Following Fall

We were in a long, early fall — leaving northern Washington and now northern Oregon at what felt like the same time, though weeks apart.

From the truck windows we followed the golden leaves along the route southward. Here a herd of alpacas plays and grazes in the fall foliage.

Across the hillsides, we could see the smoke from distance fires — houses burning wood to fend off the autumn chill.

We’d delayed our trip south by a day to let a big storm pass — one of several coastal weather fronts that sent us south along main interstates rather than along the coast as we’d planned. Oh, well — there’s always next time, right?

The Timber Valley SKP park was a beautiful spot to wait out the California storms raging to the south. We were greeted immediately by several of the deer that roam through the area.

The rules of the park are clear: no feeding the animals. And the deer weren’t the only critters roaming the land:

Sutherlin, Oregon, is a small town where we spent some time in Books Gallery, chatting with the mother of one of the owners, who was minding shop while to give them a little time off. The selection of books was excellent and the coffee and pastries delicious!

Thanks to her recommendation, we scooted south to the Lighthouse Center Bakery, located in the one building that comprises the business district of Umpqua, Oregon. A sign outside pointed to this same building for the Community Center, but where exactly within the building it is isn’t clear. Perhaps the bakery — which is also a cafe and health foods grocery — quadruples as the place for town meetings.

With just a couple of houses in the vicinity, this tiny community is an ideal place for someone who truly wants to get away from it all!

But with chilly temps closing in, and the weather ahead clear for the time being, it was soon time to move on to another autumn in another state.


About Ellen

Fiction writer and photographer, I travel the country with my sweetheart of a husband as a "full-time RVer."
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