Monday, September 26, 2011

Camp Sherman - Our last hurrah...

Before we packed the trailer up for the season, we found one beautifully empty Saturday around which to build a quick getaway.

While we have been to the Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery - we never really did explore the nearby Camp Sherman area. We found the Cold Springs Resort & RV park online, and had a wonderful getaway less than an hour from home.

There are tons of US Forest Service campgrounds, as well as private resorts. You can certainly find something to fit your getaway preferences. Here's a link to the Metolius River Association - with lots of helpful information on the area.

A bucolic sunset as seen from the road leading to our campground.

The Cold Springs Resort office.

What happens when there is idle space in our day.

We were fortunate to book this wonderfully open spot by the creek.

A quick visit to check out the Head of the Metolius River. 

We brought the bikes and wandered along the trails, and happened upon these jumps - much to the Teichrow boys' delight (all 3 of them). Biking photos were shot with the "old" D80 and a kit lens. Not to shabby - eh? Click to enlarge...

Boys and fire. Properly supervised - a kid's dream!

They were quite proud.

Enjoying the fruits of their labor. Are marshmallows considered a fruit?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Backyard Tourist - Central Oregon Adventures

We love living in Bend – it’s an ideal place for many reasons. I’m ashamed to admit, however, that we don’t take advantage of our beautiful back yard as often as we should. I suppose that is fairly common, right? We get caught up in our daily dailies – and it takes a gentle nudge to push us out of our ruts.

Last weekend our gentle nudge was our lovely houseguests – old friends of ours from our days of living in Washington state.  What a perfect excuse to share the beautiful scenery & adventures of Central Oregon.

Don’t feel like you have to do all of these adventures in one weekend – but it DOES make for a good one! Be sure to pack mosquito repellant, sunscreen, an array of layers for temperature changes & lots of food/water! Quick note: most of the links are to the official federal sites. Feel free to comment and ask specific questions!

While I have been to the area before, I'd never driven to Paulina Peak for a personal overview of the crater. It was an ideal way to begin our Newberry tour, as we could get a perspective of the big crater in which we were about to explore. From there, we drove down and hiked the Big Obsidian Flow (amazing), then checked out the hot springs bubbling up at East Lake, and finally checked out Paulina Falls. There are longer hikes in the area, but with the crew we had, thought best to do short & sweet adventures at each stop.

The boys - looking out on Paulina Lake from Paulina Peak.

Paulina Lake, with South Sister and Broken Top peaks in the background. Luckily we were able to see them, despite the many wildfires in the area.

From Paulina Peak - the view over the Big Obsidian flow - with East Lake in the background.

Our hikers - along the short, scenic Big Obsidian Flow hike.

Park at the Hot Springs Boat Launch - walk along the south side of the lake, until you come upon the hot springs, bubbling up from the ground. The level of the lake may determine how easy it is to access the springs, and what they may look like.

This was taken last October - when the lake was a bit lower than last weekend. The minerals in this spring had turned the pool a lovely green. Last weekend, however, the springs were not as colorful - but just as hot and impressive.
Here are the springs in early September, with the lake at a higher level than last October. The water is bubbling like mad.

The view of Paulina Falls (a separate stop at the monument), as seen from half-way to the lower viewpoint. Worth the short hike downhill.

Day 2: Mt. Bachelor Summer Adventure

This day we packed a picnic and headed for the hill! We took the chair lift to Pine Marten Lodge - and enjoyed breathtaking views. I've wanted to do this for several years - and always think of it too late in the season - the summer season ends at Labor Day. Luck was with us - as the views were basically clear of the many wildfires in the surrounding areas.

South Sister and Broken Top are the peaks, with a peek-a-boo of Todd Lake, just below Broken Top's peak - and the colorful green meadows of Sparks Lake to the far left of the photo. You can see the wildfire haze along the horizon to the left.

From the Pine Marten Lodge - we take a short hike uphill to the top of the Northwest Express lift - affording us amazing views - and giving the youngsters a bit of a workout. From the lift we were able to see Elk Lake in its entirety, as well as Hosmer Lake.

My hubby the tour guide - showing off Sparks Lake to the left, and South Sister's peak.

After our mountain top adventure - we send the kids on a memorable sled dog ride with Rachel Scdoris's team of dogs.
Absolutely worth the time - stop by and meet these world class athletes: Rachel Scdoris and her sled dog team. You can even take a summer ride - or come back in the winter for an amazing one-hour tour in the snow!
Our kids loved the adventure - and got to have an amazing, up close experience with world class athletes.

Future sled dog rock star!

The kids wrapped up their mountain adventure by taking a walk through a mountain stream in their skivvies - but we won't share those gems!

Day 3 - Deep in a Cave - and Low and Slow on the River.

The Lava River Cave - this is such a fun adventure! You can rent lanterns there - which is a great idea, but also consider a light source for each of the kiddos in your party - as well as a very bright light to turn on occasionally to view special features.

Heading down.... be sure to wear sturdy shoes for the uneven surfaces you'll be walking along.

At 42 degrees F year round - you'll see your breath for certain! Be sure to dress warm!

It looks unreal - don't forget to shine your light on the cave walls, or you'll miss this amazing, drippy (but hard as a, well... rock), phenomenon.

At the end of the cave - you'll see these striations along the walls. Gorgeous.

Make no mistake - reaching the end of the cave is much easier on the little folks in your life. But worth the adventure! Just about anyone will be crawling - on sometimes hard, sometimes soft, but always damp and dirty sand.

Low and Slow on the River: We wrapped up our Day 3 with the popular float along the Deschutes River after a quick lunch. We put in at Farewell Bend Park - a quick portage along the dangerous (but easily avoidable if you watch the signs) spillway, and took out at Drake Park. We'd shuffled a couple of vehicles ourselves for transportation - but you can utilize the public transportation - Ride the River through Labor Day. Sorry folks - you'll have to wait for pictures – if any. This is a great float - but best when HOT, as the river is very cold.