A Winter Day at the Oregon Coast

2/21/2019

We drove over the snowy Coast Range from Portland to Cannon Beach and explored some of our favorite places on a cold, sunny day. Everywhere else within reach was colder, wetter, snowier.

Arcadia Beach State Park

First stop, late morning. High tide was in the early afternoon so the beach was shrinking as we walked a couple of miles south along the shore. We could not get around any of the headlands. Heavy mineral concentrations on the sand-depleted winter beaches made beautiful patterns.

DSC02008

Looking down on Arcadia Beach from above – at low tide we would be able to walk around the headland and north all the way to Cannon Beach.

DSC02010

Tidal channels

DSC02013

Heavy mineral patterns

DSC02021

DSC02022

Foot for scale.

DSC02024

View to the south toward Hug Point and beyond.

DSC02025

Zooming in on Hug Point – as close as we would get to it today.

Hug Point State Park

Tide even higher, so our stop here was brief.

DSC02028

Beach at Hug Point State Park – north view at high tide. We would not be able to see the waterfall or Hug Point itself today.

DSC02027

South view – in the summer the sand stretches for miles at low tide!

Arch Cape Beach

We have stayed near this beach many times over the past 30 years. We found a log to perch on while we ate our lunch. Only the rocky shingle was exposed on the winter beach. Thick foam was washing around in the swash zone, floating on the ebbing water, sparkling in the sun.

DSC02032

Lunch view to the north.

DSC02035

Lunch view to the south, Arch Cape and Castle Rock.

DSC02036DSC02040

Neahkahnie Viewpoint

At the south end of Oswald West State Park, the view to Nehalem Bay and Manzanita to the south is stunning.

DSC02042

Neahkahnie Mountain

We hiked the three mile round trip to the top of Neahkahnie Mountain – beautiful views on this cold day.

DSC02043

DSC02046

Much of the trail is through shady forest.

DSC02047

View from the rocky top. Nehalem Bay and Manzanita Beach.

DSC02048

Note the snow capped peaks in the Coast Range.

Short Sand Beach, Oswald West State Park

We walked a couple of miles here on the interconnected trails that lead to Short Sand Beach in Smuggler’s Cove.

DSC02055

Bridge over Necarney Creek

DSC02059

View to north from the south beach

DSC02066

View to south from the south beach

DSC02067

North beach of Smuggler’s CoveFalcon Point and Blumenthal Falls

There were a few surfers in the water.

DSC02070

I accidentally photographed a surfer when I was zooming in on the falls.

DSC02071

DSC02075

Blumenthal Falls

Silver Point View

Looking back toward Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock.

DSC02081

Cannon Beach/Haystack Rock at Sunset

After an early dinner in Cannon Beach, we parked near Haystack Rock. Dan walked down the beach to photograph the sunset. I watched from above, keeping warm in the car. (Hike #11, 8 miles, 1100 feet for the day).

Version 2

Haystack Rock

Version 2

Tillamook Head to the north.

DSC02099

Crafting

I finished the first sock of this pair. I have set up a frame to practice canvas stitching.

DSC02120

Winter Gardens, Portland

Hoyt Arboretum  2/15/2019

Two hours with no rain – we took a walk to the Winter Garden in Hoyt Arboretum, Washington Park. (Hike #9, 2 miles, 200 feet)

 

We saw more blooming witch hazel near the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial:

Crystal Springs   2/17/2019

A dry day – we met friends at Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, and walked all around the lakes and garden paths. We then crossed the road and walked along Crystal Springs Creek through Reed Canyon on the Reed College campus. (Hike#10, 3 miles, 150 feet).

DSC01956

Bridge at the north end of the gardens near the entrance.

DSC01958DSC01946DSC01955DSC01945

Winter plants were blooming, though nothing like the riot of color during rhododendron and azalea season.

Water birds and reflections:

DSC01966DSC01970DSC01974DSC01975DSC01976DSC01984

Crystal Springs Creek trail in Reed Canyon:

DSC01985

The bicycle/pedestrian bridge across the canyon.

DSC01986

Walking east along Reed Canyon.

DSC01987

A great blue heron near the marsh.

DSC02000

The spring inlet on the east end of campus.

DSC02003

The lake on the west end of campus.

Cross Stitch

I mounted the Jane Austen House Cross Stitch on foam board using sequin pins and a few stitches at the corners. The piece is now hanging on my wall!

