Green Lakes Hike

Today the weather improved and we wanted to do a nice long hike. We drove south to Bend and took the Cascades Lakes HWY 26 miles past Mt Bachelor to the trailhead for the Green Lakes Trail, an 8.4 mile round trip hike. We started up the trail around 11:30 am, it was a gradual climb, a 1,100 feet elevation gain, through beautiful large firs, cedars and hemlocks alongside a rushing waterfall-laden creek. After two miles on the path up Fall Creek we crossed over two single-log bridges with no railing to hold onto for support. No fear, we both made it across safely. Then we came to a strangely idyllic canyon walled by an enormous lava flow, and the higher up the trail we went we found snow, not too deep that we couldn’t get through it or around it. We finally reached the snow covered alpine basin of the Green Lakes, still mostly frozen, with spectacular views of the South Sister and Broken Top Mountains at opposite ends of the lake. Continue reading

Painted Hills State Park, Oregon

T’S MY BIRTHDAY!! The day started with presents, cards and phone calls with my kids. So grateful for my wonderful family! Then it was off to Painted Hills State Park which is a 2 hour drive from our Park. The guide book said “GO……this is an Oregon must see!” First we walked up the Painted Hills Overlook Trail for wonderful views of the colorful hills, the yellows, golds, reds and the fabulous black streaking stood out in the changing light of the day. Then to the Painted Cove Nature Trail with a board walk amongst the red, orange, yellow and lavender hills. Yes, the lavender-gray layer is ” highly weathered remains of a rhyolite lava flow”, and is about 40 million years old. The only problem is that nothing grows on these hills, they are inhospitable to plants, but the colors are so brilliant that it makes up for the lack of trees and plants. However, we did see many beautiful wild flowers on the walks to the hills. Our last stop was a walk around the Red Hill and an intimate view of a vibrantly painted hill. Continue reading

Tam Mac Arthur Trail and Tumalo Falls, Oregon

We drove to Sisters this morning to hike the Tam McArthur Rim Trail located just outside of the town off of Elm Street in The Sisters Wilderness. The Trail started from Three Creek Lake at 6,550 feet elevation, it was a winding switch back single track trail to begin but the views were well worth the hike the higher we went. However, the snow was still present on the trail and we struggled to keep going. The Rim is at 8,000 feet and usually the snow does not melt until Aug so we were a little early and were not going to make it to the top. The views of Three Creek Lake, Mt Jefferson and Broken Top were beautiful as the weather was crystal clear. After enjoying the views we headed back to the Jeep and went to see Tumalo Falls, near Bend. Continue reading

Sahalie Falls, Oregon

It’s a beautiful sunny day for a drive, we wanted to go over the McKenzie Pass on Rte 242, but the road was still closed. So we decided to go off the paved roads and take FS 1028 to the Skylight Cave. After some searching we finally found it only to realize that we need lights and warmer clothes to go down inside. We were in the middle of nowhere, so we were surprised when the Sheriff pulled up and got out of his truck to come over to question us. We had done nothing wrong but he was not very friendly at first, we kept talking and he gradually softened and told us about some 4-wheel drive roads that we could drive to. We drove over the Old Santiam Wagon Road, a red cinder roads through mostly burnt out forest until we came upon a sign pointing to the Pacific Crest Trail, could it be on our Bucket List! Had to take a photo and then headed on our way to Big Lake, where Bob captured a fantastic reflection of Mt Washington in the distance. Continue reading

Smith Rock State Park, Oregon

On the road again driving through the beautiful countryside of central Oregon to Bend/Sisters Garden RV Resort, about 4 miles south of Sisters, Oregon and north of Bend. It is one of the most beautiful parks we have stayed with huge pine trees, paved pads, green grass between the sites and a pond with a fountain flowing all day. We are putting the jacks down for almost two weeks to enjoy the magnificent scenery surrounding this area.

On Tuesday morning we started the day by going to the Sisters Coffee Company, it began in 1989, when the owners converted an old log cabin into a coffee roasting business. In 2005 they built a new log cabin, ten times the size of the original, and this is where we came for our morning drinks. As we were sitting reading and listening to the pianist, we started a conversation with him, Jeff Barbour and soon his wife, Vanessa Ruddy, joined in and we chatted for along time. We left and went to Bend to grocery shop for our stay here, and planned on meeting them tomorrow for lunch. Continue reading

Vale, Oregon – The Oregon Trail Murals

Today we drove RSherpa to Vale Oregon, located about 12 miles west of the Idaho border, on the Malheur River. We stayed at the Vale Trails RV Park for two nights. The community was the first stop in Oregon along the Oregon Trail, and was incorporated in 1889 as the Town of Vale. There are 25 colorful murals throughout the City depicting Vale’s history on the Oregon Trail painted on the walls of various buildings. There are also four metal murals placed outside the city limits welcoming visitors to Vale. The murals were started in November,1992, by individuals trying to revitalize Vale’s economy through tourism. We spent Sunday afternoon driving/walking the totally deserted streets of Vale, enjoying Vale’s Outdoor Art Gallery all by ourselves. Continue reading

Oregon Coast-Yachats Oregon

May 26th, Monday, we left Trinidad to drive north along the Oregon Coast. The South Coast is mountainous and much of the coastline is made up of sea cliffs and miles of beaches. We drove along Hwy 101 which is known for its scenic overlooks of the Pacific Ocean and from the window of our coach we had a panoramic view of the coastline. We passed through Coos Bay, it is the largest city on the Oregon Coast with a population of 16,000. North of Coos Bay we saw the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area with several all-terrain vehicles riding the dunes. Driving along Hwy 101 we entered the city of Florence crossing over the Siuslaw River Bridge. It is a bascule bridge, the total length is 1,568 feet, it opened in 1936 and was added to the National Register of Historical Places in 2005. Six hours after leaving Trinidad we were almost to our destination when we drove right past it on the winding narrow coastal highway without a place to turn around we kept going to Yachats, not too far up the highway. We turned around, not something Bob is thrilled about doing, and headed south again to the Sea Perch RV Resort, located on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. We have to learn never to trust the GPS coordinates, we have been fooled a few times. Continue reading