May 31 - June 5, 2023
We finished the Anne Hillerman audible book, and now we're listening to the Yellowstone PodCasts - very fun for fans of the show and its spin-offs. Jefferson White, who plays Jimmy, is the host and does a great job.
Except for the sad increase in hate-agenda flags, it's another pretty drive into Central Oregon, all two-lane through mountains and cattle ranches. There are SO many cattle in Oregon!
|Lots more than we ever saw in Texas.|We stayed at the Expo Center RV Park in Redmond, Oregon, four years ago, and found it to be the perfect place for exploring the beauty of the Bend/Sisters area. With 50 amp FHUs on asphalt and concrete sites it's a safe, clean and very reasonable option. Our satellite connects, their WiFi is fast, and Tessa has some nice grass.
|Fairgrounds on the other side of the fence.|
Tessa was groomed a few weeks ago, but they only had her down for a bath and no cut, so she was getting very shaggy. She's scheduled for a full groom (I make sure!) here in Bend, and on Wednesday afternoon she's looking spiffy - and much cooler! Used the time to get my Trader Joe's fix, the Jeep washed, and then a couple loads of laundry. Feels good to knock down those to-do lists :-)
|Wearing her own blanket.|
|Clean and lean!|
I've been both looking forward to, and dreading, our stop in Bend. This is where I was able to make an appointment for the slide fix. I extended our stay several days just for the appointment, hoping it might be a one day repair. Realistically though, based on the part order we didn't want to wait for in Ogden, this isn't a one day fix. On our first day here we stop by the shop to talk with the tech instead of waiting for our appointment. He confirms it could be one day - or take several weeks to get any parts. I'm thrilled when Bill suggests we cancel and just finish out our trip with the slide staying in. Since he's the one most inconvenienced by the space reduction, I appreciate this big decision. The stress of the unknown lifts :-)
Tumalo Falls is a place we missed last time, very popular and supposed to be crowded every day. It's a pretty drive, and although we find the expected hordes, I'm glad we get the quick view of full and beautiful falls.
|Tumalo Falls - sounds glorious!|
I'm bummed to find that the Imagination Gallery has closed in Sisters - it was the only place I bought any art when we were fulltime on the road, and I was looking forward to finding another piece for the house :-( Instead we find a lovely eatery next door to the now empty space - The Open Door has a small but interesting menu in a very pretty setting. An eclectic gallery shares the indoor space. Nothing catches my eye to take with me.
|Like other creeks this year, this one is bank-to-bank and moving fast.|
Friday is the last of the cooler days in the forecast so we head for Prineville Reservoir State Park about 30 miles east (we drove through the town of Prineville on our way here). The wildlife area back road is a beautiful drive, and I'm looking forward to exploring it again.
|Meat balls and marina with shaved parmesan. |
|Wonderful to see a full reservoir.|
With the back road closed we opt for the highway to the little market at Post. It marks the geographic center of Oregon. Crooked Creek, alfalfa and Sudan grass fields, more cattle, rock formations - it's a nice alternative on a blue-sky day. It's easy to see how a dirt road might be closed with all the signs of major flooding over the highway here.
|A large herd of geese in the cove.|
|A tall ghost makes a quick getaway from this old cabin.|
|Looking back I note this exact same photo from our last visit - it is definitely worth capturing :-)|
|The actual very, very center is on private land nearby. |
We venture north to the Warm Springs Reservation area along the Deschutes River. Like the others, this river is flowing strong. With the interesting columnar formations at the top, it's a lovely river valley. The town of Warm Springs, a small burg along Hwy 97, has little more than a casino. We remember there was a small trailer that sold fry bread at the edge of town, a temporary little spot that made great tacos.
|I can't believe it! Four years later and it's less temporary now with a shaded sitting area :-) Sadly it's also closed today.|
|Lake Simtustus above the Pelton Dam on the Deschutes.|
|The Deschutes meanders through the narrow valley.|
The area is surrounded by many snow-capped peaks with access to Mt Bachelor and Broken Top along the Cascade Lakes National Scenic Byway. It's a beautiful drive along several small lakes, through forests of Ponderosa pines, and beside large lava flows. The mountains peek out, as do the occasional long views. At 82 degrees the last thing we're expecting is snow along the road! In many places it's 2-3 feet deep under the trees. The Elk Lake Loop is open but very rough, and the entrance to Elk Lake is still closed.
|Crooked River Bridge is a pretty stop, but these signs in the parking lot send me back to the Jeep with Tessa!|
|A pretty stop along the river where mosquitos immediately find me :-(|
|Little Lava Lake - more mosquitos.|
|Lava Lake - yep, here too. Fortunately almost no people.|
|We see a lot of downed trees throughout the day.|
|Lots of snow at 5000 feet.|
|Devil's Lake - gorgeous colors.|
|Mt Bachelor across the marshes.|
|The blessing of azure skies.|
|Massive lava flows.|
|Long views at the end of a short trail.|
|Breathing in the butterscotch scent of the pines.|
Although I've cancelled our repair appointment, I'm still waiting for a delayed package shipment. We're fine here, already paid (non-refundable) until the 10th, but on Monday I call and move our arrival date at our next stop forward a couple days. I hate cutting into our week in little Idanha, but I'm glad we have some wiggle room.
Even with the bits of drama we've had this year, we have been truly blessed with the weather. Only one or two days we could call hot, no high winds, enough rain to keep the dust down and the grass green, a plethora of clear blue sky days. Real summer is still ahead of us - but so is the beautiful Oregon coast!
|Reese and Penelope hold down their parents in the Atlantic coast winds.|
|Reese and Penelope holding down the cuteness.|
|Ezra (with his summer short hair!) shows off Mommy's name on the college graduation program. |
Good job Shalise - we're so proud!!
|Elliott checks in - hi everybody!|