Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Sisters and lots of Lava

It's another beautiful autumn day in Oregon and the flowers are beautiful. These Cosmos are in full bloom and behind them is one of our Morning Glory vines that still hasn't bloomed and probably will be too late this year.

On our other Morning Glory vine the flowers are on time and lovely.

Well off we went for a drive up to Sisters, Oregon. We started out going east on highway 126 and took off on highway 242 an older 2 narrow lane road closed much of the year because of the snow. Beautiful forest scenery...

...and lots of tall trees.

Then we got to the lava fields an expanse of almost 70 square miles.

The sisters mountains were pretty inspiring but shooting into the sun made it difficult to get a good picture. Notice the lava the trees have to grow up in as opposed to soft soil.

One more view of the sisters.

Looking East from where the previous two pictures were taken looking South the image is much better but I had to watch for cars to take this one.

Looking North now across the road you can better see the lava the trees must try to survive in.

A little further up the road at McKenzie Pass Summit is the Dee Observatory built in 1937 by Benson Polytechnic School in Portland. It's a tower made from the lava that surrounds this mountain pass.

Benson's predecessor
Benson Polytechnic High School began in 1908 as the Portland School of Trades in the Atkinson Building at 11th and Davis in Northwest Portland. It was established to give "boys who wished to enter a trade a better opportunity than do shops and factories of the present time." Any boy from Portland who was at least fourteen years old, or who was a grammar school graduate, could attend. The course of study was three years. Students could also attend night school and/or summer sessions at the trade school. In 1909 , a course of study for girls was added. The Portland School of Trades was coeducational until 1913 when the girls' departments were moved to the Lownsdale School (which later became Lincoln High School.

Beginnings and the First World War
The Portland School Board voted to change the school's name to Benson Polytechnic High School after civic leader and philanthropist Simon Benson gave $100,000 in 1917 to the Portland School District for the construction of a building to house a technical school. The School Board appropriated an equal amount of money. Six blocks of land at Northeast 12th and Hoyt were purchased and a building was built, and the new Benson Polytechnic School opened its doors in September 1918 to 46 boys.

Benson Polytechnic School served not only the educational needs of the city's youth, but also the defense needs of a nation at war. During World War I the federal government took control of the school. Twenty-four hours a day, recruits were stationed and trained on the campus. North and south wings were added to the back of the school building to serve as a barracks for the troops.

This Plaque is about 3 feet in diameter and sits at the top of the observatory and marks the volcanoes and peaks around the circumference of the tower.

Looking down from the tower we see a parking area, some vehicles, a convince station and the mini-musemobile.

To the north, Mt. Washington a very high and colorful peak can be seen beyond the lava field.

Inside the Dee tower's covered lower level are openings marked to tell you which peak you are seeing. This is Mt. Washington again

The Sisters peaks.

Black Butte

I think this is Mt. Jefferson but I'm not positive.

We finally made it back at the Sisters Peaks across real soil and grass when we arrived in Sisters, Oregon.

Great views of a special place....

.......From behind this fence.

On the way back we stopped for a picnic and a look at the north face of Mt Washington and saw the devastation from the Sisters fires of 2003.

Some University of Oregon Geology students we had seen at the Dee Observatory stopped to take notes.

The fire damage was extensive and yet the lake was the most beautiful blue.

Farther down the road we stopped at this campground to scout it for a future weekend excursion. The camping was pretty rustic but I think we will come back in the future because it's close to home and we can handle a couple of days with the water tanks and the generator.

The campground is called Olallie campground and it looks like a good spot for fishermen along the McKenzie River complete with boat ramp.

Lots of fishermen signs with the rules and other various informational messages.

The boat ramp is a very simple configuration of 4x4 wood with astroturf looking felt strips.

The autumn colors were terrific and the blue water gave an excellent composition for picture taking.

From another angle the golden light of dusk is beginning and with the yellow and orange vine maples it looks like King Midas touched the entire shoreline.

Scrabble Score ~ Scrabble Queen 329 ~ The Contender 320 (close but no cigar)

Quote of the Day ~
" There was also an undercurrent of desperation about the town's sagging image. They put up booster signs with slogans like "It's Swell in Hornell." As teenagers we mocked it. Yet it made me sensitive to the town's identity crisis: How does an underdog pull itself up?" - Bill Pullman

Bill Pullman (born December 17, 1953) is an American actor.

Born in Hornell, New York to James Pullman (a physician) and Johanna Blaas, he attended the State University of New York at Delhi, and the University of Massachusetts.

In the 1980s, he primarily worked with theatre companies around New York and Los Angeles, California. His first prominent movie role was in the film Ruthless People, starring Danny DeVito.

Other notable films included the lead in Spaceballs (1987), The Serpent and the Rainbow (opposite Zakes Mokae),While You Were Sleeping (1995) and Independence Day (1996). Pullman continues to act in both theatre and in movies, independent and big budget.

Pullman is married to dancer Tamara Hurwitz, and has three children. He lost his sense of smell in college after an injury left him in a coma for two days.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The film "The Serpent and the Rainbow," is one of my absolute favourites.


©Paul Viel