Saturday, June 30, 2012

Mergansers on Suttle Lake

It’s stupid to have lived in Oregon for almost 10 years without really exploring beyond the Willamette Valley. Before yesterday, I had made only two trips over the Santiam Pass. Over the past few months, I have started to come alive and am rapidly expanding my world, which includes discovering Oregon.
Yesterday, when plans to meet up with a friend for a hike and photo shoot in the Jefferson Wilderness fell through, I grabbed Rachel and we headed east. Lunch was made and the car was ready for a road trip, so why not?
Santiam Pass, Hwy 20 Oregon
Photo of the Santiam Pass burn area courtesy of A.S. Photography
When we first moved here for the upper midwest, I was dying to go swimming in a lake. Local friends recommended Suttle Lake, and while I knew where it was, I had never gone. Yesterday I pointed the car in that direction and drove… over the pass, through the insanely surreal B & B Complex burn area, and to the lake. Yes, it’s a lake all right, but a Midwesterner (aka me) would be hesitant to swim at the gravel beach and steep grade to the bottom.
Rachel stayed in the car (party pooper) while I walked down the Suttle Lake Smoke Trail, along the north side of the lake. I don’t know why I didn’t take my camera. What was I thinking? Darn, I’ll have to go back. Early. With camera and tripod.

Walking back down the trail to the car, I nearly passed a mother and her 10 children without seeing them. I froze in my tracks for a moment, staring at them, then hurried down the rest of the trail to grab a camera. I just grabbed the digital one, which is great for snapshots, but not for family portraits like this one:
Merganser Family on Suttle Lake
Common Mergansers
I have got to get back there soon! 

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