This picture was taken of Caroline Locke Wegelin in the parking lot of Sahalie and Koosah Falls on the Clear Lake Cutoff, near McKenzie Pass, Lane County, Oregon, on 19 August 2005. This was the last trip Caroline took outside Eugene. She rode to Sisters, Oregon and back, stopping at the Dee Wright Observatory on the way over, at a restaurant in Sisters for lunch, and at Sahalie and Koosah Falls on the way back. Virginia (Ginny) Bingham, Perry (Jack) Powers, Donna Esauk, and her son Jake accompanied her.
Her son, the driver, got sleepy on the way back and had to take a nap in the van. Everyone else, including Caroline, got out and walked down the trail to see the Falls. This picture was taken as Caroline prepared to get back into the van.
The next day after this trip, Donna Esauk noticed that Caroline had lost four pounds in the previous week, and Caroline's appetite plummeted. The next day she became violently ill and threw up her dinner. We now know that this was because she had a large cancer in her abdomen. But for days we thought she might have simply been worn out by the trip. Usually she would get drowsy in the middle of the day and take a nap on her sofa; but on this trip she stayed awake for the entire day, not drowsing off once, not even while we drove, and she ate a hearty meal (a hamburger with potatoes) at the restaurant in Sisters and had no apparent difficulty digesting it.
At first we thought her sickness was just a case of "stomach flu." Several days later, when she had taken a trip to the emergency room, gotten rehydrated by an IV, and had her blood tested (no sign of anything wrong in her blood work), I (Jake) suggested that the trip might have simply worn her out. She replied that the trip had been "just a heavenly thing. ... In my mind it's impossible to think that such a lovely trip had ill effects on anyone. It's the kind of thing that gives you tremendous force and happiness." She added that she could not imagine that such an experience would "make you sick or tired or anything like that."