So 1859, the magazine, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1859_(magazine)) sponsors a lot of contests and just on the off chance, if it looks interesting, I enter. I won one. I *never* win anything in contests! This was last spring and we had an option of taking the “Five Pines Lodge Ultimate Romance Package” trip in April or waiting until now. We decided to wait. I made our reservations and we headed that direction on 10/16. These are the write-ups and pictures that I posted in the blog. There are bits and pieces of packing and other stuff on previous days, but nothing particularly relevant or interesting.
The day was amazing! We didn’t get up as early as I had planned, or rather Tempus didn’t. I was awake out of sheer excitement not long after 7:30. He didn’t wake until well past 8 (which was when we had planned on heading out, but….). We got stuff together and headed for the shop so we could have breakfast (leftover frumenty and coffee) and I could get the newsletter out. By the time we got everything into the car and taken care of it was nearly noon before we rolled out of town!
As we drove over the bridge I could see seals playing in the upper bay just above the bridge. We drove to Marius’, first, since I had left my tripod in his car. It was a touch windy and spitty, but starting to dry out as we drove up that way. We got the tripod and headed out 20.
The new section of road there is quite a change. No more twisty-windy-bounce-over-the-tracks-squeeze-through-the-bridge road! The trees were covered with tattered veils of cloud over the evergreens and turning leaves. Leaves, leaves, and more leaves was what I was looking at the whole way with gracenotes of streams, rivers, lakes and craggy rocks. I love the way the big-leaf maples turn, where each leaf yellows in stages, so that the edges of the leaf are turning brown while the rib is still green.
As we drove it went from “spit” to “pour” very, very gradually. We got gas at I-5 and a bag of chips and then headed on, noshing on cheese and rolls and such. I was getting sleepy as we went up the west side foothills and climbed to the pass. I woke up as my ears started to pop and crackle and watched the tiny-leaf maples (whatever that variety is, vine maple?) in bright reds and yellows in the under-story of the evergreens. As we got up to the top they got even more prominent and some mid-story tree whose pointy leaves turned brilliant gold was making drifts of color through what had burned in the Black Butte fire. There’s a lot of burned wood still standing, black and bare, but the ground is green and red and gold with new growth, some of it already respectable, small trees.
The rain gradually slacked off as we descended into Sisters, with what looked like parks heading out to both sides of the highway. The growth habits are so different from the coast! The needles make a thick bed and small stuff doesn’t do the “jungle thing” the way it does at home. Lodgepole pines grow tall and then a few bend over and you could indeed use them to hold up a tent! Sisters is a lovely community, although very touristy along the main drag and our turn-off was on Buckaroo Drive and Desperado. <groan, grin>
We got to Five Pines just at 4pm and checked in and we’re in #27. It’s a lovely little house. There’s a vestibule, which has a tiny fridge and sink, coffeemaker, etc. The bath area is huge. There’s a double sink on at least an 8 foot counter with towels and such below, a toilet area with a door and an efficient fan and a shower room, tiled all the way around with two shower heads. There’s a nice, big room which has a comfy big bed, and armoire for clothing (stocked with some really, really nice robes!) a gas fire (lighted right away, of course) with some chairs sitting companionably before it with a small table between (with chocolates and bubble bath and champagne!) and a sunken soak tub. Bliss!
We unpacked, sat in front of fire, then went for the wine/beer reception which is complimentary with the room (you get two glassfuls). I had a Chardonnay and Tempus had a Chocolate Stout. We took them outside under the arcade because it was quite warm inside. Chatted with a couple of people and both of us got tipsy, so we left 1/2 of our 2nd glasses and went to get supper.
Three Creeks Brewery Pub is nice, (if loud!) inside, but the food was delicious! We started with pretzel bites that came with a lovely mustard and an amazing cheese sauce made with Columbia River Dairy American cheese. Normally those are bland. Not this! Tempus had fish and chips which came with Cajun Cole slaw and I had schnitzel, the best I’ve had in years. I had a lot of vegetables since the mashed potatoes were made with pepper, so they gave me a double serving of veg instead of potatoes and the green beans that were part of a good veg mix were perfect, just crisp-tender. We finished off with a chocolate milk shake that we took back to the room and just enjoyed the tub & fire until we went to bed. Old fogies, ain’t we! 🙂
Today we’ve been over to have breakfast. The coffee is much better than what’s in the room, although the room setup for it is so cute! 🙂 They had tiny servings so you could taste lots of different things and I had pumpkin bread, a poppy-seed bagel and a scone made with raspberries and white chocolate along with hard-boiled eggs (brown) whose shells were so difficult to get off that I said to Tempus that I was, “earning my breakfast”. 🙂 There was fresh fruit and some wonderful
orange juice along with nice coffee. Tempus had mostly the same, but a lemon poppyseed muffin and a plain bagel. There are also hot cereals and granola and yogurt and…. 🙂 We didn’t get that far. We walked it off for a bit, wandering through the resort, looking a clouds and fairy rain and marvelous pines. I kept talking about pulling out a needle and floss and making a pine needle basket, but never got that far.
