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Three years ago, we were on track to visit Crater Lake. AirB&Bs booked, maps in hand, suitcases packed. Then a fire started twenty miles away and the wind came up and we discovered what a terrible combination that could be. Plans changed.

But fast forward (and I do mean fast), we’re now RV owners and there was no way I was missing this chance to see Crater Lake, which has been on my Bucket List forever.

Cutting across the middle of Oregon at Eugene, we encountered misty beauty and gorgeous autumn color.

We accessed Crater Lake from the north. The clouds were warning of a change in weather so we didn’t dawdle. Plus, the landscape was very “moonscape” on this side of the mountain.

First stop: The Watchman Overlook

The lack of traffic this time of year made stopping and parking relatively simple. But the breeze reminded us that winter is on its way. 

We stopped at the visitor center for our requisite “I was here” sticker and paused to read about how Crater Lake was formed. I’m sorry the photo isn’t clearer, but the lake’s history is pretty interesting. At one point, a 12,000’ volcano stood in its place, then a major eruption 7,700 years ago caused it to collapse inward. Crater Lake is entirely fed by rain and snow, and its deepest point is 1,943’. 

We didn’t stay to explore more because the sun was setting and we still had to find a place to stay for the night. Thanks to our RVParky app, we discovered Waterwheel RV Park just north of Klamath Falls. It’s a great spot on the Williamson River and we plan to visit again when we can stay longer and try fishing. Unfortunately, we didn’t check the weather before we turned in and awoke to a frozen water line. Eek! 😉 

We made the trek home in nine hours. Tired and a little stressed from the California traffic, but also delighted with our great memories and rested from six days of not working. They say that’s what retirement is supposed to be, but try telling that to my hubby. 😉 Besides, we still have a remodel to finish. (Updates next week.) 

The Second To Last snippet from our CUPID TO THE RESCUE anthology is from the pen…okay, computer keyboard…of my dear friend, Linda Barrett. Linda and I were brand new Harlequin authors together. We met and bonded at RWA DC way back in BG (before grandchildren).

National bestselling author, Linda Barrett, has published over twenty romance novels, several titles of women’s fiction and one memoir about surviving breast cancer twice. She has won industry awards for her books through Romance Writers of America. Reviewers have called her books “unforgettable” while readers say her work is “unbelievably marvelous” and “beautiful.” Linda and her husband reside in the greater Tampa, Florida area. She has three grown sons, fantastic daughters-in-law and the most fabulous grandchildren ever!

You can find out more about Linda and her books at: www.linda-Barrett.com

Linda’s contribution to the anthology is: HER ROADSIDE RESCUES.

On his way to Sea View House, Brandon Bigelow hadn’t counted on hitting a tree to avoid hitting a dog during a winter storm. He hadn’t counted on meeting a petite dynamo who insists he adopt the dog. Farewell to a peaceful life at the beach!


