As an advertising representative for the Lake County Examiner, my job often takes me to the northern reaches of our county selling advertising into our various special editions.
It is truly a happy experience. The drive is beautiful, no matter the season and every time I go, I am amazed at the fine people I encounter in my travels and how deeply committed they are to their communities.
In Paisley, a proud business owner is excited for me to see the additions to her business, just in time for the Mosquito Festival.
While dining in Christmas Valley, the owners of a popular eatery sit with me and visit while I eat. They tell me about their business and what’s going on in the community. On my way out, I stop and visit with the folks having coffee al fresco and learn about a new business that just opened.
I visit another business and find that her expansion is complete and she has doubled the size of her store. People come in, visit and browse her extensive selection of items while we chat advertising.
I stop by both markets and each store is filled with people. They all know one another and the sense of small town life resonates as they banter back and forth.
I’ve lived in Lakeview for nearly 13 years and I have always enjoyed the small-town feel and closeness of our community. It’s nice to go north and have that same vibe. I see businesses that are flourishing, new businesses opening up and folks that are happy. The pervasive mood is upbeat. The people that populate the northern part of Lake County take care of their own and support what they have.
If you haven’t driven north in a while, I encourage you to take a day trip. Stop for breakfast or coffee in Paisley, take a leisurely drive to Silver Lake, then stop and visit the quilt shop, perhaps. Swing on in for lunch at Fort Rock, visit the museum then motor on into Christmas Valley. Visit the second hand store, the gift shops and check out the produce stand. Have an afternoon snack or an early dinner and head back down the road. If you have the presence of mind to take a swimsuit, you can take a relaxing dip in the hot springs at Summer Lake on your way home.
It doesn’t matter where you go or what you do while you’re there, you’re going to meet some fine folks that will welcome you and let you be a part of their day.
I’ve been going to these towns and businesses for nearly seven years. The people there have become used to seeing me and I feel welcome wherever I go. I am always struck by the way it reminds me of how I grew up; in a close-knit community where everyone knew everyone and life was just so simple and fine.
–— Julia Ugalde