Cascade Lakes Weekend & ‘Tour de Craft’/Week 2 (18-30)

We love hiking in the Three Sisters Wilderness area just west of Bend, Oregon, and so planned a weekend of hikes. Our daughter wanted to join Dan to hike to the top of South Sister, and one of our sons decided to join them at the last minute. Dan and I drove out Wednesday evening. The ‘kids’ joined us Thursday evening, then returned home after the Friday hike. It was hot everywhere, but we had some beautiful hikes through summer meadows.

Screen Shot 2018-07-22 at 10.01.39 PM


A weekend of GPS tracks.

Green Lakes    Thursday 7/19/2018  (Hike#42)

My choice for Thursday was to hike into the Green Lakes basin between South Sister and Broken Top. It is a lovely hike along Fall Creek. The first two miles are through partially shady forest, with numerous waterfalls and cataracts to look down upon.

Eventually South Sister comes into view above the trees.

DSC06725

DSC06726

South Sister; true summit behind Hodge Crest.

The upper trail is bound to the west by a wall-like volcanic flow studded with large chunks of shiny obsidian that glint in the sunlight.

DSC06734

After two switchbacks, the remainder of the trail is lined with blooming alpine riparian plants – so pleasant to walk along that I was able to ignore the sun and the gradual climb.

Once into the Green Lakes Basin, the looming Broken Top and a view of the Hodge Crest of South Sister, as well as a peek at the top of Middle Sister to the north, surround the stunning very cold Green Lakes.

DSC06755

Broken Top beyond the southernmost Green Lake

DSC06760

South Sister

DSC06763

Just the top of Middle Sister on the right skyline

We rested in the shade for a while, first with a view of Broken Top,

DSC06770

Lunch view of Broken Top

DSC06772

Zooming in…

then with a view of South Sister. From this viewpoint we can only see the Hodge Crest, which is about 300 feet lower than the true summit.

DSC06784

South Sister

DSC06786

Zooming in

DSC06787

Zooming in more

DSC06799

Artsy view with tree roots

The meadow flowers that grow on the moraine-like surface of the Green Lakes basin showed me a couple of new flowers I hadn’t seen before.

So many flowers in the meadows:

And, for the first time, I spotted a floating rock (pumice) in the wild. We used to float pumice in Intro Geology labs many years ago. Of course it must be a common occurrence in this volcanic landscape where the surface is speckled with pumice stones, but this was a first sighting for me.

DSC06809

Floating pumice in Green Lake, Broken Top beyond.

DSC06802

Floating pumice rock

Critters: We saw a frog in one of the creeks, and Dan was photobombed by a butterfly he was trying to photograph:

DSC06826

frog

DSC06857

butterfly

We retraced our steps back to the trailhead. The total for the day, 9.2 miles/1200 feet was the longest I have hiked this spring. The elevation rise on this hike is very gradual, so I found I could manage. I am glad my body cooperated today after the fail last week. It was not quite as hot here, and there was a breeze that helped.

Spa Day/Dan and Brian climb South Sister 7/20/2018

Two of our children accompanied Dan up the grueling trail (5000 feet/12miles round trip) to the top of South Sister (elevation 10,358′). I hiked part of this trail in 2015 – about 4000 feet and ten miles of it. I got to the point where I was looking over at the top of Lewis Glacier, about 1000 feet below the summit.

DSC05836

2015 – My view from my turnaround point, 1000 feet below the summit of South Sister

DSC05823

2015 – Lewis Glacier on South Sister and view to Green Lakes basin below Broken Top

DSC05824

2015- Zoomed in view to Green Lakes, where we hiked yesterday.

Emily went about half way up today, but her running injury to her calf caused her to turn back, and so I got to spend part of my down time at the hotel with her. The guys made at the top:

IMG_0865

Brian and Dan on the top of South Sister, 7/20/2018. Middle and North Sisters to the immediate north. Beyond are several Cascade Peaks: Mts Washington, Jefferson, Hood and Adams

Todd and Sparks Lakes 7/21/2018  (Hike#43)  

Today we took two leisurely flat hikes, for a total of 3.5 miles.