DSC01866DSC01861DSC01871DSC01878

DSC02928

Jane Austen’s House in Chawton, May 2018. I realize now the cross stitch kit view is the side facing the garden, not the street front.

Knitting

I found buttons for my Brioche Headscarf, and have worn it!

 

DSC01853DSC01854DSC01839

White herons at Ridgefield

Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge, Washington,  2/7/2019

Cold and snowy in the Pacific Northwest. We went to the wildlife refuge to stretch our legs and look for birds. We walked the Oaks to Wetlands trail in the Carty Unit. Hike #8, 3.2 miles.

DSC01737

Bridge into the refuge.

DSC01738

Old oak tree.

DSC01752

Great blue heron on the path.

DSC01753

DSC01769

Wild geese in the distance.

We saw several great blue herons, and two of them seemed to have a white egret companion, but after a little googling, we found that there is a white morph of the great blue heron.

DSC01767

Two herons across one of the lakes.

DSC01768

We saw another pair in the distance across the northernmost lake.

DSC01796

Icy shoreline, two herons in the far distance.

DSC01776

Zoomed in – the two herons.

DSC01789dsc01788.jpg

Crafting

I knit a Brioche Headscarf, pattern by Margaret K. L. Thompson, out of the leftover Berroco Millifiori hat yarn. Two evenings of knitting, I just need to add a button.

dsc01808.jpgDSC01818

I am working on framing my Jane Austen’s House cross stitch.

DSC01821DSC01819

Hummocks Trail, Mt St Helens, WA, and some finished projects!

1/14/2019 Hummocks Trail

We drove north from Portland through fog and hoarfrost, up the Toutle River Valley on Hwy. 504, then out of the fog to the Hummocks Trailhead, the end of the road this time of year.

dsc01183

Mt St Helens with hummocky landscape in the foreground.

The Hummocks Loop Trail winds through hummocks, which are mounds of poorly consolidated pulverized volcanic deposits that were dropped here like a house out of a tornado, as the debris avalanche produced by Mt St Helens’ eruption passed over the area. Since that time, 38 years ago, lakes and primitive drainages have formed between the hummocks, and trees and plants have grown on their slopes, every form of life younger than 38 years old. Today we saw bare alder trees, iced lakes and dry grass in the stark landscape, but the hummocks also protected us from the wind.

dsc01141

Walking along an icy lake

dsc01138

Lake ice

dsc01139

dsc01146

Another lake between the hummocks

dsc01145

Icy surface

dsc01158

Alders

dsc01150

dsc01163

Trail companions

dsc01165

Small creek between hummocks.

dsc01168

Our lunch time view of Mt St Helens, slightly sheltered from the wind.

We continued to the Toutle River viewpoint.

dsc01169

Looking downstream – the river carves through the hummock deposits.

dsc01173

Upstream – the Toutle River braid plain and the mountain.

We also saw the Science and Learning Center situated high above Coldwater Lake.

dsc01175

dsc01176

Another lake in the hummocks.

dsc01179

dsc01181

The white and windy mountain – stunted by eruption, wide maw open to the north, wind blown dust and snow hazing our view.

dsc01185

Half moon rising over 38 year old stumps on the ridge to the east.

The present is the key to the past, in geological thinking. Except when it isn’t – that is, when the present hasn’t yet revealed how the rocks got that way. On May 18, 1980, about three weeks before I graduated from college with a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology, Mt St Helens revealed to scientists all over the world how these particular deposits form. It was a moment of instant enlightenment, as my professor excitedly told us, once the ash finished falling and the studies begun. Wide ranging theories about how similar hummocky landscapes all over the world were formed were replaced by the lateral blast model. Going forward, Red Evacuation Zones would be wider, and more lives protected.  It was just a blip in geological time, but a catastrophe in human time, a moment that changed everything.

Coldwater Lake

Coldwater Lake was not even here before the eruption. The blast debris dammed up the drainage, and then engineers stabilized it. It is now a lovely place to contemplate the surrounding landscape. Dan and I completed the 12 mile hike around the lake a few years ago in a low snow year. Along the way we witnessed the rusting logging equipment that survives on the lee side of Coldwater Ridge, while walking through a mostly new and revegetating landscape. Today, we walked past the “shutdown” locked gate to the shore.

dsc01186We held onto our hats while the wind whipped the water into white caps, and looked at the barren knife edge of Minnie Peak at the far end of the lake. The surrounding slopes were all denuded by the 180 mph lateral blast of volcanic debris, ash, and gas.

dsc01198

Coldwater Lake

dsc01196

A large hummock right in the middle of the lake.

dsc01194

Closer view of Minnie Peak.

