Day 1: Caldera
Driving through the high desert with mountains beckoning to me on all sides with their ominous presence and stark white peaks I made my way to Bend. Greeted by Kathy in her bright red pick-up we drove away from civilization while she was naming the upwards of five massive mountain peaks surrounding us. Away our wheels spun from the constraints of urban society, past quaint wooded towns and deeper into the forest… the Deschutes National Forest to be exact.
Caldera’s website doesn’t do it justice. The photos cannot capture the space, environment and energy that is here. My cabin is set back from Blue Lake, a 300ft. deep lake formed by a crater. Outside I hear the churning of a water wheel that also houses a fish ladder for the spawning scaled swimmers. The view out my front window is scattered with pine needles, deeply grooved and stoic coniferous trees, sun glinting off the lake and the sharp peak of Mt. Washington piercing the sky. The Hearth Building is the pulse of Caldera with a massive main area that a dancer is using as his studio. The fireplace is a slab of stone or slate that 10 people can stand in comfortably and 2-story windows surround the space, letting the light stream in. Adjacent to this stunning room is a library upon first glance that resembles a posh ski lodge with fireplace, couches, window seats, a massive oak table and even a chess set flanked by shelves and shelves of books.
Fairly overwhelmed at the prospect of this 120-acre parcel of inspiration I unpacked my perishables and caught the last couple of hours of sun, cozied behind the boat house with my book, my journal and what will probably be one of many lizards scurrying among the deck beams. I fall asleep in the warm sunrays without a person in sight to notice my slumber.