The Art of Doing Nothing

summerlakebasinStory by RENEE PATRICK

The disappearing distance between crocuses appearing in gardens and the snow that kills them drove me from Bend to seek the consistent sun of Summer Lake recently.   

With my hardy little Honda Fit loaded with skis, kites and pack raft; books, games and ipad, my boyfriend Kirk and I were ready for any adventure that crossed our paths.  

What we found instead of adventure, was a lesson in the art of doing nothing. Oh we were determined! We drove up forest service roads until the mud or snow forced us to envision sinking tires ten miles from the nearest paved road. We passed dry lake beds while staring longingly at my unused pack raft. We sat at the air strip a few miles from Paisley waiting for wind to practice our kite boarding; the limp air sock merely hung in the still brilliance.  

And while we didn’t get the chance to stretch our legs while skiing down the open slopes of Winter Ridge, the snow lightly dusted a landscape that set my priorities in order: to be. To just be. The basin of Summer Lake is so impressive, I found the best adventure was sitting in my lawn chair while waiting for the wind to blow, sitting in Summer Lake Hot Springs listening to the overhead whistle of bird’s wings, sitting in front of our rented cabin watching a cowboy herding his cows down the highway. Summer Lake is the kind of place where you can find stillness. The sky is bigger, the air warmer and schedules just don’t matter any more.

view from winter ridge

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