Oregon

Back in Bend, Oregon

Our last minute plan to squeeze one more trip out of camping season landed us at this Glamp-Site in Bend, Oregon.

Friends Lan and Jeff stayed here (The Crown Villa RV Park) last month and provided good reviews, so we knew we’d be comfortable on our last outing of the season. Beggars can’t be choosers – especially when looking for 3 nights just one day in advance. This is a very nice RV park located inside the Bend city limits. We feel quite spoiled and are hardly roughing it.

We did get some good hiking in, so in spite of our pristine site, we managed get a little dusty. Shevlin Park was crowded on Sunday afternoon, but we found the last open parking spot and settled on a loop trail that took us on a 5-mile walk through the park canyon.

It was a nice warmup for the hike we did the following day. The 6-mile Matthieu Lakes loop trail is located off the beaten path outside of Sisters, Oregon.

Our destination was North Matthieu Lake (above) which was just shy of the turnaround point of our 6-mile hike.
We first walked through acres of burned forest. There is very little regrowth from the 2017 Milli Fire.

We passed several small ponds along the way. Although we were in shirtsleeves today, one pond was edged with ice, evidence of how low the nighttime temperatures drop this time of year.

Our first glimpse of North Matthieu Lake.

Following the trail around the lake, we found the perfect lunch spot.

We continued on to South Matthieu Lake, a smaller lake but every bit as pretty. This is where we intersected with the Pacific Crest Trail, turning back along the iconic path and returning to the trailhead.

Our return trip took us up high with views of ancient lava flows, a view of Mt. Washington, a bird’s eye view of our lunch spot and back through sections of fire damage. All in all, a great hike and a good end to camping season!

Categories: Oregon, Road Trips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Green Lakes Trail Near Bend, Oregon

Five minutes into the trail to Green Lakes we were challenged by a surprise crossing of Fall Creek.

Grateful for the railing, Reg and I managed to keep our feet on the log masquerading as a bridge above Fall Creek. As I stepped down Reg jokingly asked, “Could you do that without the railing?” Little did we know…

The trailhead to Green Lakes is located about 25 miles outside of Bend, Oregon. The path is an 8-9 mile round trip with 1,150 feet of climbing. It’s a beautiful trek through trees alongside a cascading creek.

One of the many waterfalls that tumble down the aptly named Fall Creek.

We followed the gentle incline along the wide dirt trail, enjoying the shade the forest provided. The creek crashed and tumbled alongside And then suddenly leveled out. That was when the trail crossed the creek again…twice!

With the creek rushing below and no railing to assist us, we had no room for a misstep. I was sure grateful for those balance beam lessons way back when in junior high gymnastics class. Reg made me go first. I think he was hoping I’d suggest we turn back. Eventually we two balance-challenged trekkers shuffled across the first log, and several hundred yards later we made it across the second. It was well worth the effort!

Lunch spot with a lake view.

We found a shady spot for lunch, enjoying the view until it was time to pack up and head back down the trail…and back across those two logs.

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Up Around the Bend…Oregon

Mount Thielsen (elevation 9,183) pointed our way as we drove to Bend, Oregon for five days of camping with friends
Chris and Judy.

Our first day together we tackled the Sparks Lake Loop Trail which took us through forests and around ancient lava flows. While the remains of the lava flows were fascinating, the views from the shoreline were the high point.

Across Sparks Lake was a stunning view of Broken Top Crater.
This is a favorite photo spot to capture South Sister, the southernmost of the Three Sisters of the Cascade Range.


Categories: Oregon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Up The Oregon Coast – A Look Back

We weren’t sure a travel trailer was the life for us, but after five years and well over 20,000 miles, it’s safe to say we’ve found our second home. The trailer has been particularly nice this year…pulling our home behinds us feels pretty safe.

Compared to most trailers on the road, ours might be described as cozy.

The decision to travel this summer was not one we made lightly. Our most recent Oregon coast trip is only our second trip of the year since March…we’ve cancelled more reservations than we’ve kept. These two weeks spent along the Pacific Coast have been relaxing and rejuvenating and filled with gorgeous scenery.

Looking north from the Otter Point State Recreation site, just north of Gold Beach, Oregon.

Even this late in the summer there is still much color to be found. Hike any trail into the forest and you’ll find yourself surrounded by green.

Coastal fog rolls in and out anytime of year, lending a mystical feeling to distant views. It often clears up in the blink of an eye.

Harris Beach State Park outside of Brookings, Oregon is popular with campers and a perfect spot to watch a summer sunset.

We’ve enjoyed many trips to the Oregon Coast and we’ve never failed to discover someplace new. From hidden trails to surprise picnic spots to a previously overlooked viewpoint, the coast never disappoints…but for now, it’s time to return home.

Until next time…
Categories: Oregon, Oregon Coast | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Walking The Amanda Trail

We parked along the ocean front, just south of downtown Yachats.

