Thursday, June 22, 2006

Crater Lake and Wizard Island

The road from our home to Crater Lake begins on Interstate 5 and heads along US 58 through Oakridge, Oregon

Oakridge is a nice place to stop if you are so inclined and has an A&W Root Beer Stand - of course A&W was the beginning of the Marriott Empire.

I guess the guys in the family all like to take tunnel pictures. I meant to tell you these pictures were taken by Andrew and some by Megan on their outing to Crater Lake.

There is a small entrance fee to see the crater and from a value perspective it is a real bargain.

Approaching the crater the drive goes along acre after acre of lava fields.

As you approach the crater you get into some pretty high elevations and, at this time of year, some snow.

A passing ghost took this picture of Andrew and Megan with a nice winter background (actually Summer).

Crater Lake is one of many volcanoes along the spine of the Cascade Range.

Finally at the rim and taking in a spectacular view.

Ok, so I have to make a guess at this bird. I looked it up in the Birds of Oregon Field Guide and from the description in the book it's a Clark's Nutcracker of something very close.
All gray bird with black wings and narrow black band down the center of the tail. A high-country bird seen in conifer forests in central and eastern parts of the state.

I think this is where Alvin the Chipmunk took up residence.

Brave Andrew leaned over a steep cliff to take this picture.

And the artist in him took this picture with a twisted tree as a reference.

I really liked this picture of the rim of the crater around the lake with Wizard Island in the middle of the lake. The interesting thing is that Wizard Island is a cinder cone within the larger crater with it's own small crater at it's peak.

Finally Andrew took this picture of Megan on the rim and ......

Megan took this picture of Andrew on the rim. They had a wonderful time and I'd like to thank Andrew for permitting me to use his pictures on my blog.

Scrabble Score ~ June 21 Scrabble Queen 375 - the contender 350
June 22 Scrabble Queen 353 - the contender 365

Quote of the Day ~
When a volcano announces its presence, after some tremors, some shaking of the earth, it creates an opening for itself. ~ George Cuvier Comparative anatomist; catastrophist. Rejected evolution; believed in successive special creations. (Note this is pre-Darwin).

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Drive to Portland

Well it's time for our wonderful visit with Vivian to end. We grew some great memories this visit as with all the others. The trip to the falls the conversations on the back porch. As Vivian took one last look out back we started the car for the drive to Portland.

I finally got a quick picture of the Sprayfoam Eagle next to the weigh station on I5 about 45 miles up the road from Creswell. Seeing how slowly I wake up and feel mobile Scrabble Queen drove us up to the Portland Airport (PDX) for Vivian's flight home and I snapped some blurry shots between cat naps as we drove.

As you can see the sky looked ominous and it was cool and close to raining all the way up with a few short showers.

This is an amusement park that marks the beginning of Oregon wine country.

Off and on there are farms along the highway with the exception of Albany and Salem. I liked this John Deere hot-rodder shot against the dark sky.

Just a shot along the highway. The pointy structure is a two story modernistic tower behind the sheds.

Traffic was light as we passed Wilsonville just south of Portland.

The Willamette River runs from Around Cottage Grove in the south to the Columbia River in Portland about 120 miles.

I liked the cool setting of this farmhouse because it reminded me of Heidi without the snow.

And the very modern, state-of-the-art Mercedes dealership where they can eat jello off of the floor because it's so clean and shiny - and that's in the service bays.

We finally arrived at PDX just as a military jet was landing. (Blow up the picture by clicking on it and look to the left side.)

We are now on final approach and getting instructions from the flight tower.

Finally up the "departures" ramp to drop off Vivian and give her a big hug - sad to see you leave sweet aunt.

Love you Vivian

No scrabble

Quote of the Day
"It is not our circumstances that create our discontent or contentment. It is us." ~ Vivian Greene

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Shopping, Dining, and Flowers

We decided to take a drive to town to spend the rest of a very kind gift from a friend - a gift card from Reed & Cross. I decided to take a few pictures for todays blog while there. On the way out of the house I took this picture of one of our front yard Iris's. This yellow jewel was in full bloom and I loved the translucent petal at the top middle of the picture.

So we arrived at the store and quick as a wink Scrabble Queen and aunt Vivian were on their way in.

This is a very special and beautifully run establishment.

They sell Flowers and all kinds of home furnishings and even some very cool clothes.

I really liked this colorful hanging basket outside.

We bought a Deviled Egg Plate that was really nice and I even go the Mandolin Slicer I've always wanted for slicing french fries. Then we had lunch in the Garden Room called "Of Grain and Grape."

The outdoor dining area is set amongst the plant sales area - very cool.

You can sit and eat surrounded by garden plants and supplies. As you can see it's a comfortable setting and the tables are spread out for privacy, like the woman on the phone was our nearest neighbors.

