|Today we went to the visitor's center in Bend only to learn that Crater Lake National Park is still closed for the season with 10' of snow still on the ground. We also learned that Bend is the home to Deschutes Brewery, which as some of you already know is planning to open a brewery in Roanoke in the up-coming year.
Traveling down US 20 this morning we saw the "Three Sisters Mountains", which are a part of the Cascade Range. They are 3 peaks in a row and are known as the sisters. Not too far from there is the town of Sister, which is a small town that thrives on tourist business and has quite a few interesting shops for people to browse. This route also took us by Black Butte, which is a solitary mountain peak that is actually in front of the Cascades and is 1.4 million years old and is very black looking in its appearance. This section of the Cascades burned in a forest fire in 2003 that destroyed over 90,000 acres. This portion is still devastated looking with all the huge Ponderosa Pines standing as sentinels in the forest that is destroyed. They are all black with no needles or any life among them. Very sad to see.
Mount Washington is included in this area, one of the best know peaks in the Cascade range, although it is not the tallest, at 7,794' The sisters are at 10,000+' each.
We continued on into the Deschuttes National Forest on the Scenic By-Way in the Cascade Mountain Range. We saw Lost Lake, a beautiful deep blue lake tucked into the valley and surrounded by the huge evergreen trees. It is very peaceful looking and was home to quite a few ducks. We did not see any other wildlife, but they were probably around somewhere close. We saw huge Spruce trees that appeared to be shedding a moss like material from their fronds. I had never seen this before. It was fascinating. We crossed the McKenzie River and drove to the Koosah Falls/Sahalie Falls area. There we parked and walked the trail to see the fabulous water falls. The water was very white, very loud and very inspiring.
We also found Clear Lake where we had a picnic lunch. The mountain lakes are so clear and beautiful and very peaceful. No motor boats were allowed, but we saw row boats with people fishing and canoes.
Tomorrow we hope to travel in the Cascades some more, but inclement weather is forecast, so we are not sure this evening if that will work out or not. Tune in tomorrow to find out.
Have a great weekend.