The lake, and all the vegetation are less than 38 years old. It is an awe inspiring sight!

(4.2 miles, 200 feet, for the day, hike #4 for 2019)

Elk Rock Viewpoint

On our way home we stopped at a high point on Hwy 504 – the Elk Rock Viewpoint. No elk today, but another look at Mt St Helens, the adjacent Mt Margaret back country, and Mt Adams peeking over her shoulder, volcanic cone intact for now.

dsc01201

Mt St Helens

dsc01205

The Mt Margaret back country.

dsc01204

Closer view of Mt Adams.

dsc01207

Panoramic view.

Crafting

I finished knitting the toe of the second sock.

dsc01211dsc01216

I relearned how to stitch French knots, so placed the final stitches in Jane Austen’s house. My next step is to figure out how to frame it. And then move on to my Nova project, teach myself the canvas stitches – tent, cashmere, mosaic, Scottish. A new stitching adventure awaits.

Happy New Year 2019!

First Hike of the New Year: Ferry Springs Trail, Deschutes River State Park, Oregon – January 5, 2019 

We did this same hike almost exactly one year ago – January 6th, 2018.  It was a beautiful day with blue sky and long reaching views. Today, was a cloud covered day with no actual rain. We saw the effects of the July 2019 Substation Fire that burned both river banks for about 20 miles upstream from the park.

There was a bald eagle near the trailhead, but it flew off as I watched it.

dsc00827

Bald eagle near the trailhead.

dsc00828

dsc00830

Bald eagle – the white tail visible in the center of the photo, flying downstream.

Our trail started along the river, through riparian vegetation, but then we crossed the fire line and saw before us nearly completely denuded and blackened landscape through which grass in now emerging, a green/black palette. In some ways it reminded us of the highlands of Scotland.

dsc00846

From dry grass to burn zone, though the bench is intact, as were the other benches along the lower trail.

dsc00857dsc00868

We passed below, then above the arch as the trail looped back north and uphill towards Ferry Springs.

 

dsc00879

Looking up at the arch.

dsc00888

Looking down through the arch.

dsc00883

I was looking forward to resting on the bench on the upper trail, but it was burned. 

dsc00892

Lookback: Two views from the Upper Trail toward the mouth of the Deschutes River and Columbia River. In 2018 we were walking through dry grass. This year, the edge of the burn is well defined.

dsc00617

January 2018, pre-burn

dsc00890

January 2019, post fire

After crossing Ferry Springs, we headed back to the trailhead, looking down at the fire scars along the way.

dsc00905

This wooden gate survived, though the area around was scorched.

dsc00908

Looking back upriver.

dsc00913

The dry waterfall

dsc00914

More scorched earth, then back to dry grass.

This landscape is renewed by fire. I don’t think all the green grasses emerging are native grasses, but we did see new growth on some of the native plants. It will be interesting to return next year to see what happens. (5 miles, 560 feet, Hike #1 for 2019)

dsc00909

A yellow composite flower

dsc00918

New foliage on burned shrubs.

Crafting

dsc00926

Cross stitch of Jane Austen’s house – I just need to add the windowpanes and french knot flower centers.

dsc00930

I finished the second sock, now I have to find the place in the stripe sequence that will match the place where the knot was in the first sock.

Other Adventures 

It has been a busy couple of weeks of the New Year, winding down from the holidays, and getting my daughter and her things sent back to college. I note that today is one year exactly since my surgery. I am adjusting to all my new medications, and am healthier for not having excess growth hormone secretly running around in my body and creating future problems. I am grateful for my recovery. My husband has just stepped down to half time work, with full retirement planned for a year from now. Thus we will likely have many more hikes and adventures in the years to come, including having just booked a hiking trip in New Zealand for a year from now! I am used to hiking at my own pace, but I will need to increase the difficulty of my hikes as the year goes on to prepare for the trip. A good goal, one of many, for 2019. (2019-1)

 

Lyle Cherry Orchard, Washington (18-58)

December 15, 2018

Once again we escape east of the Cascades to dry skies, a bit of sun, no wind, at Lyle Cherry Orchard. Quiet on the trail today.  (5.2 miles/1250 feet, hike #64 for 2018)

DSC00493

Approach trail, up the first set of cliffs.

