|Oregon's Waldo Lake from the South shoreline|
I should have known before I left the house at the end of June my vacation was probably doomed. Making my final preparations to head out into the wilds of the Oregon Cascades, I locked my office door (a studio office located in my backyard) from the inside without knowing where the key was hiding. I searched high and low for that key inside my house, but it was nowhere to be found. Figuring it was locked in my desk drawer inside the office, I loaded my backpack and suit and a few other items and headed down the road. I knew a locksmith would have to visit my office before I would get in again.
A few hours later I was parked in front of Waldo Lake, high in Oregon's Cascade Mountains. This is one of the most extraorinarily pristine and crystal clear lakes in Oregon. According to Atlas of Oregon Lakes, it is one of the purest lakes in the world. Its surface area is 9.8 square miles and it is 420 feet deep at its deepest point. The large, natural lake sits at an elevation of 5,414'.
After shouldering my backpack near the lake's Shadow Bay boat launch, I began what was planned as a week long backpack trip around the lake. From the Waldo's shoreline trail, my intentions were to take several of the side trails entering the Waldo Lake Wilderness, which surrounds most of Waldo Lake. These trails lead to a variety of mountain lakes and viewpoints such as 6,357 foot Waldo Mountain
|Waldo Lake (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
|The beginning of snow drifts on Waldo Lake's Shoreline Trail|
|Tree down on Shoreline Trail bridge|
Above the lake and a considerable distance from the trail, I set up camp with a view of the lake, with South Sister and Broken Top rising beyond it. Almost July, the mosquitoes were already thick and looking for a meal. At least the females were looking to suck blood, having to do so for reproductive reasons (males do not attack).
I spent the night, having the entire lake to myself; tossed and turned all night. Must have slept one out of the eight hours I remained in my sleeping bag. The first night always seems the hardest to catch some shut-eye.