July 2013 Oregon High Desert Trip
In late July 2013, after several delays we were finally able to get away for a short vacation trip. The following pictures were taken along the way. I will label the pictures and explain where they are and note anything I think might be of interest.
As I said before, this trip has been delayed several times, and again almost didn't happen. Our dear puppy is 13+ years old and we just found out the day before we were leaving that she has congestive heart-failure. She was put on a diuretic to help remove the fluid from her lungs and heart. Which all sounds great, but all of a sudden we have a dog who has to pee all the time and we are on the road traveling...not our brightest move. But, we really needed this trip!!! So, it took us ***forever*** to get from north central Washington State to northern Oregon. This first picture is at a "dog potty stop" at Portland Women's Forum rest area at Corbett, OR...looking east up the Columbia river just before sunset. It's a little hazy, but this is always an impressive view (Vista House at Crown Point is the structure you see):
The next day, we left the Portland, OR area driving over the Cascade Mountains via The Cascade Skyline Road and McKenzie Pass.
This pass is only open in the summer, is really crooked and not suitable for RV's or trailers...but the scenery is spectacular.
Our first (non dog-potty) stop was at Sahale Falls on the McKenzie River. Being both Oregon natives, DH & I were surprised to find this gem! This series of 3 waterfalls is right off the highway, very accessible, and beautiful. The weather was very warm (even at that elevation) so the cooler temps around the waterfalls were much appreciation.
This is the upper waterfalls:
Then there is what is called a second falls, but I would consider it more of a cascading series of little falls:
Oops, I guess this was bigger than I thought!
And then this to follow it up:
And then a pretty little section:
And finally, and second major waterfall:
Another place we stopped for a short walk had some beautiful, huge old-growth tree. It was really a joy for us as you do not see trees this size often anymore.
DH volunteered to stand in front of this one so you cold get an idea of the size:
Here is a glimpse of Mt. Jefferson (one volcano) from Cascade Skyline Road:
And now we are in the McKenzie Lava Flow area:
It takes a very long time for vegetation to start growing in all that lava. (It's not the same as the pumice dust that was left everywhere by Mt. St.Helens.)
This is Belknap Crater. Note the cinder cone to the right...with the reddish rock. You might notice that there are a fair amount of trees that have grown on the side of Belknap Crater; however, a forest fire went through this area and destroyed most of them. It will probably take a hundred years or so before the remaining trees will be able to re-seed this area.
This next picture is of the North Sister (volcano) and the Middle Sister (volcano). (The South Sister is just barely visible between the two.) The dead tree snags here are probably trees that just could not survive the extremes of very cold winters and very hot and dry summers in these lava bed areas. There has been a lot of beetle kill of evergreen trees in the northwest in recent years, but I doubt that it caused these.
Isn't this a beautiful old snag? (Look at the texture from all those years of wind, ice, and rain. And the birds...)
And this is Mt. Washington (another volcano):
Here's a better picture of Mt. Jefferson (from the east side):
Here is a picture of an interpretive sign about the volcanoes visible from the Dee Wright Observatory:
(I hope you can read this if you detail in!)
This is a picture of all three Sisters: (South (L), Middle and North (R)...from just south of Sisters, Oregon:
On our way North toward home in Washington, we took the scenic tour through the backroads of central Oregon's high country. Shaniko is about the closest you will ever come to a ghost-town in Oregon:
How about a "paddy wagon"?
And the "Fire Station, Art Gallery, Gift Shop" All-in-One:
And don't forget the necessities:
And finally, here is a picture of me and Tasha (our 13+ fur-baby):