Saturday, May 12, 2007

More Oregon Touristing

Originally we were gonna go straight from Portland to Pacifica. But a number of people insisted we see the sights in Oregon. One route, after being narrowed a lot, was 15 hours of driving. We have reservations and stuff in the bay area, so cannot just skip back a day, so instead we had spent the night in Salem. That morning, we headed out east on 22 and kept on going till we get to Bend, where we follow the road back south-west (well, down US-97 and a series of state highways) to Medford. After that, its I-5 all the way.

This whole drive was about opportunistic sightseeing. If we see something good, in time to stop and turn without rolling the car, and feel like it, we stop. As it is, we spent way too much time, so I don't want to hear any griping about stuff we missed. One of the first stops was, oddly because we saw lots of burned trees.

There was an "interpretive center" (and radio station!) for the B&B Complex Fire off the side of the road. We like nerdy, outdoorsy learning, but this was much more interesting and informative than we expected. We both knew vaguely that fire suppression had caused the forests to be more prone to major fires, and were generally bad, but this explained why.

Newberry National Volcanic Monument - Lava Butte - Deschutes National Forest... It was really interesting, and impressively visual to be there, but none of the photos really do it justice (I probably just need to get a wider lens). So, instead, here's a chipmunk.

This is on the top of the Lava Butte, so its not totally irrelevant. Alison insists I tell everyone that he is eating a nut I gave him. So, there, I admit that the shot is a setup.

We got to see the Three Sisters from up top also. Not that close, but I had never seen them before, so that was nice also.

One of the places most everyone suggested we go to was Crater Lake, and this was gonna be a snap, as the looping route inland took us right by the entrance gate. Which is as far as we got.

If the NPS is too cheap to plow the road and even basically open the park in May, could they at least put up a gate that a Guatemalan pygmy goat farmer wouldn't be embarrassed to have?

We then stopped at the (or possibly a) Rogue Gorge. This was cool as hell, way more impressive than you'd think for such a small feature,

This was also nice as once again we followed the Rogue River down till we got to I-5. Seeing it go from a tiny, but violent, stream to a broad river supporting a lot of name-brand nichhe agriculture was nice.

We passed a lot of places, but stopped at the Eden Valley Orchard for a bit of wine tasting (well, Alison did the tasting) and some other minor touristing.

Alison got a bottle of... something. I don't follow wines well. The place is headquartered out of a really nice, old house, with the original 19th century. Alison now wants a monkey puzzle tree...

All this took longer than I expected, and California seemed very annoying todrive thru. We didn't get into the room till well after midnight. Regardless, while it was light, I-5 was prettier than an interstate would be expected to be, so it wasn't a total waste. We got a good view of Mt. Shasta, for example, as we circled it for what seemed to be hours.

No comments: