Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Mystery Stop

After Bend, Oregon, I had planned on going to Pacific Beach State Park in Washington.  But the park was full the first night, so I stayed about halfway between the 2 places.  Since I got to Kelso, WA so early I decided to drive about an hour to visit one of our national parks.


Anyone care to guess???



Well, this picture was taken at Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument from the Johnston Ridge Observatory.  The view from the observatory was supposed to be spectacular – well of course when I was there all you could see was fog.  I did see the movie and took a short hike in the fog. 

I think I’ll come back in a few weeks!

Bend, Oregon – Part 2

I went to 2 different Rock and Gem shows while in the area.   I enjoys looking at the rocks from the area and also from all over the world.  I did buy a pendant!

Cascade Highway is one of Oregon’s scenic by-ways.  It was a great drive.  Good hikes and scenery.

There are several lakes in the area.  Some with hiking trails around them.  One of these was Spark’s lake -


Another was devil’s lake, which was an interesting green lake -

One area that I enjoyed was around Camp Sherman.  The river there is the Metolius.  The picture below was taken at the head of the river, which comes from a spring. 

The wildflowers were blooming here also.  Above is a lily just beside the river. 

On one of the rivers was a huge fish hatchery.  It’s hard to tell, but the picture below has thousands of tiny fish.

I had thought that I was going to drive to John Day national monument and camp there for a few days, but someone suggested I go for a day visit to see if I really needed more than one day.  I probably could have done 2 days, but decided my one trip was enough.  John Day has 3 different areas.  They are known for their painted sand, rock formations and fossils. 

The greenish/grey color of the water is because of the rocks in the area. 

I also went to the Dee Wright Observatory on one of the scenic byways.  The observatory was built from the local lava.

While hiking this trail I wondered how they cleared the lava to make it.

Bend, Oregon – Part 1

I ended up spending 2.5 weeks in Bend, Oregon.  There is a lot to do in the area.  In fact I have so many pictures I am going to do this in 2 posts.

I went to Newberry National Volcanic Monument a couple of times.   The picture below is Lava Butte.  You can drive or hike up the butte.  Of course I took the easy way and drove up and then did a small hike up top.

Something a bit different was the lave cast forest.  Its basically more lava, with some “cast” or “molds” of some of the trees that were there when the lava flowed through.

I was excited to go to the Obsidian flow trail.  I was looking forward to seeing the obsidian.  It didn’t take long to see some of it.

I have to admit that I wasn’t quite prepared for what I found on this hike.  I think the weather was in the low 60’s when I hiked, but I keep forgetting that at higher elevations they have something I’m not used to -

Yes, that’s me in my hiking sandals in the snow.  The first patch was probably only about 10 feet long, so I carefully walked across it – it was cold.  Then around the corner there was much more.  I turned around! 

One of the local state parks was Smith Rock.  This was a neat park, where I did a small hike.  The scenery was great.

Where I stayed was closer to Sisters, Oregon, but had an address of Bend.  There were 3 “sisters” mountains  (I also found out that there was at least one brother, husband and I think either mother or wife)


Above is 2 of the sisters (with a lave field in front of it), I’m not sure which one – I think Middle Sister and North Sister.  Below is a picture taken when the clouds appear to be blanketing one of the sisters.

One day, I took a long drive to Crater Lake national park.

As you can see there was still snow around.  In fact only half of the road around the lake was open. 

There are several scenic byways in the area.  The McKenzie Pass-Santial Pass Scenic byway just opened at the end of my trip.  I took several hikes in this area.  The picture below is of Proxy falls, to get there you hiked through a lava field.

Some of the wildflowers were blooming when I went. I saw an orchid that I later identified as a Mertens’ coralroot orchid.  It’s not a showy orchid, but just finding and identifying it was fun!

Sahalie Falls is another falls in the area.  It’s not far from the road, as is  Koosah falls, but there is a trail that is between the 2 that I took.  The river was beautiful in this area. 

Sahalie -

Koosah -

Continued in part 2---

Redwoods National Park

Yes, I know it’s been a while since I blogged.  Part of the reason is that my next stop was the Redwoods National Park and I don’t like any of the pictures that I took!!  I wasn’t originally planning on coming down to Northern California, but after my day trip to the Redwoods from Brookings I knew I wanted to spend more time in the area. 

The trees were fantastic, I have never seen anything like this!  I don’t know the man in the picture below, just a fellow photographer.  But with him in the picture you can tell how huge the tree is.

I went on several hikes in this area.  My favorite was Boy Scout Trail.  Lots of huge redwoods, ferns and at the end of the trail was a small waterfall. 

In addition to the redwoods, there were some great coastal scenery around.  The picture below was taken as the morning fog or marine layer was clearing up. 

I tried many times to take a picture that really shows how tall these trees are, but none came out like I hoped. 

Not only were the trees huge, but the ferns were huge.  I’m guessing some were 5 feet tall.

next stop – Bend, Oregon