“Oh nooooo,” I moaned, slapping a hand to my forehead.
“What?” my sister, Lori, asked, her knuckles bone white against the steering wheel.
“I left my phone on top of the car!”
“Stop it,” she said as we rounded another butt-clenching hairpin turn.
At the last scenic overlook, I had been so distracted by taking pictures and picking up Uncle Jesse’s poop that I’d forgotten to take my phone off the roof, where I’d placed it as I’d loaded the dog back in the car.
Lori pulled over at the next viewpoint, and by the grace of Chipmunk Gods, my rubber phone case had had enough grip that my phone had stayed in place instead of flying into the Crater Lake National Park wilderness.
“Should we check out the lodge?” Lori asked.
I nodded, my heart still racing. She and my niece were visiting me in central Oregon for the week, and we had decided to spend a day and night exploring the iconic landmark.
While they went to the bathroom near the gift shop, I inspected the Crater Lake Park brochure. The next day, I was planning to hike with Uncle Jesse while they went on a non-dog-friendly boat tour.
I was excited to possibly tackle Union Peak, the park’s toughest hike, or at least scale Mount Scott, a 4.4-mile trek with a respectable elevation gain.
I flipped to the brochure’s hiking section and my stomach dropped. Of the 16 listed trails, only three were dog-friendly. Around parking lots. Less than a mile long.
“Looks like I’ll be going to Plan B,” I said to Lori when she got back to the car.
AND I can’t get high?
With an afternoon waterfall hike now out of the question, we decided to continue driving the heart attack-inducing, 33-mile Crater Lake Rim Drive before checking into our motel, 18 miles away.
Whispering Pines Motel was the sort of place where Betsy at the front desk scolds you for even suggesting she send an “e-lectronic mail” confirmation. Betsy handed us our key, attached to a giant log…
Since it was nearing 5 o’clock, we decided to tackle dinner plans.
“Betsy said there’s a place with great pizza at Diamond Lake and we can sit outside with the dog,” Lori said. “She also told us we could come and pick out some movies on VHS. You really need to go look inside the main office, Jul.”
When we got to the pizza place, Uncle Jesse and I manned the lone picnic table in the yard while Lori went inside to order. She soon returned looking triumphant.
“Well, their pizza sauce has meat – which is so weird,” she took a breath and shot me the we’re-from-New-Jersey-and-know-our-pizza look, “but they said they could do refried beans [for you] as the sauce instead.”
“Awesome, thanks,” I replied, my vegan-beggars-can’t-be-choosers hat firmly in place.
Ten minutes later, a large man bounded down the hill holding a giant red can.
“I don’t know what the hell they’re talking about in there!” he grumbled, beginning to read the ingredients on the can. We quickly realized he was the chef. “They’re trying to give you refried beans with lard instead of this tomato sauce. Last I checked vegans don’t eat lard.”
“Wow, good looking out!” I grinned.
I assured him that he was indeed correct and deserved to win whatever episode of Vegan Kitchen Wars I had inadvertently triggered. Forty-five minutes after my sister and niece had finished their meals, my food arrived.
We spent the following hour surgically removing picnic table splinters from our hands…
…and arrived back at the motel in time to enjoy some company right outside our door…
…a refreshing shower…
…and some of that new-fangled telly-vision.
Ah, well. At least Uncle Jesse wasn’t holding a grudge.
Have any fun, roadside motel stories?
13 thoughts on “Take A Hike”
Too funny! But I believe the glorious scenery…. and it really is, wow!…. more than makes up for the less than luxurious accommodations.
I think the best part was discovering nearby Diamond Lake – definitely worth a return trip to discover all of its gems (GROAN, SORRY)!
This is hilarious! Epic Adventures of Jules!
BTW – could Uncle Jesse *be* anymore photogenic? ❤
I think Uncle Jesse was thrilled I wasn’t dragging him up a(nother) mountain.
I have no words. Sarcasm escapes me.
REALLY. Well, this entire experience has officially been rendered worthwhile.
As a standup comic I’ve stayed in a lot of dodgy motels. After the show people will ask where I’m staying, I’ll answer, and they’ll exchange a worried look. I’ve often walked into one of those rooms and thought, ‘So this is where my body will be discovered.’
And then who would get the last laugh?
I was stuck at the beginning of the post for a moment thinking you had an incontinent uncle. But yay…beautiful scenery! And, yuck, to some of the other stuff. We’ve stayed in a few places where I felt the need to sleep in a bio hazard suit.
Ha! One of the best parts of having a dog named Uncle Jesse is shouting, “Don’t poop there, Uncle Jesse!!”
I can name some horror movies like “Roadstop”,etc… but won’t. lol
As far as motels, I had one where I ordered a smoke-free room which definitely smelled of smoke, and, after complaining, was given a giant can of spray for smokey rooms which did very little good except make the smoke smell fruity.