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From Melanie’s Paradise to the Ocean

July 21, 2009

We found exactly what we’d been craving on the 260 acres south of Eugene that Melanie caretakes.  We had peace, mossy cedar groves, a wobbly creek crossing, a fat walnut tree just right for climbing, wandering private road for bike riding and running, and best of all a big pond with gazebo dock for swimming every day or just every few hours. Orange salamanders surface for a quick breath four or five at a time.

Laundry and an outdoor shower (complete with friendly lizards) are at the main house, 10 minutes’ walk up a gravel road past daisies, heal all, shaggy cedars, gnarly pear trees, nettles dripping with seeds.  We were just a peek across a creek from Melanie’s cabin, snug in the woods.  A year ago it was a forgotten, broken-windowed, saggy overgrown given-up cabin, and she talked the owner into allowing her to fix it up and live in it free.   What a bold task to take on for all its daunting decay and blackberry brambles, but now she lives in a little cutie that will remain a welcoming place in our heads for a long time, good food and warm water just across the creek along a wandering path through elegant veronica.  Her horses took to visiting us several times a day, nibbling the chairs and bikes and whatever we had in our hands.   Melanie has worked hard to create a haven back there and her horses love their lives.  We visited with Peggy Sue and Sawyer, found our way to the Eugene Saturday Market, and had a group of her friends over for dinner around a campfire last night.  One guy had a mandolin made with a big fat belly like a lute, and a lot of skill on the guitar, and another gal picked up his Sears and Roebuck Concert-mate keyboard that sounded like a kid’s toy, and somehow coaxed it to make some funky music.  One day Melanie and I went back to the Fair grounds to help a friend pick up his polished steel statues, and to sneak a peek at the empty hobbit-like vendor’s stands, and the laberynthine groves behind them and back through the staff campgrounds.    Other than those few ventures, we remained dedicated to the pond and trees.  Melanie’s back to work today, and we have arrived at the Oregon sand dunes near Florence.  Tomorrow we’ll drive 101 north and stay near Cape Kiwanda, a favorite of ours, then explore the Astoria area.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Shannon Trenkle Longfield permalink
    July 21, 2009 12:41 pm

    Great pics! I was thinking about Mel just yesterday so thanks for the update. I’m enjoying reading about your travels. The end of August we are heading out to look for a piece of property off grid. We are wanting to live a self sustaining life.
    Shannon

  2. July 22, 2009 4:12 pm

    Holt must have been in heaven around those horses. Looks like you really had time to relax. I know the kids are looking forward to the ocean.

  3. brie permalink
    July 23, 2009 8:01 pm

    What a Trip!!!! Must admit my life seems pretty dull and insignificant now!! Have fun for all of us stuck in cities, working and going to school!!!

  4. Ann Hays permalink
    July 29, 2009 3:42 pm

    Hi Cammie, When’s another blog???? Know you are all having a wonderful time!! Ann

  5. Kate permalink
    July 30, 2009 4:16 pm

    Awesome!! Love your updates–feel like we’re right there with you. Kate

  6. Yogi Milsap permalink
    August 5, 2009 6:04 pm

    Hi Cami and fam! I love all the pictures! What a blessed family you all have! Cami, I am wondering if Trent was successful with the conversion tank? I will be keeping up with you all. Have you read the book “The Best Life Money Can’t Buy” yet? Andy Deering and his wife Lisa have a couple of great adventures to share!!!Lots of Love and Happiness from Me to you all!!

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