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Did You Say Monster?

Lost Lake

We've spent three days at the family cabin on the Salmon River and now my sister’s husband James & I have decided to take their wee son Nate on an adventure to Lost Lake via the short-cut Lo Lo Pass road across the western apron of Mt. Hood. The road is fine, two-lane asphalt for several miles, narrows to one, then gravel, which soon deteriorates into a pothole pitted challenge. Mt. Hood in all her glory looms in the near distance with vine maple smattering the clear-cut power-line corridor with stanchions that look like giant robot erector-set monsters lurching over the hill.

It is not recommended to mention this in front of children as they are certain to hear the comment however discreetly one says it and however far away they may be strapped into their car seat in back. You can be certain they will keep asking "Monster? Did aunt Jane see a monster?"

Monsters behind us, we arrive at Lost Lake early enough on a Sunday afternoon to secure a picnic spot. Each picnic area secluded in fir and alder has a table, open grill, and its own private sandy mini-beach.

We make ourselves at home on the beach digging holes and making roads with toy backhoes and dump trucks for toy emergency vehicles to speed along. I could do this for hours as it was one of my favorite childhood pastimes with my brother, but James is ready to rent a boat and get out on the water. This, too, is a fine thing to do. All the canoes are taken and we settle on a paddleboat, which is just the thing, as Nate can be the "Captain" sitting safely between us. Of course, being "Captain" means Nate is in charge of steering so we swirl in circles until one of us adults decides we actually have to head somewhere, like the shore.

We paddle, stare at Mt. Hood looming over the lake, eat lunch and basically wear ourselves out. Eight hours later as Nate is being tucked into bed, there is the question: “Did aunt Jane see a monster?”

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