For sure we'll be back, next time for a longer stay.
Yesterday we had a serendipitous afternoon. We started out to do a hike to Proxy Falls, one of the most photographed waterfalls in Oregon. I had the directions written down and we followed them carefully - until we came to a Road Closed sign on rt. 242 heading toward McKenzie Pass. Of course, we had no maps with us and my phone was getting little connection. We spoke with a few people just turning around at the end of the road.....they told us we couldn't get to the Falls from "this side". At home, later that evening, I saw the problem clearly on the map. The instructions were for rt. 242 alright, but from Belknap Springs, not Sisters, a mere 30+ mile difference. Ah well, next time.
We turned around and pulled down a path into the woods for lunch. I think it was a logging road but it was perfect for a lunch spot. Quiet, private, sunny and out of the strong cold wind.
After lunch we decided to just follow the road and see where it took us. All who wander are not lost. We drove through the woods, sometimes the road was paved, sometimes it wasn't.
We passed by a section of woods that we hoped was in the middle of a controlled burn. We saw no one around and the ground was still smoking.
After crossing rt. 20 and continuing along we came across a sign that pointed to Round Lake so we turned down it to see what we could see.
We scared up a few deer, continued through the lush forest and up into a mountainside that had experienced a terrible consuming fire in the past. The understory was recovering and heavily carpeted with a green, woody shrub just starting to burst out in white flowers. But those beautiful and tall pines were just broken skeletons.
|interesting clouds topped the snow capped peaks|
After about 5 miles winding miles we came to Round Lake. It is, indeed, round.
We didn't even get out of the Jeep because the wind was howling and the little lake was frothy with whitecaps. Back down the eerie mountainside we went looking for something else.
We found our way back to FR 12 then saw a sign pointing to the Head of Jack Creek Trail. Sounded good, so off we went.
This time we hit the jackpot. When we arrived at the trailhead there was a school bus loading up 22 children for their return to school. We knew there were 22 kids because they loudly counted off as they entered the bus. Phew! Dodged a bullet there. By the time we got our hiking boots on, the bus was gone and we had the trail all to ourselves.
We walked for a while on a narrow, sunny trail bordered by those same bushes, they looked like a type of euonymus, filled with gently fragrant white flowers. It looked like it had suffered the same fate as the forest near Round Lake, there were few trees on this section of the trail. Hiking along slowly, however, we could see that these green shrubs were hiding or, perhaps more accurately, sheltering lots and lots of pine tree regrowth. Tiny firs and pines were growing deep in the middle of the shrubs.
|see the young pine in the midst of the shrubs?|
|another baby coming along under the sheltering leaves|
We were walking through a nursery! Nature is wonderful isn't it?
The trail wound through this little natural nursery and into a deep woods where we could hear what we thought was water rushing. Or, was it the wind blowing through the pines? Turns out, the noise was a little of both. We'd arrived at Jack Creek and it was indeed rushing along merrily, down little falls and around downed trees.
The pine smell was wonderful and the sound of the wind in the trees and the creek tumbling along made for a lovely, peaceful hike.
|tiny mushrooms on a huge fir tree|
|oh Dave, where are you?|
We came to what appeared to be the end of the creek. There was a beautiful clear creek and there was nothing. Hmmm. We looked around at the end of the creek and discovered its beginning. It was very Harry Potteresque.....there, at the base of an ordinary looking tree, between its ordinary looking grey roots, Jack Creek was rushing to life. We crawled around the tree, behind it and from every side. There was no water anywhere, except what was bubbling out from between those big grey roots. Too fantastic!
|Jack Creek pouring out from under the Harry Potter tree!|
We sat there for awhile, marveling at what we were seeing and then took the trail back along the creek and through the woods to the Jeep.
What a fun and unexpected day that was!
We're now in Bend, at the Crown Villa RV Resort and will be here for the holiday weekend. This is a beautiful resort with huge paved and grassy sites with full hook ups right in the middle of Bend. We were lucky to get an end, back in site and we're all very happy to be here.
|Beluga in huge site 471|
|the old girl is looking pretty good!|
|view of the trail from my windshield|
There is a large, fenced in off leash area for the dogs and a nice wooded trail directly next to our site.
Tonight we met former RVing friends, Pam and Vic, for a delicious meal at the Craft Kitchen, alongside the Deschutes River.
We met Pam and Vic in Florida at Holiday Cove when they still were living in their sweet Phaeton. They've since sold it and moved into their condo in Bend. It was wonderful to see them again and we look forward to more time together while we're here.
|Aren't those folks cute?|
Aren't those beers pretty?