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Crater Lake

Crater Lake

At the end of September, Steve and I took an Amtrak train from St Cloud, Minnesota to Portland, Oregon for a destination wedding. The following posts are about our experiences on the train and in Oregon, which I wrote down in my travel journal. You can read previous posts here:

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Crater Lake

The Sunday after the wedding, Steve and I headed to Crater Lake. I’d seen photos of the lake and read about it and wanted to see the enormity of it for myself. At the first place we stopped, the temperature on the car’s dashboard was showing 38 degrees (F). Oh, well, we’d already managed that the day before. No big deal…

Mountains around Crater Lake

Except I had never experienced a wind quite like the one that practically grabbed the car door out of my hand. I couldn’t take off my sunglasses or my eyes would fill with sand. I had rain pants over leggings and the loose nylon was flapping and slapping loudly, sounding like a flag whipping in the breeze.

Crater Lake

Both Steve and I stood and moved with our bodies slightly tilting forward, trying to maintain our balance. When we got back in the car, we looked at each other and said something like, “Shit! It’s nasty out there!”  (Or maybe that was just me…) Then we both made faces as we felt grit sliding around in our teeth.

Crater Lake

So, not great weather to walk around in. We kept driving, looking out the windows at the sparkling blueness of the lake, the ruggedness of the mountains, and the trees watching over it all. This tree looked like she was strutting with attitude.

tree that looks human

When we got to the other side of the lake, it was much warmer and there was less wind.

Crater Lake

At one point, we took a short walk and this crazy fox came up behind me to cross into the woods. He was so close, I swear I could have petted him. Only I was in shock and of course, didn’t have my camera out because a couple seconds before I had put it away thinking, “We’re just heading back to the car, there won’t be anything to photograph.” Stupid, stupid, stupid!

fox

Steve was better prepared.

fox

Anyway, I had that moment of just standing so close and looking directly into the fox’s face in amazement. Maybe the moment I experience was better than any photo I could have had.

And yes, Mr. Ground Squirrel, you’re cute too…

Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel

 

Deschutes River

Oregon beach

At the end of September, Steve and I took an Amtrak train from St Cloud, Minnesota to Portland, Oregon for a destination wedding. The following posts are about our experiences on the train and in Oregon, which I wrote down in my travel journal. You can read previous posts here:

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Deschutes River

The morning before the wedding, Steve and I had enough time to take a short walk along the Deschutes River. I got caught up in how the sunlight was reflecting off the grass and flowers along the water.

Deschutes River Deschutes River

Then we walked around downtown Bend. There was going to be an Art Fair and booths were being set up. But neither the art fair or stores were open yet so I just peeked in the shop windows. They had fun mannequins in one of the clothing shops.

Mannequins

Mannequin

Mannequins After our walk, we got ready to drive to the resort where the wedding was taking place, about 45 minutes outside Bend, up in the mountains. According to my phone, it was going to be about 38 degrees F outside and it was an outdoor wedding so I was dressed in heavy tights, skirt, sweater, wrap, and boots.

As we drove, it started raining. Then the rain turned to sleet. Then to wet snow. This wasn’t looking good for the bride.

driving through Oregon

But then there was one of those miracles that sometimes happen on wedding days. The sun came out about ten minutes before the ceremony. It was still cold and windy, but it wasn’t precipitating on us and the view was gorgeous, as was the bride.

outdoor wedding

The reception was taking place at Deschutes Brewery in Bend in their Mountain Room. On the drive there, we stopped for more photos. Everywhere we went, there was just so much beauty. I loved the blue glow of this water.

Oregon

And this…

Oregon

The wedding reception was one of the most unique and enjoyable receptions I’ve been to. Since the couple brews beer and are interested in microbrews, I thought that it was a fun to have the beer theme carried out for their reception. They really planned it out well. Each course came with a different sampling of beer — a lighter beer with the salad all the way on to a darker, sweeter beer with the wedding cake. Sorry I don’t have any photos but sometimes a girl just has to put down her camera and enjoy.

 

Sign for Ramona Falls trail

At the end of September, Steve and I took an Amtrak train from St Cloud, Minnesota to Portland, Oregon for a destination wedding. The following posts are about our experiences on the train and in Oregon, which I wrote down in my travel journal. You can read previous posts here:

Friday, October 2, 2015

A night at the Timberline Lodge included a buffet breakfast. Anyone looking at me in the buffet line would have seen the face of a kid looking into a candy shop window. All of the food looked amazing! I wanted to try it all! I mistakenly took scrambled eggs before seeing the egg frittata (which I ended up eating instead).

Breakfast at Timberline Lodge
We had plans to drive to a trailhead for a hike to Ramona Falls before we had to get to the grooms dinner. The hike was seven miles round trip and had an elevation climb of 1000 feet. We only saw a few people at the trailhead so it was the right hike for me. Unfortunately, seeing few people turned out to be a problem when it came to crossing the Sandy River. Besides the warning signs about how dangerous crossing the river was and how you should find a “good” spot to cross, there were no hints about where that “good” spot was.

Steve and I saw a skinny round log that did not look like a good option but there were footprints around it so we deducted others had crossed there. If they did, they were better tightrope walkers than we were. Steve bobbled and turned back. I bobbled and fell sideways onto a big rock, scraping my left hand up pretty good and leaving another one of the many bruises I seem to collect on my body.

We spent a long time wandering back and forth on a sandy stretch along the river, trying to find a “good” crossing. When we saw two hikers pass by us and head down a trail into the woods, we quickly stalked after them, thinking they might know what they were doing. We tried to keep a respectful distance so as not to creep them out. But because of that, we lost sight of them.

mushrooms

Standing in the trail and probably looking lost, a guy walked out of the woods and asked if we were mushrooming. We had seen signs that mushroom hunters were allowed to pack out thirty pounds of mushrooms, which this guy had managed to find. He told us that the river crossing was still farther down the trail and we couldn’t miss it. Yeah right, we thought.

But it turned out you really couldn’t miss it, once you knew which direction to go. The “good” river crossing had a tree that was wide enough for Bigfoot to comfortable step onto and even had a second skinny tree lodged in its branches that provided a handrail.

Sandy River crossing The hike was absolutely stunning. The Ramona falls fell over a column formed by a long ago lava flow.

Ramona Falls

But it was the rocks we saw along the trail that made me gasp and stop in my tracks at first sight.

Rock formations along Sandy River

I’d never seen anything like it before. It’s so cool to see something for the very first time that is so outside your knowing. And then realize that’s it’s been there for so many years due to glaciers and volcano eruptions. Out of disaster there can come some crazy beauty.

Rock formations along Sandy River

 

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