Her Roadside Rescues © Linda Barrett


       Halfway to Pilgrim Cove, Kathy struggled to see through the onslaught of rain hammering on her windshield. The darkening sky in Boston had been the prelude to a true winter storm.
       “Dang, Sheba. Those drops are turning into pellets of ice. Should have waited until tomorrow.” She tapped the brakes, took a deep breath, and focused ahead. Sleet could turn the roads into slippery runways with little traction for her snow tires, good ones her dad had insisted she buy. She’d taken his advice—it was easier than arguing—and now was glad she had. But if the temperature continued to drop, the freezing rain would turn into solid ice.
       “And we’ll all be like bumper cars in an amusement park,” she muttered, “slamming each other all over the place, snow tires or not.”
       The SUV in front of her had set a slow, steady pace, and Kathy adjusted her speed to match. So far, so good. In the rearview mirror, dim headlights shone through the sleet. Just stay back. Ten minutes passed, then twenty. The SUV continued to maintain the same speed even when the sleet changed again to rain.
       “Rain’s better than ice, Sheba, but I’m going to stay behind that SUV as long as it’s going our way.”
       A whine came from the back seat as soon as the dog heard her name. Her grandmother’s precious companion was tethered securely with a harness attached to the seat belt. Kathy could see the top of her blond head in the mirror.
       A rotary ahead sign appeared. “I think we’re getting closer, Sheb.” Kathy reduced her slow speed further, easing the car into a gentle turn, and followed the circle around to the opposite side of the rotary before exiting. A straight path lay ahead, which, according to a dimly lit road sign, led to a bridge and Pilgrim Cove.
       “I did my research, Sheb, and three miles after the bridge is all we have.” She almost let herself relax. Almost. A native of New England winters, however, she knew better than to let her guard down when the prize was in sight.
       “A quick visit to Bart Quinn for the keys, and we’ll be cozy in our new place before we know it.” Chatter, chatter. A real chatty Kathy. Not her normal habit. She grasped the wheel more tightly and spotted another road sign.
       Welcome to Pilgrim Cove. Population: Winter—5000. Summer—Lots Higher.
       “Well, someone has a sense of… Oh, oh…!” From the corner of her eye, she saw movement—maybe a dog or a cat—limping from the berm onto the road. The brake lights of the SUV blazed on. The car skidded and fishtailed left, right, and around, stopping only when it hit a tree on the right-side road edge, beyond the animal. Kathy tapped her brakes several times, kept control of the car, and pulled up in front of the damaged vehicle.
       “Stay there, Sheba. I’ll be right back.” She opened her door and almost lost her breath in the cold air. The driver she’d happily followed for the last hour, confident that he or she knew what they were doing behind the wheel, had opened the driver-side door. Definitely a he with work boots and jeans. She ignored him, however, and raced to the injured animal. A whimpering, shaking black-and-white mix who favored his front right paw.
       She squatted to the ground. “Oh, you poor thing.” All the admonitions about not approaching strange dogs fled her mind, and she stretched out her arm toward the injured pup. “Come on, sweet boy.”
       A deep voice came from above and behind her. “No, I’m not hurt, but thanks for asking. My car’s a mess.”
       “Just look at this poor pup,” she replied. With not a glance at the man, Kathy focused on the dog and spoke softly. “Come on, sweetheart. You can trust me.”
       The mutt stood still and cocked his head. One ear came up. Kathy continued to coo and reach out. Slowly, the dog limped to her and she scooped him up. “You’ll get warm in the car, fella. And that guy over there will have to get you to a vet.”
       The guy was on his cell phone. She walked over and parked herself next to him. No hat, dark hair blowing around. A frown marred his forehead. He definitely did not look happy.
       “Cavelli’s Garage, right?” He checked a paper he held. “Good. This is Brandon Bigelow, Ralph’s nephew. We met at the diner. Yeah. I’m here now. But I seem to have had a run-in with a tree right outside town, near the neck.”
       He paused to listen, then studied his vehicle. “Yes, you’ll need a tow truck. Thanks. I’ll wait for you.” He disconnected.
       “No!” protested Kathy. “Call them back. You need to go to a vet. I’ll give you a ride.”
       His wide-eyed expression said it all. He thought she was crazy. “Number one, this is not my dog and his care is not my problem. In fact, he caused me problems. Number two, I have to wait for the tow. And number three, why were you following me for an hour?”
       “It’s too cold to talk outside. I’ll wait in my car until your tow comes, and then we’ll go to the vet.” Her heart pounded. Arguing with strangers was a lot harder than arguing with her brothers.
       “You haven’t been listening, sweetheart. This dog is not my resp—”
       “Oh, yes he is,” she interrupted. “You saved his life, and now he’s yours—at least temporarily. You’re responsible.”
       “And this is why I choose to work alone, live alone, and not get involved. It’s better that way.” With that, he turned and opened the door of his SUV.
       “Well, sweetheart,” she mimicked, “You’re involved now. I’ll be waiting to take you and poochie to the animal doctor. In the meantime, you can figure out where the vet’s located.” She leaned toward the rescue. “C’mon, buddy. Let’s get you warm. Sheba will love hanging out with you for a while.”


Boom! I love it. I know you will, too. Especially since it takes us back to Linda’s iconic setting “Pilgrim Cove.” I can’t wait for January 5th and my preorder to arrive. Remember, your preorder price is only 99¢.

Pre-order CUPID TO THE RESCUE here!

Last week's Q&A was: How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? (Asking for a friend…um, me, who turns another year older this week. 😉)

This one made me smile. I like to think I’m younger than my actual age, but recently I’ve found myself slowing down, which is probably my body’s way of reminding me I’m not as young as I think.

My two randomly selected winners this week are:

Sandi Gaylor
Joy Isley

(Sandi and Joy congrats. Please email me your pick of either a $5 Starbucks or a $5 Amazon gift card.)


This week’s Q&AAre you a night owl? Yes or No.

(Two winners will be chosen by random drawing to receive either a $5 Starbucks gift card or a $5 Amazon gift card. Please reply the usual ways:
email or on my DebraSalonenAuthor Facebook page.)

Take care and stay well, my friends,


Next week: Remodel update, a super cool holiday recipe + Snippet #8 – MINE – from Cupid to the Rescue.

Debra Salonen's Book List

Montana Blueprint for Love
Meet Me in Montana
All the Stars in Montana

Her Forever Cowboy
Never Say Never
Caleb's Christmas Wish
A Baby After All
Love, After All
That Cowboy's Forever Family
Forever and Ever, by George

Prince Charming Undercover
The Daddy Gamble
Risky Baby Business
A Match Made in Vegas

Montana Secret Santa
Sweet Summer's Kiss

Black Hills Baby
Black Hills Billionaire
Black Hills Bad Boy
Black Hills Bachelor
Black Hills Native Son
Black Hills Outcast
Black Hills White Knight
Black Hills Rancher
Black Hills Stranger
Black Hills Legacy

Montana Cowgirl
Montana Cowboy
Montana Darling
Montana Maverick
Montana Gift
Montana Miracle

Her Hero to Love
Her Rogue to Tame
Her Rebel to Kiss



Copyright © 2020 Debra Salonen