Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Last days in Bend

We broke two of our sightseeing rules......stay home on holidays and stay home on weekends.      We don't enjoy sharing our time with lots of people we don't know -  hiking or autohiking on holidays and/or weekends guarantee that we'll have company pretty much wherever we wander.

Well.....we were only in Bend for the holiday weekend so we girded our loins and set off to drive and hike along the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway on the Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend.

We drove up past Mt. Bachelor (still skiing this weekend), through snowy landscapes and into the land of the lakes.   We stopped at 6 of the 14 lakes found on the eastern slope of the Cascade range.     Some of them were right along the
highway, some necessitated taking a dirt and gravel loop road into the forest.

our lunch view at Sparks Lake

Our first stop was Sparks Lake.   We took our lunch and ate on a sunny fallen log at water's edge.   We were not alone.   Masses of people were enjoying this lake, the first one encountered when coming from Bend.   Kids shrieking at the cold water, lots and lots of dogs whining to get to the water, people with kayaks and canoes....everyone enjoying the beautiful sunny day.     The ranger at the visitor's center told us about a nice little hike along the shore there, but we decided not to explore it with so many people for company.     There were loons on this lake but we had to content ourselves watching them through binoculars.  We ate our lunch and moved on.

On the way to Devil's Lake we passed through an enormous, craggy lava flow that came right down to the snow pack.

Just down the road we came upon Devil's Lake, a most lovely clear shade of aqua.    Snow came right down to the water's edge.    We didn't linger.

cold and beautiful Devil's Lake

To reach two of the other lakes, we turned down a dirt and gravel road and drove between tall pine and fir trees.

We were alone at Elk Lake.....we sat on a rock and ate the apple left over from our hasty lunch.    Dave went to the edge of the shallow lake to rinse off his sticky hands.

We sat for awhile and then continued along the dirt road to Hosmer Lake.  Lots of small trees  had fallen and were intruding into the road, making driving into a slalom event.     At one point we passed a man using an ax to hack away a section he felt shouldn't be there.

 Only a few people at this lake,  mostly busy putting their kayaks in the water.    We walked to the shore and were rewarded with two fantastic sights.

The back of snow capped Mt. Bachelor was beautifully reflected in the calm waters.     We had the feeling we were being watched as we stood and took in the view.     I looked up into the trees lining the water and saw we WERE being watched....

He was too high up for me to get a very good picture, but we were thrilled to see him nonetheless.

Next stop was the Lava Lakes.   Lava Lake seemed to be home to a little fishing camp/resort type place with a small log store and docks lined with fishing boats.

The last lake we visited was Little Lava Lake, said to be the source of the Deschutes River.

A beautiful Golden was fetching stick after stick.   What a beauty he was, watching him really brought back many memories of all our Goldies through the years.   sigh.

It was getting late so we cut short the 100 mile trip and turned on FR 40 toward Sun River and home.        We passed over the log clogged Upper Descutes and took the time to stop and do a bit of bird watching from the bridge.

I saw a woodpecker going to and from a large perfectly round hole in a broken off tree.   It looked like it was feeding babies and I thought I could hear their faint peeping.   After the adult flew off I zoomed my little camera in on the hole and look what I saw!

looking for mom

Another wonderful day, even though it was a holiday weekend!

The next day, our last in Bend, we took care of business.    Laundry, waxing the rest of Beluga and taking care of that mountain of rhubarb we bought the other day.    I made one pie, cut up and bagged enough for another and roasted some to test Duane's "recipe".    It turned out unbelievably well....I put it in the freezer to see how it fairs after defrosting but we both agreed that it may be our new "go to" recipe.    So quick and easy.   Tomorrow we'll try it over strawberry yogurt.

At the end of the day we went to Pam and Vic's lovely little home for happy hour (and to see the dogs again....Rico and Jetta) then had a casual bite at a neighborhood spot.     On our way back Vic gave us a quick tour of some of their favorite places.   Pam presented us with a pan of rhubarb quick bread and we said our goodbyes.   It was so nice seeing them again.

This morning we left Bend and followed rt. 97 north about 140 miles to I-84 and the Columbia River.    For most of the trip we traveled on a high, fairly treeless plateau, about 4000 feet above sea level.     We crossed the 45th parallel, halfway between the equator and the north pole.    All day we had ghostly, distant views of  Mt. Hood and Mt. Jefferson.   They seemed to be keeping track of us, appearing from behind a lava flow here and between two ridges there.....almost around every turn in the road.

We drove along the Columbia River on I-84 to our next week's stay, Memaloose State Park.

vineyards on the Washington side of
the Columbia



  1. I think you managed to see a lot of beauty and pretty much avoid the crowds. And a bald eagle sighting too!! Not that the little pecker isn't cute too :-) I really love the pics of the lava flow meeting the snow banks. That pie looks perfect, bet it tastes that way too. Enjoy that lovely spot in Memaloose. The pups must be loving all the grass you're finding for them :-).

  2. I love that drive in the Cascades. Let me know how you like Melamose though - on my list of possible stops to stay at (although Boardman is hard to beat).

  3. What a beautiful drive even on a holiday weekend. Sometimes we have to be out with others. The lakes and the forest are spectacular. I love that the water in each lake was a little different in color. So pretty! Perfect autohike:) The snowcapped mountains sure do add a beautiful background. We skipped hiking in Provo Canyon because of the huge crowds.

    Great drive and your new site is so green...just for my friends:)

    Beautiful pie, Sue! Can't wait to hear how the frozen rhubarb is.

  4. We have done that drive in the opposite direction...but in the fall so no snow! Love seeing the very snowy peaks.

    I have not seen Baldy's in Bend before...awesome!

  5. Glad you broke the "rules" and got out for that beautiful tour of the lakes. And yay!!!! You're on the Gorge! I just made reservations for Memaloose in September -- we've stayed there before, and although it's between the train tracks and the highway (as you know!) it's still a sweet place. Cherries might be in season….there are some u-pick places close by. :-)) (That rhubarb pie is gorgeous!)

  6. Wow, what a beautiful tour! I bet your new shiny jeep is just loving the dirt road and take you to scenic places. Perhaps you will use your last photo as your new header, with the new jeep.
    Ill check your tour and see if we can fit it in this fall, it is so gorgeous out there.
    The chick is so fragile but the pie is just inviting!