lurkitty: (maneki neko)
I promised pictures, and pictures you shall have!
Cut for pictures of the world's prettiest kitty )


Jul. 15th, 2007 06:01 pm
lurkitty: (Default)
Friday, my mom had to go on business to Fossil. To say the least, this is not a short trip. It was 8 hours roundtrip, and while we stopped for no more than 5 minutes at any one place, we did stop several times for pictures. It was a gorgeous day. The sky was deep blue with a few whispy clouds. The temperature ranged from 90-100 F according to my car's outside thermometer (I wish I could figure out how to change it to centigrade).

Going out, we chose the northern route. The thing about going from western to central Oregon is that you have mountains in the way. You have to choose your pass, and it may not be in a direct line with your destination. So we had the choice of going north to the pass around the south of Mt. Hood (the same one we use to get to Pendleton every year), and Santiam Pass, which is directly east of Salem/Albany. We made a big loop by going to the northern pass first, then coming home via Santiam.

The advantage of going via the northern route aside from the gorgeous scenery (but then, if we'd gone via Santiam, I'd have pics of Detroit reservoir and Lost Lake), is being able to stop at our favorite fruit stand/cookie shop. There in the shadow of Mt. Hood to the south, and Mt Adams to the north, they make scrumptuous cookies.

Mt Adams from the cookie shop )

We dropped down into the Gorge until we hit The Dalles, then made our way south and east. On the way, we noted several forest fires, which made the air rather murky for a time.

Forest fire with Mt Hood in background )

We crossed the Descutes River at Maupin, a popular place to take you raft out after a whitewater trip. I had done that several years ago and loved Boxcar rapids.

going over the bridge at Maupin )

The Deschutes River at Maupin )

We drove up to Landmark Peak, the highest point on the old Dalles/Redmond road. This is the same route used by pioneers. You can tell it's the highest peak around by the repeater station.

Landmark Peak )

Our journey took us through the thriving ghost town of Shaniko, and some challenging driving through hairpin turns all the way to Antelope. Antelope was the site of the controversial Rancho Rashneesh. In the 1980's, an Indian guru named
Bhagavan (or Bhagwan) Shree Rashneesh
came to Oregon to set up his ashram. In a controversial move, the inhabitants of the ashram, far exceeding in numbers the inhabitants of Antelope, voted to change the name of the town to Rashneesh Puram. It was alleged that the Bhagwan had intentionally recruited the homeless for this purpose, but it is also possible he was simply practicing charity. The wole situation was entirely too much for a rural Oregon community, and death threats against followers and the Bhagwan were common. The episode ended with the Bhagwan's personal secretary, Anand Sheila, having poisoned a salad bar in The Dalles with salmonella, then leaving the coutry, stealing the group's funds.

The Bhagwan was a colorful character, often seen driving in one of his Mercedes (adherents had to donate all their belongings to the group and dye all their clothes red). Rumors flew of bizaare cult behaviors, but most former members recall the time fondly. The Bhagwan returned to India and led a lower profile life, changing his name to Osho and authoring many books on philosophy.

Antelope )

Fossil is about 20 miles from Antelope and is in the Clarno John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. Even though it is not in the Painted Hills unit, there are bits of painted hills to be seen. Cresting a hill, we saw painted hills in the distance.

Painted Hills )
At last, we came to beautiful downtown Fossil.

Fossil )
Turning back, we found a lizard at a rest stop.

Lizard )

The Palisades are a main feature of the Clarno Unit.

Palisades )

We also found Middle Earth on the way to Redmond;

Middle Earth )

It grew dark as we said farewell to the eastern side of the Cascades, the sun setting behing the Three Sisters and Three-Fingered Jack. Three more hours, and we were home.

Mountains at Sunset )

Since then I have been very tired. I slept in, but it seems no amount of naps has restored my energy. I got 49 mpg in my Prius! She really likes the hot weather.

Once again - thanks for coming along on the trip!

Mt. Hood

Jun. 22nd, 2007 04:40 pm
lurkitty: (Default)
I got back late Wednesday from Grand Chapter. I got to be a Grand Page this year and it was fun, but very busy.

The chapter session is held in Pendleton every year - which is in north central Oregon. It means a long drive. If we are not stopping in Portland on the way, we tend to take the scenic route, which is effectively a shortcut. Instead of going straight north on I-5, then turning on to I-84 at Portland, we go around the back of Mt. Hood to join I-84 at Hood River. This is an absolutely gorgeous drive, and surprisingly few people take it. Going this way, we cut out having to go through the Portland Metro area, which is usually slow.

It was dark on the way to Pendleton, but we managed to leave in the daytime coming back. Rounding a corner, we got a beautiful view of Mt. Hood with a lens-shaped cloud over its peak. I convinced Mom and my sister to stop for a couple of pictures:

Mt Hood Picspam )


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