We spent a relaxing long weekend up at Odell Lake Lodge, my husband skiing at Willamette Pass, me toasting myself in front of the lodge fireplace. As always, Odell came through for us: we drove up on dry pavement, it snowed the second day, there was perfect powder the third day, and the sun came out for a glorious finale and dry pavement to drive home. I sketched this view from the back corner of the dining room on Saturday morning, racing the clouds to get the mountain outlined before it disappeared for two days. A storm was blowing in, and the only thing that really didn’t change as I worked was the rock in the foreground. Everything else tossed in the wind or foamed in the current, and a few hours later the landscape became a study in white and grey, very different from the early spring feel of this sketch.
Once I finished this one, I moved into the fireplace lobby, where I had fun sharing my pencils and paper with several children who were in between snowball fights, skiing, and games of CandyLand. My new surrogate grandchildren, Kyle, Anya, and Ryan, were eager students. Kyle at age 12 was reticent to share his drawings, Ryan at age 4 made all of his into paper airplanes and flew them on suicide missions into the fireplace, but 7-year old Anya carefully crafted this detailed sketch and left it for me of the elk’s head mounted over the mantelpiece:
Well done, Anya! It was a much-needed dose of winter quiet, of simply watching sparkling snow, swaying trees, endless waves on a wide expanse of water. Odell Lake Lodge is a hidden 1920’s vintage gem in the Willamette National Forest, only two hours away on a good day from Corvallis. I’ve been visiting Odell since I was a child. There are cabins for those who want to have a family outing – nothing fancy, but a kitchen for making spaghetti or brownies – or simple lodge rooms and a lovely dining room for those who prefer to enjoy someone else’s cooking. You can rent snowshoes or cross country skis if you have knees that still function, grab a beer from the cooler or a red licorice rope from the jar, or just sit by the fire. Otters play (and poop) on the docks, eagles swoop at the edges of the lake, and by Sunday afternoon I felt like a queen with the whole place literally to myself – except of course for the concierge and the chef, who kept the fire crackling, brought me more chardonnay, and made extra-crispy bacon for my BLT croissant with avocado.
Summers are busier at Odell, with their own appeal – but it’s not summer, and our taste of winter was idyllic. Thanks, Odell!