Deer at a pond

Bill and Marty share a pond with their neighbors. White tail deer often sleep on a grassy island in the pond, then wade over in the morning to start their day.

 

Ducks on the pond

Ducks sport their new families in the evening quiet.

 

Horses

Horses graze in the lush grass. While the Redmond plateau is desert, there is an astonishing amount of water available. Snow melt from the high Cascade mountains flows down the Deschutes and other rivers. It is distributed into canals and ditches, so that the land within about 20 miles of the mountains gets enough water for flood irrigation. It is strange in this dessert area to see pastures covered with an inch of water, but it is common. Ranchers direct the water from one pasture to another. They are able to grow hay nearly three feet high, which is harvested and provides animal feed through the winter.

 

Newberry Monument Sign

On my flights from San Francisco to Seattle, in the Bend, OR area, I would look down on a volcano with a large lava field and two beautiful lakes. Bill and I decided to find this site, which turns out to be the Newberry National Volcanic Monument. It was only an hour and a half drive from Redmond, so we went to see it.

 

 

Bill and Lope on  the trail

Bill and Lope on the trail to the lava flow.

 

Bill at the Lava Flow.

A small segment of the lava flow near its source at the volcano.

 

 

Sign describing obsidian

This particular lava flow features both Obsidian rock and Pumice. While both kinds of rock are mostly silica, or glass, the obsidian is smooth and feels like glass. The pumice is made in an environment of many air bubbles, so it is rough and sharp and can soon wear out a pair of walking shoes. Because of the air pockets, pumice can be quite light and may even float in water.

 

Obsidian Stone

Here is an obsidian stone about the size of a kitchen sink. In the foreground is pumice.

 

Lava flow

This lava flow, running between the verdant forest, was very visible from the air.

 

Three Amigos

The Three Amigos, Bill, Lope and Don, take a pose. All three of us did a career in the Navy. Bill would eventually command an A-6 Intruder squadron. Lope and I both moved on to the airlines.

 

East Lake

East Lake and Paulina Lake both lie within the Newberry Volcano's caldera. As we stood here at East Lake, we watched fish rise to the surface and leave their tell-tale rings. Fly fisherman happily played them. The National Park has beautiful campsites scattered around the park, many right on these lakes.

 

Lope departs

After two days, Lope headed back for home. I stayed another day before continuing on with my trip.

 

Bend Shops

Bend, OR, has a good walking downtown.

 

Statue in Bend

A bit of art in Bend.

 

 

Deschutes River in Bend

The Deschutes River is held back by a spillway as it goes through Bend.

 

Paddling the Deschutes River

Paddlers and kayakers enjoy the quiet water through Bend.

 

Title- Brownsville, OR

 

Barn in Sisters, OR

After three days with Bill and Marty, I headed west out of Redmond on highway 20. When the trees cleared, I had a beautiful view of the Cascade mountains, from north to south I could see, Mt. Washington, North Sister, South Sister, Broken Top and Mt. Bachelor. Above is North Sister, one of the Three Sisters group after which the town of Sisters in named.

 

Black Butte

Approaching the town of Sisters, the perfectly symmetrical cinder cone, Black Butte, was visible off to the right. The ride on Highway 20 across the Cascades, was a beautiful ride with little traffic and lots of good turns. At the town of Sweet Home I got a drink at the A&W and then turned south on Hwy 228 for the ride into Brownsville.

 

Ralph's garden

Ralph was a schoolmate of mine at Wheaton College. He got me into selling dictionaries door to door, and we became good friends. He served in Vietnam, and on return, he bought five acres next to his brother in the hills, looking down on Oregon's Willamette Valley. They helped each other build homes and settled there. Ralph served as a fireman and he and Roxie raised their family in the house he built. He and Roxie have an impressive garden, an orchard, and Ralph usually picks off an Elk with his bow each year, making them pretty self-sufficient.

 

Fellowship at Ralph's house

I was there for story night. Church friends came over, and Roxie cooked, a delicious Indian Butter Chicken in this case. One then told a Bible story she had memorized and another repeated the story from memory as accurately as possible. After correcting small mistakes, a discussion took place, analyzing the people in the story, the conversations in the story and their meaning. It was a time of warm fellowship. Ralph is on the left and Roxie at the far end.

 

Cougar

For years, Ralph has ridden his mountain bike with his two dogs on a trail that stretches across several of his neighbors parcels of land. A year ago, Ralph put a capture camera on a tree on the trail to see what game might be using it. He was surprised to get this photo of a cougar and her cub. He won an award for the photo and was given another camera as a prize. Since then he has gotten more photos of cougars, some alone and one with two cubs. Of course, he has also gotten deer, raccoons and opossum. He still rides the trail with his dogs.

 

Willamette valley

Before heading out in the morning, Ralph and I walked the first part of his trail. This elevated vantage point gives a stunning view of the Willamette Valley.

 

Title Mt St Hellens

 

Riding Mt. St. Hellens with Robert

From Brownsville, I rode to Vancouver, WA, to stay with my cousin Robert and his wife, Ginny. The next day, he broke out his motorcycle and he took me for a ride on the roads to the south of Mt. St. Helens. This is mountainous, wooded country with a very low population density. A chain of three lakes, Lake Merwin, Yale Lake, and Swift Reservoir, are dammed and contribute to the hydro-electric power which makes up 25% of Washington's electricity.

 

Welcome to Cougar

We rode through the community of Cougar, perhaps aptly named for the wildlife in these parts.

 
 

Lake Merrill

On a shoulder of St. Helens., Lake Merrill provided a campers retreat. Pardon Robert's helmet. He had recently had surgery on his ear, which made taking the helmet off a more than trivial process.

 

Saint Hellens in the distance

With the woods and morning cloud cover, there weren't many chances to see Mt. St. Helens. However, here is a glimpse of the bottom half of the volcano.

 

Bridge of the Gods

On our return, we circled down to the Columbia River and crossed over the Bridge of the Gods into Oregon for lunch. This tug and barge had gone through a lock a few miles down-river and was making its way east. The Columbia is navigable, through locks, all the way to eastern Washington.

 

I was able to see a number of my relatives during the two days I was in Vancouver. That is always a good time. It was then time to head home, which I did with only a gas stop up Hwy 5. It was a week packed with friends and beautiful scenery, not to mention some excellent rides. But in the end, it is always fun to swing open the door and to shout out, "Pat, I'm home."