As I often do on the spur of the moment (noon), I got the urge to go for a drive. I headed south on Hwy 99W to Albany. From there I headed east on Hwy 34 to Lebanon and on to Hwy 20 toward Santiam Pass. My first stop was at Foster Reservoir, a beautiful and large lake offering all the summer water activities and picnicking along the shore.
Along the way I photographed one of the streams along the highway.
When I came to the Walton Ranch Elk Habitat, I decided to hike the trail up to the viewpoint, a rise of about 240 over a quarter of a mile. Didn’t sound like much of a hike, but I forgot my somewhat limited stamina and felt the slight strain. It was worth the effort to see the lush forest and views peaking out across the valley to surrounding mountains! I never cease to be amazed at the beauty Oregon offers in so many different ways.
Finally reached Sisters. What an amazing place, filled with tourists from places far and near (like me!). Filled the tank with gas and headed back toward home taking the scenic, and crooked, narrow road that was Hwy 242 over McKenzie Pass. As I left Sisters there were wonderful views of the Three Sisters Mountains to take in. There was a cautionary sign indicating that the road ahead for MANY miles was narrow and limited in the vehicles that could travel it. Narrow is right! Some places hardly seemed wide enough for two cars. Even though the road was paved and lined, it was a somewhat harrowing drive.
An amazing highlight consisted of the miles through the lava beds dating far back in Oregon history. The road literally cut right through the lava flows. I stopped at the Dee Wright Observatory where the path up the steps and paved walkway took you to the top of a viewpoint constructed of the lava rocks. From there you could see all the mountains—Jefferson, Sisters and others, the names of which I don’t remember.
On this trip I twice crossed the Pacific Crest Trail. This trail leads from the Mexican border all the way to Canada. I never thought much about the trail until I read Cheryl Strayed’s book, Wild: Lost and Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. Seeing the actual places where I knew she had walked on her self-realization journey was an intense moment of recalling her story.
What started as a spur of the moment urge to go somewhere turned out to be an eight-hour journey? Glad I had a brunch of buckwheat pancakes and eggs before I left. It seems I never allow myself to stop for eats on such trips. Guess I should find a navigator who would require stops other than simply to enjoy the view!
Hope you enjoy this brief view of the place I call HOME!