Tempus is trying out the awesome-looking shower and once I’m finished this I’m climbing into the tub again. 🙂 We’re going to have a “couples massage” at the Shibui Spa and go to the movie house for a showing of Storks. We’re not sure what we’re doing after that, but a nice supper probably features in it somewhere, as well as more soaking in the tub!
Later – It was another great day. It’s nice to put the everyday stuff aside and just be together. After our soak in the tub we went to Shibui for the massage. I dawdled along the way, sitting in warm sunshine, taking photos and watching clouds whipping past in a very, very blue sky. Tempus was fishing things out of the car.
The spa is an interesting place with a number of water features scattered around the building. We changed into robes and then went into a room with two
therapists who managed to relax me to the point that I had to work at it to come out of the daze when it was time to be dressed again. They were very considerate of my various ouch spots, too, so I was quite happy to sit and have a cup of vanilla tea and gaze at the fire for awhile.
When Tempus was dressed we went back to our cabin and I fell asleep! I woke in time for us to go over to the Sisters Movie House to see Storks, which is just a fun movie. I didn’t want a bang-bang-shoot-’em-up, so that’s the one we picked. It ended up being a private showing since it was just the two of us in the theater! This is one of those movie houses where you can order food, so I had a tuna panini
sandwich and Tempus had a bacon burger. We also shared a bag of popcorn (movie theater, *gotta* have popcorn!) and a hard pear cider.
We went back to our cabin and I fell asleep *again*, only waking around 8pm, at which point Tempus fell asleep. 🙂 When he woke he went up to the lodge to see if they had the Hobbit or the last Harry Potter movie or something of the sort. Nope…. He watched a documentary
on women’s rights in China. I was embroidering, finishing another biscornu top, and then I pulled out some other pincushion sewing, alternating that with reading. It was lovely just sitting in front of the fire with no pressure to do something else and then to go to sleep, not worrying about what time it was or what else was left to do.
We ate some of the breakfast leftovers, some scone and muffin bits and a couple of yogurts and then turned in.
We’re up early, for us, anyway. The tub is filling for one last soak. Coffee is brewing and I’m starting to pack. How did we scatter stuff so thoroughly? We’re going to grab some breakfast, finish packing and head home, probably stopping to do a little shopping in Sisters (I want some fancy olives) and maybe at Sutler Lake or someplace like that.
Later – After we got up, we packed in between bits of getting the newsletter out. We got a nice soak, talking about trebuchets. 🙂 Breakfast was good again, but we did push a bit and took some stuff back with us so we could get checked out on time and just noshed while packing.
We were ready and in the car in plenty of time….and then the starter on the car just wouldn’t…. It’s been iffy. Tempus is going to have to fix it. He trotted back over to the main lodge to check out and let ’em know that we were having car trouble and when he came back he fiddled with it and it finally started and we got on the road. That canned any shopping or side trips, though. Well, not a biggie.
It had been cold enough that more leaves had turned red in just the couple of days that we were there! I did find out that some of the gold-leafed trees are birches, but not all of them. The trunks look funny to me, not peely enough….
We climbed up towards Santiam pass (4,817 feet) and hit snow! There wasn’t any on the road, but all the side roads were at least slushy. It was just so lovely that I actually started weeping at one point. I had asked that we not get slowed down by snow but actually get to see some and it happened! It was drizzling a bit as we climbed up and over Santiam and then up and over Tombstone Pass (4,236 feet) and down the west side of the Cascades. Evergreen branches were loaded with mounds of fluffy white. Small thickets of the tiny leafed maples were mounded white on top, red and golden below, framed with deep green from the conifers. Every rock had its cap and in the cliffs, every projection was visible because of the snow clinging to it. For part of the trip only one side of the tree trunks had snow, as though it had driven steadily in one direction. More bliss!
Eventually our elevation dropped to where it was just rain and I started dozing off, sporadically. We stopped at Cascadia park to use the bathroom and I really wanted to go down the trail to the Soda Springs, but Tempus didn’t want to turn off the car. Well, next time! We ate a little lunch while we were there and then when we started off again, I went soundly to sleep.
Tempus made a wrong turn somewhere. I think I know where it was, but he got mixed up somehow in Lebanon and we ended up in Albany, which is where I woke up again. It was pouring buckets all during that time, which did *not* help! We got turned around right and back onto 20, stopped for burgers in Philomath and just rolled on home.
Well, to the shop, anyway. 🙂 I started unpacking and got the bean pottage going (that I had set up, but not added water or cooked on Saturday). Tempus got a nap since he was heading out for the paper route later. He slept right up until 8pm while I was processing pictures (and yes, I’m adding some to the previous newsletters….) and starting to write the special page about the trip.