DSC00495

View from the Convict Road to the east

DSC00496

View from the Convict Road north – we are going up those cliffs to the top!

DSC00498

 

DSC00501

Hiking up to the second tier..

DSC00504

We could see the new trail reroute partially cut by WTA workers that will make the upper cliff ascent farther from the cliff edge and less steep in gradient. And lots of native plant seedlings in place.

DSC00513

Those lines in the slope ahead are the new trail, in progress, with a gentler gradient than the steep track we will climb today.

 

DSC00514

Looking back at the flagged new trail, not cut yet.

Lunch stop near the top…

DSC00516

The trail continues in and out of the woods along the top of the cliffs to the remnants of a cherry orchard…

DSC00524

DSC00526

View to the east from the grasslands near the cherry orchard.

DSC00527

One of the old cherry trees

DSC00529

Cherry tree in foreground, Lyle Peak above – our trail doesn’t go there.

We head back down…

DSC00531

View west toward Lyle

DSC00534

Closer view of the terrane we hiked, and the Convict Road Viewpoint on the lower left.

DSC00537

Convict Road viewpoint – where we stood looking up this morning. The grey background is the Columbia River, not the sky!

DSC00540

A spot of sun on the way down.

DSC00538

Image 12-16-18 at 5.52 PM

GPS track

Crafting

Another knit dishcloth,

DSC00550

and I’m now adding backstitch detail to Jane Austen’s cross stitched house….

DSC00551

Winter trees at Tryon Creek, OR (18-56)

December 9, 2018  Tryon Creek State Park

After two weeks of clear, cold, windy days our clouds have returned, warming us up enough for a short hike through Tryon Creek State Park. It was mostly empty on the trails, unlike in spring when the trillium are in full bloom. Bare trees, stream reflections and a sunbreaks marked the woods this day. (2.2 miles, 200 feet, #63)

DSC00444DSC00446DSC00460DSC00441DSC00461DSC00466DSC00465DSC00453

Crafting, etc

I finally cast on a new pair of socks.

DSC00471

I have finished the cross stitching on Jane Austen’s House – that has been my evening work lately. Next, back stitching and french knots.

DSC00467

I have done some pre-winter clean up in the garden. We have our Christmas tree standing in the living room, as yet unadorned. I went to see the latest Fantastic Beasts movie with one of my sons at a midweek matinee, and we were the only viewers in the theater. We both enjoyed the movie. Otherwise, I am trying to finish up my blog posts about our UK trip last spring by the end of the year – there are so many photos to sort through – it really was an amazing trip! I am enjoying reliving those experiences.

Return to Angel’s Rest (18-53)

Angel’s Rest Trail, Oregon   November 24, 2018

A few trails in the Columbia River Gorge that have been closed since the September 2017 Eagle Creek Fire were reopened for the first time this past weekend. We went to Angel’s Rest on Saturday morning, along with hundreds of other local hikers. It was with care, scrutiny, appreciation, and gratitude that we made our way up 1500 feet to the iconic views over the gorge. The trail was in great shape, thanks to the many trail keepers who have worked on recovery.

DSC00428

Into the woods

DSC00312

Views of Cape Horn, the Columbia River and Phoca Rock emerge on the lower trail.

DSC00315

Coopey Falls

DSC00330

Angel’s Rest – our destination.

The trail begins to switchback up the front of Angel’s Rest.

DSC00339

Burned tree trunks and open views line the trail.

DSC00347

First view west toward the trailhead.

DSC00349

Well repaired trail surface next to blackened trees.

DSC00351

Blackened stump.

Nearing the top, the views unfold:

DSC00361

To the west, from near the top.

DSC00370

The Hilary Step of Angel’s Rest – leads to the ridge crest. Sometimes there is a line of hikers waiting to go up or down.

DSC00411

From the top, looking toward the overlook where many rest.

DSC00380

Open view west – toward Portland, Cape Horn in Washington and Phoca Rock.

DSC00387

Open view east – toward Hamilton Mountain in Washington.

We wandered around on top for a while, admiring the view from various perspectives, and found a place to eat lunch.

DSC00394

Closer view of Cape Horn in Washington.

DSC00395

The bench is still there.

DSC00397

We saw a single blooming white yarrow near our lunch stop.

DSC00396

Yarrow

We headed down, stopping for a few more views along the way.

DSC00404

Looking back toward the top, where the first views are seen.

DSC00407

My shadow in the low November light.

