Without turning around, I asked, "Was that canine or feline?"
Rachel replied, "That was Felinicus Dooficus."
Oh. Ollie is upstairs.
On the way down the mountain we stopped at a viewpoint to admire Mt Bachelor (left) and the Three Sisters.
Sounds like if there's one Bachelor and Three Sisters, there's gonna be a girl fight in the future. Of course, one of the Three Sisters has a bulge and geologists are monitoring it for future volcanic activity...
Hwy 20, west of Bend, Oregon - from our "dash cam" at 55 mph.
Can you imagine living in this house? Oh, what an incredible view to have in your backyard!!
It's about a 2+ hour drive over the Cascade to get home and I want to show you something. This is Mt. Jefferson in the distance:
Heading west on Hwy 22 - heading downhill, riding the brakes, rounding a curve, and oh, what a view. It's hard to see in this photo, but the white bit above the trees in the center of the photo is snow-covered Mt. Jefferson. (In July.)
This photo is out of order from our road trip home, but I wanted to show you what the forests normally look like going over the Cascade mountain range - lush thick forests.
Now take a look at what we encountered near the mountain pass...
B&B Complex burn area
It's a shock to drive through mile after mile of lush forest, then go around a bend and see this. These trees were part of the B&B Complex burn that devastated the area a few years ago.
The B&B Complex was an extreme forest fire that raged through this area in 2003.There is a pullout on the highway where you can park and walk to a viewpoint. There they also have signs that explain what happened. I'll let the signs do the talking:
Highway 22 coming into Salem
I love zooming down this hill.
Shot at 55mph from the "Dash Cam" - this is usually one of the prettiest views of Salem. (Not so great when your windshield is dirty, but still very nice.)
The cats babysat themselves.
Since we were only going to be gone for two nights, we just put out a huge bucket of water for the cats and filled up two pie plates with food. I guess we overestimated their appetites, but at least they didn't starve for anything more than attention.
Enjoy the fire now while it's actually burning. One thing we learned about building campfires is that we suck at building campfires.
...until the camp host told us to douse all the kindling and wood with lots of starter fluid first...
...too late for this fire...
It seems most of our camping time was spent building fires and managing meals. That was fun, though.
What surprised us was the climate on the mountain. Again, we were at an elevation of about 6400 ft in a part of Oregon called the High Desert. Of course, this is a very arid part of the state and the sun is intense.
This photo was taken at about 6am and the outside temp was only 50 degrees. Everyone was bundled up in sweatshirts and heavy pants to keep warm. Pam had been pulling things out of the cooler and placed a hershey bar on the table. In about 30 minutes the sun melted the hershey bar into chocolate soup.
The kiddo opted out of sleeping in the tent with the snoring adults, so we laid down the back seat and slid her twin air mattress into the car. Yes, in our little car! It wasn't super warm (the mattress was cold) but it was cozy and quiet.
And she was safe from bears!
We forgot some kind of blanket or pad for the pooch to lay on, but he seemed happy sunning himself in the dirt.
He got a good bath at East Lake before we packed up the car and left the mountain.
One fun camping activity was to have the teenager take self portraits while Mom and Dad were loading up the car to go swimming. Please note how straight her hair is; it squiggled up into tight curls as soon as it got wet.
I think his finger is stuck up his nose...?
(Yes, mom, that's a box of Twinkies in the food bag.)
Ooh, which reminds me to ask: Have you ever tried cooking Twinkies over a campfire? Just stab one with your weenie roasting stick and roast until golden brown.
At dusk, we had a contest to see who could take the scariest picture of themselves.
Frank wins because he's smoking.
He quit smoking a month later, but that's another story.
...Mere seconds before she burned her fingers on the metal prongs.
Dusk at the campground
Unhappy Caesar makes a nest in the dirt
Dad acts normal (for him anyway)
Mom acts like a mom
Rachel shows off her burnt fingers
The car was full and we were anxious to get the heck on the road.
No chairs of any sort made it to the campground.
There were absolutely no mosquitoes to worry about, but there were lots of moths. Lucky for us (maybe lucky?) Caesar kept the tent moth-free.
Of course, there were a few slimy half-chewed moth carcasses left behind on the air mattress.
Our campsite among the ponderosa pines
At the Newberry National Volcanic Monument.
Our campsite elevation was over 6400 feet. We all experienced a few symptoms of altitude sickness, which surprised us, but on the upside it forced is to take it easy and relax. After all, it was a vacation.
Set up for the first time... in the dark... without instructions.
It didn't collapse on us, so we must have gotten it right!
Here's a video Rachel took that first morning.
Caesar drinking water... and more water
Dad sitting under a tree with coffee
Our pathetic campfire
Mom's clown shoes