Two weeks ago, we took a mid Fall escape to the Central Oregon, made all the way north to the historic Columbia River and then traced back along the Oregon Pacific Coast. I had never been there before, and it was, AMAZING! As our usual traveling style, we made it again a tight-packed adventure, from dawn to dusk the whole week. I liked everything about Oregon, exquisite mountain lakes, snow-capped mountain peaks, endless pine forests, old-fashioned coast sides, migrating wildlife, and for the first time in my life, I saw grey whales! If I had chance, I’d like to go there again in a different season maybe.
The first part was the volcanic legacy of central Oregon that skirts lakes, diverse wetlands, and scenic ranches, all against the stunning backdrop of volcanic landscapes. We first passed Mt. Shasta in northern California and extended north into Lava Beds National Monument, a land of turmoil that holds more than 700 lava tube caves. It’s nothing but a reminder of how terrifying but amazing the natural world is.
[Up] Lava Beds landscape from fire watchman house
Then there is the world-famous Crater Lake, and some of the nation’s richest bird refuges, which owes its majesty and abundant life to the rich volcanic past and ancient natural forces.
[Up] America’s deepest lake, Crater Lake
Words just can not do justice to my first breathtaking look at Crater Lake, which was created by the eruption and collapse of Mt. Mazama. It is the bluest and mirror like lake I have ever seen.
[Down] Cleetwood Cove trail, descending to the shore of Crater Lake
[Up] Cleetwood Cove boat landing at Crater Lake
[Down] water level recording lodge on Crater Lake
[Up left] morning drew drops on the pine tree
[Up right] Cleetwoods, on the shoreline of Crater Lake
[Up] Lower Klamath Wildlife Refuge
Our following incredible journey then began in Bend, the hub of central Oregon. Round a bend, we found Mr. Bachelor looming larger than life – and found its image perfectly reflected in a mile-high lake around another bend – and we finally understood why it’s named the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway. It was caused by volcanoes again! The eruptions took place during the Ice Age under the glaciers and offered melted holes of ice, which is now the region’s more than 100 large and small lakes.
[Up] a ranch in the dawn mist, with mountain ridges in the background
[Down] the begining of the Cascade Mountains and Lakes
[Up] South Sister, mirrored in the perfect calm of Sparks Lake
[Down] Elk Lake campground, covered with morning fog
[Up left] boat deck
[Up right] a bright yellow maple
[Up] matching the hatch at Crane Prairie Reservoir
[Down] A meadow near Hosmer Lake, with South Sister in the background
Enjoy and stay tuned next for the Northern Oregon and Pacific Coast!
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