The first big thing we did might not seem like much, but it was A Very Big Deal to us.
We left our house for more than a day.
Pre-pandemic, we’d been talking about taking some sort of road trip for well over a year, but then the global
Now, the initial challenge was to decide where to go because there are so many choices. Southern Oregon boasts several pristine lakes just a few hours from our town, and there’s also what locals call “The Coast”—at least half a dozen picture-perfect beaches that take around the same amount of time to reach.
Ultimately, we headed to Union Creek Resort, only 73 miles and less than a 90-minute drive away from home, with most of the route well-marked and maintained by the Oregon Department of Transportation.
I only knew about this redwood refuge because my hairdresser recommended it. Indeed, when the Hubster told someone else where we were going, she replied that while she knew it well, the region remains one of this state’s best-kept secrets.
This unincorporated outpost inside the Rogue National Forest is also listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, and just as many of today’s tourists haven’t heard of Union Creek, it was the same in the early 1900s. Back then, these woods and trails were secret stomping grounds for Teddy Roosevelt, John Muir and Jack London.
As terrific as it all sounded, leaving after so many months still made me anxious.
Still, after being pretty much here in our town for over a year—the Hubster accurately says grocery shopping is now his social life—we understood the dire need to both mingle and skedaddle. I also knew that if we postponed, I’d blink and six months would pass.
But calling Union Creek a resort is a misnomer.
There are no luxe spa services, golf courses or restaurants on site or nearby. The main lodge has a smattering of rooms, but mostly there are rustic cabins, some built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s.
Since I was in the mix, we opted for an updated model with a heater; tiny-but-full kitchen and bath, and queen-sized bed. There was still space to lay my yoga mat, and the shower provided plenty of hot water.
It was cold and rainy, but none of that really mattered.
We took a couple of easy hikes, really more like strolls, in the mist.
One remarkable walk was the Natural Bridge, a five-minute drive from our cabin located along the upper reaches of the Rogue River and surrounded by many hundreds of ancient trees. Stately trunks cling to cliffs above rushing water that literally disappears underground into a 250-foot lava tube. Then, all of the water slowly reappears at the surface further down the river.
Like every vacation, there were downsides.
We missed Sadie and Hank, but also knew they were in the hands of a loving and capable dog sitter.
Also, I’m a news junkie, so not having a reliable internet connection was a drag. But we found a good signal a dozen miles away in the town of Prospect, where The Hubster ate what he says was the best hamburger of his life accompanied by perfectly cooked crinkle fries.
Will we go back to Union Creek Resort?
Our reservation has already been made.
Where have you traveled since the pandemic started to wane?
P.S. To see part of our stunning Natural Bridge walk, copy and paste this link to your browser. Turn up the volume, too! https://www.facebook.com/larry.grant.798/videos/4675419789169782