into darkness. The day I went to the lake’s deepest point, I turned off all the lights and the instruments and just sat there for a few minutes, taking in the silence. Even there, at 1,949 feet (594 meters) below the surface, my eyes could still pick up some vague light from above. Incredible.” You can read more about his experience here.

Our family first met Mark because he was one of the parents who volunteered for the Nordic Ski team when my son Coco was at Ashland High School. Mark is an assistant coach for the team, and has given his time and resources to the club as often as possible. I know that my son enjoyed spending time with Mark and his kids and learned to love cross country skiing in part because of their love and enthusiasm for the sport.

This afternoon I brought a Sausage and Pepper Quiche to Mark to thank him for his participation on the Nordic Ski Team… and for giving me the chance to say that I know someone who has been to the bottom of Crater Lake in a submarine!