Bend Anniversary: Hike

We met up with one of my high school friend and his partner for coffee and then set out for a hike.

Here is Benham Falls.

After visiting the falls, we hiked part of the Deschutes River Trail, which was pretty. You can see it by looking past our grinning faces in the following self-portraits.

Two timer photos on this trip!  

After that, we got some linner and hung out at the hotel.  The next day involved driving to Roseburg, Eugene and Corvallis to get more stamps.  No photos exist of this day.

It was a lovely anniversary trip.

All those McMenamins fires don’t just spring forth unaided

I was exploring the different areas of the hotel when I came across this pile of wood.  Most McMenamins properties have multiple fire pits and Bend is no exception.  Here’s the wood that feed those fires.

A few hours later, all the wood had been moved.

Old St. Francis school has recently expanded into two new buildings, one of which includes secret rooms. And there’s even a hidden bar. They were very fun to find.

Bend Anniversary: First Friday

Bend has a downtown event on the first Friday of the month.  Here are a couple of things we saw.

This apology note from a young shoplifter.

At the Tower Theater, we caught an open rehearsal of Thoroughly Modern Productions preparations for Guys and Dolls, which they will be performing in June.  I had fun watching the incremental improvements as they rehearsed.   It was already looking like a good show. 

Then we had delicious Thai food at Noi Thai.

Bend Anniversary: Lava Cast Forest

After driving up Lava Butte, we visited the Lava Cast Forest.  It’s a long drive on unimproved roads to get there, but Matt read from the books and I drove and we eventually got there.

Timer portrait at the start of the trail.

Snow was still on the ground.

Wind shaping the flora.

Aside from taking a long time to drive to, the trail is only about 1/3 of a mile. But it has a unique feature. Also there weren’t many people there.

We were there to see the tree molds.

And here is one.

I loved these trees with the swirly bark.

Soon after expressing love, I found this informational sign. (Interpretive win!)

Here’s an upright version.

We did not see any pika, alas.

What’s going on here?

The above is a closeup of a downed tree. You can see how the roots grew around the rocks.

The trail is passable, despite a downed log.

What the ground cover looked like.  We had an asphalt path to walk on, but that looks like it would rip shoes to shreds.  It must have been hard to get to this back in the day.  

Another tree mold.

The last sign on the trail was this picture of what some of the lava molds used to look like.  This was an important picture because it showed how things have changed. After being impressed at the tree molds we saw, I was sad to have missed seeing them when they were taller. (Another interpretative win!)

Overall, I would say visiting the Lava Cast Forest was worth the drive.

Bend Anniversary: Lava Butte

We visited the Newberry National Volcanic Monument to look for some hiking.  On the way in, we were asked if we wanted to drive to Lava Butte.  We did?  We said yes, because clearly it was a thing, and so we did the drive to the top.

Here’s the Butte.  In the summer, you have to either hike, or go by shuttle bus.  Right now, only a certain amount of cars are allowed at the top at one time.

At the top of the butte, I used the outhouse and was amused to see this note.

View from the top.

I had my hiking shoes, but there was a quarter-mile loop around the caldera, so I just stepped carefully in my sandals.

Looking back at the fire lookout station.

Looking into the caldera.

Things were blooming.

Info about the Newberry Volcano.

Another view into the caldera.

I enjoyed that the informational signs each had a suggested activity at the bottom.

Lookout station stairs, with another butte in the distance.

Inside the lower level of the ranger station was an exhibit.

This was a sign at the visitor center, but I found it very interesting.  Apparently Highway 97, which runs north/south through the state, and is the highway that bisects the Newberry National Monument, has been a natural highway for the last thousand, or so years.  This means that animals use it too.  And try to cross it.  And get killed by speeding cars. This poster outlines efforts to avoid that.

Bend Anniversary: Smith Rock Hike

It’s our 15th Anniversary, so we headed to Bend to use our hotel vouchers and celebrate.  On the way into town, we stopped at Smith Rock and did a short hike.

Matt found something to climb. 

It was a beautiful day.  And because it was a Thursday afternoon in early May, it wasn’t very crowded.

Coming down from doing trail work.

Forced perspective.

It’s just so pretty there!

Friday Drive

Dad and I took the MGB out for a drive with his driving buddies from the dog park.  We had a good drive.

These are tailings from the copper mines.
This is actual nature stuff, not created by extractive processes.

I love looking at all the different kinds of cacti.

Great sign!

Car interior.  We had the top on, due to the chilly day.

We drove through Saguaro National Park.

Saguaro cacti are the classic form of cacti that everyone can draw, due to the cartoons.  They are plentiful in the hills, which looks very cool.

We drove to a small airport and had breakfast.  Then I took pictures of all the drivers and their cars.

I’m very interested in this agriculture thing happening in the desert.  It seems like not the best idea, but I know little about the subject.

The view from Sentinel Peak

Having grown up with a very large white B* hovering in the foothills above my hometown, I’m always a fan of discovering letters in the landscape.  There’s a big “A” visible from the freeway in Tuscon.  Dad drove me up to take a look.

Here’s the story.  My favorite part is that the Parks & Rec department now maintains it.  Those college kids aren’t so reliable.

Desert and town

More desert and town

Even more desert and town. 

There were some shading structures with informational signage.  One of them also came with a couple making out, while sitting on top of the informational sign.  Between that couple and the other teenagers getting high back in the parking lot, I think I can say that Tuscon’s Sentinel Peak is not unlike Boise’s Table Rock.

Anyway, rock on top of the shading structure.  I can see how that would be a thing.

The view from the freeway.

*For residents of Boise, that link up there is worth a read.  It’s funny!  I also learned that you can no longer drive all the way to the top of Table Rock.  Fie on that!