Until about a week ago, I'd never heard of Klamath. It wasn’t until my mom and I started planning our trip to Portland, and I was put in charge of finding somewhere for us to stay the first night, that I found Klamath.
On Monday night, we turned down the gravel road and inched toward the river. We were only a matter of minutes from the 101, but all we could see was water, grass, trees, and clouds. It had been 9 long hours of driving, so when the Gold River Lodge finally rose in front of us, we were thrilled.
James, the caretaker, greeted us in the driveway. His chatty disposition and kind manner made us feel at home the minute we pulled in.
Then he started warning us about the potential flood. He pointed to the second story deck and told us that the water had reached there in 1964.
"But don't worry," James told us, "the water won't get that high in one night. Plus," he added, "We have boats."
Where there is rain, there are rainbows
The downpour didn’t phase us! We unpacked and settled into our new home while the storm grew outside. James handed us a jar of smoked salmon they made at the lodge and offered to give us a tour. Obviously we accepted.
He pointed out a few small cabins he'd built for himself, the owner of the lodge, and the owner's family. "That's our smoker, over there," he pointed across a large puddle to where the smoker was tucked under cover.
"Oh!" My mom exclaimed, "is that where you smoked our salmon?"
"No, we did that on the beach. This is Yurok reservation land and there are a couple of natives that come and smoke the fish for us over there." he gestured casually to the shore of the river and started talking about the RV hookups while my mom and I exchanged amazed looks.
There’s no place like (a temporary) home
After the tour we returned to our cabin. I closed the door and my mom called out, "this is awesome!"
We ran around the house, opened every door, touched every bed, looked behind every corner… until we finally sat on the couch facing the massive picture windows.
It was dark and stormy. The rain was pounding against the glass and the wind howled through the night. I curled up with a mug of tea and for a few minutes I let myself forget about the work I had to do.
As the night wore on, one thing became abundantly clear: Gold River Lodge is the perfect place to escape it all. The Wi-Fi is a little slow and there’s no cell reception, but that only adds to the rustic charm.
My mom and I quickly fell in love with the place and we were sad to leave the next morning. The incredible view, peaceful atmosphere, and friendly caregiver came together to create the perfect wilderness retreat. There was something about the place that made me want to pull an Emerson and live there for a few years. It seems like the kind of place that would inspire me to actually finish my book. . .
The moral of the story
Gold River Lodge was awesome. Supposedly, during the summer, the lawn is full of RVs, laughing families, and leashless dogs (which sounds like a lot of fun), but during the winter it is a tranquil place to find some inner and outer peace.
Whenever you decide to visit, you can find everything you need to know right here: www.goldriverlodge.com