I really liked this window display and even the pig is for sale.

I also like this framed image of a bistro.

Then there were the other flowers out front of Reed & Cross

I loved taking the next few of the cut flower bunches for sale.

THe colors were spactacular...

And the variety was very large.........

I think I have become a strong believer in the beauty all around us when I look closely at flowers and special feeling they give so many people at so many occasions.

No Scrabble

Quote of the Day
Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul. ~ Luther Burbank (1849 - 1926)

Luther Burbank, the famed horticulturist made his home in Santa Rosa, California for more than fifty years. On this garden site and in nearby Sebastopol, Burbank conducted the plant-breeding experiments that brought him world renown. His objective was to improve the quality of plants and thereby increase the world's food supply. In his working career Burbank introduced more than 800 new varieties of plants including over 200 varieties of fruits, many vegetables, nuts and grains, and hundreds of ornamental flowers.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

A Little Texas in Oregon

Sharyn's aunt Vivian came for a visit and it's been a wonderful surprise. For anyone who knows Vivian knows she defines grace. It got down to 75 degrees so Vivian (being from Texas and 100 degree temperatures of late) bundled up on the back patio with Sharyn's Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Sweatshirt and comforter as we sat outside watching the ............

....Sheep and........

....The Hummingbirds.

But that was yesterday and today we took a drive and had a picnic. On the drive along highway 58 (The Willamette Highway) and we stopped for a picture of the dam between Dexter Lake and Lookout Point Lake. I did get a picture of the dam but I liked this image of the stairs going to the railroad tracks from the pull out. That is the dam at the top left of the picture.

We also stopped at Casey's Riverside RV Park to look around for a future camping spot. It looked really nice and we loved the hammock by the river.

A little further down the road near the Westfir Road exit was this Forest Ranger Information center. Scrabble Queen picked up a nice map and a couple of brochures from a nice man and a young lady who had set up an information booth in the parking lot.

I know Doreen loves the little Expresso stands in Eugene so I had to get this picture of McGillicuddy's Sandwiches and Expresso in Oakridge, Oregon (not Tennessee)

We finally arrived at the destination - The Salt Creek Falls park a part of the US Forest Service System as part of the Willamette National Forest.

LOCATION: 23 miles southeast of Oakridge

ACCESS: From Oakridge, proceed east on Hwy 58 for 23 miles to FS road 5893. Follow signs to Salt Creek Falls and the parking lot.

ELEVATION: 4,000 feet

FACILITIES: interpretive kiosk, falls viewing platform, flush toilet, garbage containers, fire rings, NO water, tables

ACTIVITIES: picnicking, hiking, fishing, photography

ACCESSIBLE FACILITIES: All the facilities at Salt Creek Falls Observation Site, with the exception of the trail leading to the base of the falls, are accessible to wheelchair users.

Willamette National Forest

So we started with the picnic - we were all starving I guess. Ed and Vivian loved the beauty of the wooded area.

Of course Scrabble Queen started setting the table as we all watched - she is the industrious one who made sure we all ate well - in anticipation.

We did have some visitors like this Stellar Jay and .....

.....this cute chipmonk

The chipmonk hung around Ed who was fascinated with him and the Jay.

I couldn't resist this picture of a burl growth on a dead tree stump.

So then we got to the Salt Creek Falls.
Salt Creek Falls is a spectacular site and the second highest falls in Oregon. It is the most powerful waterfall in Southern Oregon with an average yearly flow of about 50,000 gallons per minute (enough water to supply all the water needs of a community of about 180,000 people).

There are many views of the falls along the canyon rim, but the best is about half-way down the trail to the base of the falls. It takes about fours seconds for the interior of the water column to fall the 286 feet to the bottom on the falls.

Just spectacular

The continuation of the Salt Creek at the bottom of the falls runs through a truly verdant little valley.

On the cliff near the top of the falls is this wonderful pink rhodendrum.

The spray at the bottom of the falls forms a cool looking rainbow effect in the bright sunlight.

We stopped along the trail along the falls and I took this quick picture of my fellow adventurers.

I also got this last shot of Slat Creek just before it takes the plunge to pool below.

Now I'm not much of a fan of graffiti but one does have to wonder about the much loved petroglyphs New Mexico, Arizona and California and other places. Were the original Native American teens considered destructive for their rock art. Nawwwwww this is just plain vandalism and those were historically important.

No Scrabble

Quote of the Day
"I love the roaring waterfall
within some romantic glen.
Mid desert wilds, remote from all
the gay and busy haunts of men.
For its loud thunders sound to me
like voices from Eternity" ~ Thomas Raffles (1788-1863)


©Paul Viel