Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Central Oregon Continued

We are trying to stay away from places we have been before in this area. But, it is difficult as we can not remember if we have been there or not. I saw a picture of a waterfall in a travel brochure last week and decided we needed to go there. Quite by accident, I saw a picture I took in 2010 of the same waterfall. In two more years, I will not remember if I have ever been to Oregon – where we have spent over 200 nights since we retired.

In 1996 we did a fly and drive exploration trip out here. Well, I did not drive much as the husband of the couple we were with loved to drive. I knew we went to some state park around Bend, but could not recall which one. I could recall a suspension bridge across a river. Well, we found Cove Palisades the other day and it was had two suspension bridges. One across the Deschutes and the second over the Crooked River.

12 - Oregon152 

Today, we took the half-hour long drive from Sisters into Bend and then u-turned back west to the eastern side of the Cascades. We stopped before we got to known familiar haunts and hiked two lakes that we had driven past many times before. Why didn’t we paddle the yaks on these lakes the last time we were here???

12 - Oregon158 12 - Oregon161

                      Todd Lake                                                                  Sparks Lake

What we planned to do today was aborted when I came down with a nine-hour bug. I was OK by lunch. The temp dropped and we sat outside sharing a Doppel Dinkel Bock. The label assured us that dinkel malt, rather than wheat malt, was used and it would bring out the Barvarian in us. I don’t know about that, but it was really filling and I passed on dinner. Drink more beer, lose more weight?

In our five times to this area, we never made it Smith Rock. Big mistake. It’s great. The best rocks in Oregon. Had I made it here when I was younger and fitter I am sure I could have made it up Misery Ridge. First, you go down 400 feet, then up 800 feet in 2/3 of a mile. I made it up to my starting level across the parking and knew beyond any doubt that I could not make the next set of switchbacks. In defeat, I started down, dizzy, then collapsed - prostrate on the narrow trail - for a long time. I had been drinking water, so I guess I was just not whole after the bacteria fight the previous day. I made it down in short legs, stopping to watch a couple climb the sheer rock face. I made back up the 400 feet to the parking lot, found Dorothy sitting under a shade tree reading.  I laid down next to the tree and guzzled two bottles of cool water. Dana, you could probably jog up this trail. I saw several doing just that.

We may go back and hike the flat canyon trail and river trails. Well, flat if you don’t count the 400 feet down and back up. You can see the river trail in the picture below.

12 - Oregon167Smith Rock - The shot everyone takes from the parking lot.

Best lunch of my lifeCrux Fermentation Project – Woke up to a sky of clouds. An excellent day to go into Bend. We had two friends say this was a great place for lunch. It is. Thanks Gayle and Carolyn. Food prepared in a different way. Flavors were divine. The beer was not bad either. We especially like the Banished Doublecross. A dark barrel aged Belgian. We had some with lunch and came away with two bottles. A bit pricey at $13 a bottle. [Their description: Aged for a year in Oregon pinot noir barrels, our dark Belgian-style ale develops complex flavors reminiscent of dried fruit, vanilla and sherry. The French oak provides tannic counterbalance to the syrupy dark candy sugar]

On the way back we stopped by Deschutes and got two more bottles of their Not Too Stoic ale and at the Bend Distillery Dorothy got another bottle of the Hazelnut Vodka. The rig is full of bottles and our bank account is lower.

Back to Smith Rock – We liked this place so much we went back today to get some more pictures in morning light, which only lasts a short time there. We did the River Walk.

12 - Oregon180 12 - Oregon188

The River Trail at Smith Rock                              An eight year girl doing what kids do - climbing

12 - Oregon191 12 - Oregon199

The Deschutes River at Dillon Falls            The Crooked River with the Sisters in the background

12 - Oregon202Always wanted a farm of Alpaca’s, Llama’s and Vicuna’s. There were hundreds of Alpaca’s on this farm.

We had planned to start south by way of Cave Junction. Yesterday, I read more about the cave and the 500 steps with uneven footing made me decide that was no place for Dorothy. So we will go back to 101 and drift south picking up a fish or two for Dorothy.

Until next time.



  1. Love this post and the photos look fantastic. Thanks for the reminder of how nice that area is.


  2. Hey, I had a great time reading your website. Do you have an email address that I can contact you on? Thank you and hope to hear from you soon.


    JHouston791 gmail.com