Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Final days of fun in Oregon

As expected, our time in Oregon whizzed by.  We played almost every day and loved every minute of it.  We got hooked on kayaking and decided to invest in 2 inflatable kayaks knowing we'd get lots of use out of them not only in Oregon but along the rest of our travels.  Tom swears he's not using it on the Peace River in FL (alligators!) but I have several months to talk him into it.  :-)
Laurie and Mark

"Cousin" Rita (Ed's cousin)

Rita Morgan

Gisela and Stephen - a great couple we met who live in this wonderful area - we had a fun time kayaking, wining and dining as we got to know them better .  Hope to see you out on the road some day!

Loving our new kayaks with Mt. Bachelor in the background

Ed and Sandy
We have found one downside (and scary thing) in this area...the summer forest fires.  In the 4 weeks we were in this area there were several fires not far from us.  This is high desert so the area becomes extremely dry in the summer and with dry lightening storms it is a set up for lots of fires.

Thankfully this beautiful bird wasn't bothered by the smoke in the distance
Crater Lake National Park - We were extremely excited for our trip to Crater Lake with Sandy and "Cousin" Rita.  We had never been there and had only heard great things about this national park.  Unfortunately the local fires put a bit of a damper on the visit.  The smoke was very present in the crater (both the sight and smell) and limited the views dramatically.  We had scheduled a boat ride as well but that was cancelled due to the threat of a thunderstorm.  We still enjoyed our day (especially with Sandy and Rita) and know that we will go back again.
Wizard Island

Phantom Ship
South Sister Summit - If you look back to the previous post there were pictures of South Sister in the distance from Sparks Lake.  We decided to tackle that mountain as training before attempting Borah Peak, the highest peak in Idaho (did we make it to the top of Borah?  stay tuned for the next post to find out!).  At 10,358ft. it was certainly no walk in the park.  Our first mistake was not finding the proper trailhead and bushwacking for 3.5 miles until we found the trail.  Ooops!  It turned into a 16 mile hike in 10 hours but was certainly well worth it for the incredible views along the way and especially on top.  We had a great view of 5 mountains from the top - Middle Sister, North Sister, Mount Jefferson, Mount Hood and Mount Adams.  Aaaahhhhh!
Beautiful start...just on the wrong trail!

a bit of scrambling over boulders in search of the trail

There it is...the trail and the mountain in the distance!

Moraine Lake - on the way to the summit

the summit still far far away

a beautiful lake around 9,500 ft.

still climbing...more like two steps forward and slide back one (lots of scree and steep)

Ahhhh...the summit!  Middle Sister and North Sister with the other mountains in the distance

Lakes of all colors below us - bright blue, dark blue and all with large snow chunks floating in them

a very brown (muddy?) lake with snow chunks floating in it
Leaving Oregon was very sad as we had to say goodbye to old and new friends knowing we may not see them again for several years until we come back to this area again (we'll be on the east coast for a few years).  Sandy always reminds us not to say goodbye but rather "until next time."  It's a good reminder and one I always use on my farewell of the post.  

We left Oregon for our two-day trek to Arco, Idaho.  We had plans to stay overnight in our favorite free "campground", Wal-Mart, in Ontario, OR which was approximately 250 miles from Bend.  Our RV had to have a few finishing touches on repairs and unfortunately (or actually fortunately) got us on the road about 4.5 hours later than expected.  With the late start, an hour lost crossing over the mountain time zone and the beautiful river on our drive, we couldn't say no to our first official wilderness boondock about an hour west of Ontario, OR on route 20.  It was pure heaven waking up to the river by our side, the mountains surrounding us and the coyote singing to us.

Til next time...Happy Trails!

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