Oregon Bound and Down... travel blog

Leaving Coos Co Forest and Rt. 101 behind

Leaves turning color along the Umpqua River at the Elk Refuge

Lunch stop at Forest Service Office on Rt 126

Old burn at Santiam Pass

Santiam Pass, 4817' in the Cascade Mt.

Smoke from the Sister's Fire

Eastern Oregon high desert

Turkey Vultures migrating

Burns Sunset

Date: September 14, 2012

Tonight’s Location: Burns, Oregon

Mileage: End - 115712

Start - 115317

Total Miles for the day: 395

Weather: marine layer on the coast, then sunshine, smoke

Temperature: start 46º

High 88º

Wildlife count: Roosevelt Elk, Pronghorn

Birds: Brown Pelican, Great Egret, Double-crested Cormorant, Canada Geese, Turkey Vultures, Raven, European Starling, Mourning Dove, Mountain Bluebird, Meadowlark, Magpie, American Robin, California Quail, Brown-headed Cowbirds

It was with mixed feeling that we left Bullard’s Beach State Park this morning, just before 8 am. We had said our goodbyes last night, and saluted Bob, the Booth Boy on our way out. We have had two wonderful summers there, and it would be easy to just stay. However, there is a lot more world to see!

It was cold and damp with a low marine layer, but never on the ground, so we were safe. We drove north on Rt. 101 to Reedsport and east on Rt 38 along the beautiful Umpqua River, seeing leaves beginning to turn to their fall colors all along the way – what a beautiful sight. We saw a huge Osprey nest in the top of a dead tree, but no birds – chicks all fledged.

From I-5 north we turned east on Rt 126 at Springfield and drove into the Cascades. We had been concerned about a fire at Sisters, and we did have to close the windows because the smoke made breathing difficult. In Bend, we traveled east on Rt. 20 all the way to Burns.

We have crossed both the Coastal Mts, as well as the Cascades today. We only have the Rockies to go before everything is downhill! While in the mountains, we noticed a lot of volcanic rock, mostly basalt, but very few columns, and those were short. As we traveled over the pass and through the smoke, the sunlight turned an eerie orange – we were happy to pass through that. We also saw the BLM meadow that has become the home to the firefighters – all little tents and a few campers. Those guys are really hard workers, and there are a LOT of fires burning this year.

We had Figaros pizza for dinner, and our neighbors surprised us with brownies. Our campground, Burns RV, is a delightful place under lots of trees with a wonderful breeze. We are both tired and it is not even 8 pm! We want to get up early tomorrow and drive the 30 miles down to Malheur NWR for some birding.

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