Look beyond the beauty of today’s Oregon Coast and some ugly historical truths emerge. Our hike along the Amanda Trail served double duty, reminding us of our unfortunate past while offering a gorgeous walk today.

Passing by the bear statue assured us we are on the right path.

The beautiful 3.5 mile hike through evergreen forests eventually connects with Cape Perpetua where, on a clear day, the views are stunning.
However, a stop at the the 2 mile mark presents a disturbing reminder of Oregon’s less glorious history. Storyboards tell the tale of the forced relocation of Native Americans to reservation land after the Rogue River Indian War of 1856. A statue pays tribute to Amanda, an elderly, blind Indian woman who was discovered and endured a grueling march as she was led to the reservation.

We continued across a short bridge to our lunch destination – the Cape Perpetua lookout. Here, the trail climbs relentlessly uphill until dropping down and crossing a small creek before the final up and down path to the top.

The fog drifted in and out as we ate and gazed down at Cape Perpetua State Park.
Categories: Oregon, Oregon Coast | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Just a Short Walk

Lunch

Many of our restaurants offer curbside pickup, so we grabbed sandwiches on our way out.

Twenty minutes into our hike, we stepped off the trail and settled into a lunch spot with a view of Mt. Ashland.  Day 45 of isolation for us also happened to be Reg’s birthday, so we celebrated with a hike along a short section of the iconic Pacific Crest Trail.

Our turnaround spot was the Hobart Bluff viewpoint, a destination we thought was just over two miles from our starting point.  Four miles later, after climbing steadily uphill and dodging a few patches of snow, we arrived.  A much longer walk than we intended, but well worth it!

Hobart Bluff Viewpoint

Regardless of the cloudy haze, the view from the point was astounding.

Categories: Ashland life, Day hike near Medford, Oregon, Oregon | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Timing is Everything

Because Reg and I both were quite sick in early March, we are entering into our fourth week of self-isolation at home in Oregon.  Did we have the virus?  Who knows, but timing, as they say, is everything.  These past few weeks have given us much time to reflect.

We may be stuck indoors, but we enjoy the ever changing view out our front window.

We returned from England and our South West Coast Path adventure last year in early October.  As it turns out, over the past six months, our timing has been extremely fortunate.  Two days after returning home, I found myself driving 600 miles south, to California, to assist my 93 year old father who was still living in my family home…alone.  I bullied him (yes, I did) into a move to an assisted living facility, both for his safety and our family’s peace of mind.  A fortuitous move as his health declined rapidly over the next couple of months.

We said goodbye to my Dad (pictured above) three days before Christmas.  He was the last of his generation on either side of our families.  He hoped to one day celebrate his 100th birthday, but that was not meant to be.  In January, with the help of an amazing realtor (who snapped the official “sold” photo of Dad’s house) we sadly closed the door of the home and life he loved.  Our boys and their partners all made the trip out to California, joining us, along with my brother Kenny, as we said our final goodbyes.

Reg and I returned home in February, feeling somewhat lost as we came to terms with the fact that we were now the “older” generation.  As we settled back into a routine we began to feel the pull of adventure once again.  Perhaps another distance trek would get us back on track.  But where?

As you can see, we are not at a loss for ideas.

Once again, timing proved to be everything.   The decision of where to go was taken out our of our hands.  For the time being, we will remain armchair travelers, experiencing adventure through our television programming.  While not as exciting, it has allowed us some pretty amazing adventures…ones we’d never dream of attempting.  For now, we’ll focus on remaining healthy and settling  for walks around the neighborhood.

 

 

Categories: Ashland life, Oregon | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Crater Lake’s Garfield Peak

The rocking chairs on the back deck of the Crater Lake Lodge overlook the lake and provide an excellent spot to sip a beverage.

Garfield Peak was our destination today. There it is, looming in the distance behind the Crater Lake Lodge where we picked up the trailhead. The lodge sits at an elevation of 7,100 feet, that’s 1,000 feet above the surface of the lake and 1,000 feet below our goal.

As we unexpectedly huffed and puffed our way up, we finally had to accept that the altitude was getting the better of us. Refusing to admit defeat, we stopped for a short rest and devoured half of the lunch Reg packed. That seemed to do the trick as we reached the top without further incident.

The clouds are a nice contrast the the incredible blues of the sky and water.

After finishing what remained of our lunch, we headed back down the trail. The views were astounding!

When walking back down the trail, it’s always a surprise to see the views that remained hidden behind on the uphill climb.
Categories: Oregon | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

A Crisp Morning Walk

Although the skies were blue, temperatures hovered in the 30s (Fahrenheit) most of the day, requiring a fast pace to keep warm on a morning walk.

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There’s No Place Like Home

Cool nights and warm sunny days have kept us close to home where we are enjoying an abundance of fall color.

 

Categories: Ashland life, Oregon | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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