DSC00413

My favorite sculpted shoreline of the Columbia River.

DSC00415

View through the rock piles.

DSC00416

Seasonal berries

DSC00417

Trees that are burned, dying, no longer evergreen.

Looking back as we hiked down:

DSC00420

Where we were – and much more visible with all the undergrowth burned away.

DSC00422

White berries lined this part of the trail – not sure what they are – possible snowberries, or the dreaded poison oak.

Image 11-28-18 at 1.18 PM

Golden Hike of the year, #62, 5.2 miles, 1500 feet.

Look back:

I found a couple of comparison photos from previous hikes – this one in January of 2013:

DSC00623

January 2013 – the white tree trunks are left from a fire in 1991.

DSC00368

November 2018 – the white trunks are blackened, and the green trees are now dying.

A closer view:

DSC00628

January 2013

DSC00400

November 2018

An image taken in 2017 from Cape Horn looking over to today’s hike to Angel’s Rest.

Version 2

Angel’s Rest, October 2017, From Cape Horn, WA.

Pumpkin Pie

A lovely Thanksgiving dinner with a small gathering of family and friends.

56455561396__6DC3EE2D-A9BB-4FCC-907B-ADFF24C3AD45

Knitting

Another round cloth. Some new sock and hat yarn acquired from my LYS on Black Friday.

DSC00434IMG_1726

Jane Austen House Cross Stitch

I have been rather obsessively cross stitching in the evenings.

DSC00438

Neighborhood

Leaves fully gone from the flame ash tree.

IMG_1724

Other Adventures

It has been about a year since I was diagnosed with a pituitary tumor. I had another trip through the MRI this week to evaluate the tumor surgery site, accompanied by a Joni Mitchell soundtrack in my head this time. Fortunately, all appears well. And I could see all three mountains from the OHSU tram view patio.

IMG_1709

Mt St Helens on the left; the top of Mt Adams just right of center on the horizon. Tillikum Bridge over the Willamette River on the right.

IMG_1710

Tillikum Bridge on the left; Mt Hood on the horizon – looking east from the OHSU tram patio.

Fringed Grass of Parnassus at Burnt Lake, Mt Hood, OR (18-36)

Burnt Lake Trail.    8-24-2018        (hike#45)

The Burnt Lake Trail on the west side of Mt Hood leads through a quiet green shady forest that was ravaged by wildfires over a hundred years ago – offering an interesting historical perspective on the present day fires. The trail climbs at a gentle gradient for the first 2.5 miles through second growth forest along the Lost Creek drainage. Sounds of water are never far.

DSC07562DSC07561DSC07565

DSC07588DSC07598

Green understory foliage includes a plethora of plants with white blooming spring flowers (trillium, vanilla leaf, inside-out, bunchberry, Solomon seals, lilies, oxalis).

DSC07595

Today we only see the pops of color that are seeds and berries.

After crossing Lost Creek we pass several giant burned out trees – remnants from the Victorian era fire that burned this forest.

DSC07663

DSC07576DSC07660DSC07580DSC07583DSC07589

The last mile of the trail is steeper, and traverses many creeks and springs with a few flowers still blooming – though red berry clusters of Devils club are the most noticeable color along the trail today.

DSC07610

Fireweed and cloudy horizon

 

We drop down into Burnt Lake basin and are awed by the mist rising from the lake and roiling about on its surface while we walk the half mile shoreline trail.

DSC07632

Although the promised reflection of Mt Hood eludes us, the misty atmosphere creates its own moment of grace. We sit quietly for our lunch break and hear a few fish jump, watch the concentric ripples expand and interrupt the reflections and mist patterns.

DSC07634DSC07635DSC07638DSC07641IMG_0922DSC07655

Fading pink spirea line the lake shore path that leads past a small bog near the inlet where we see, for the first time for me, a wildflower called the Fringed Grass of Parnassus.

DSC07646

DSC07651

Cascade Fringed Grass of Parnassus

Such an elegant name – it has been on my watch list. The flower heads were much bigger than I imagined, and deserve a great name! The white petals are indeed fringed elaborately and glow in the light. I am glad to have finally seen this flower!

Screen Shot 2018-08-25 at 6.50.33 PM

8.3 miles/1600 feet.

CRAFTING:

I finished another tortilla dishcloth

DSC07671

I added some cross stitched foliage to Jane Austen’s house.

DSC07669

I am still trying to decided what to cast on next…

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!