Todd Lake

We had never been to Todd Lake before – the challenge here on a summer Saturday is to nab a parking space, but we got one, so we wandered slowly around this sparkling gem, views alternating to the east side of Broken Top and the northwest side of Mt Bachelor above the forests and wildflower meadows. It really was a perfect little stroll along the lakeshore with a nice breeze to cut the heat.

DSC06878

DSC06880

Broken Top across Todd Lake

Polliwogs were swimming along the lake shore.

DSC06889DSC06891

Wildflowers in abundance along the southern shore

This inlet had both magenta and red-orange paintbrush –

DSC06913

Wide meadows on the west side of Todd Lake had swaths of elephant head that were mostly past bloom, lots of paintbrush, trickling streams lined with flowers, and views to Mt Bachelor.

DSC06911DSC06923DSC06921DSC06930DSC06938

We ate lunch near a trickling inlet with views of Mt Bachelor

As we walked into the forested north shore trail, the wildflower suite changed a bit.

Back to the starting point of the loop, Broken Top is in view again.

DSC07012DSC07008

SPARKS LAKE

Then we drove down the dusty road to the Roy Atkeson Trail at Sparks Lake. We walked a short way down the trail to the stunning viewpoints across lava rock and the shallow lake to South Sister and Broken Top from a slightly different, southern vantage point.  Hotter here, and fewer flowers, but still a worthwhile visit.

DSC07024

South Sister and Broken Top from Sparks Lake

DSC07023

Dan, South Sister

DSC07017

Broken Top

DSC07032

The flowers:

DSC07063

Dee Wright Observatory    7/22/2018

On our drive home on Sunday, we took a side trip to McKenzie Pass to this famous lookout in the lava fields between the Three Sisters and Mt Washington.  I love the expansive views and sere landscape.

DSC09444

Dee Wright Observatory (2016 photo)

DSC07080

History

There is also a short trail through the lava field here, with signage about the geologic history of the McKenzie Pass area.

DSC07959

DSC07114

A lava stairway winds to the top of the observatory with panoramic views the whole way.

DSC09445

2016 photo

DSC07082

North and Middle Sisters

DSC07093

Northward view

The shelter at the top is also a peak finder with windows framing the significant mountains.

DSC09460

Window framing North Sister (September 2016)

DSC07107

Historical plaque inside the shelter

The stairs continue to the upper viewing platform above the shelter to 360 degree views.

DSC09464

2016 photo

The brass peak finder at the top provides reference points in every direction:

DSC07092

North and Middle Sisters

DSC07089

Closer view

Belknap Craters, Mts Washington and Jefferson and points north:

DSC07102

We could actually see all the way to Mt Hood today  – a little white point over the shoulder of Mt Jefferson.

In 2015 we hiked to the Belknap Craters on a windy day.

DSC07094

Belknap Craters

DSC07096

Closer view of the where the trail goes through the lava field.

Black Crater, to the east:

DSC07090

We have experienced sunsets, moonrises, wind and thunderstorms here, and spotted wildfires in the distance. Today, as we drove the 15 miles from Sisters, we passed through the blackened landscape from the Milli fire here last year.

DSC07078

Black Crater 2018, with blackened forest on the flanks.

DSC09448

Black Crater, September 2016, at sunset – note the shadow of the observatory in the foreground, and the green trees on the slopes in the background.

Tour de Craft

Tour de France is getting exciting this week – the cobblestones,  Alpine stages, and change of hands of the yellow jersey. I look forward to finishing this Welcome Blanket– just the binding to go – though our central Oregon trip has cut into my craft time.

DSC07120

I knit about an inch on my Cornwall sock, and added few stitches into the roof of Jane Austen’s cross stitch house.

dsc07125-e1532563599855.jpg

Garden

We ate our first ripe tomatoes this week, and we have plenty of basil.

DSC07127

Ripe tomatoes

DSC07129

Cucumber flowers but no fruit

DSC07130

DSC07132

First Rudbeckia bloom!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s