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Published: July 17th 2017
The day started off with me stuck on stupid again. I couldn’t figure out how to turn off the water in the tub. But at least it wasn’t just me. Susan dropped her cutlery at breakfast and then ran the luggage cart into the wall. (oh yea, we stayed for a free night at Hilton Garden Inn and I scored 3 free breakfasts for us). Now at breakfast we had to tell Pam to get off her phone.
After eating we did our usual pack up and start off. We headed to Salem to see the Capital building, and then headed towards Lebanon. There we found a covered bridge: The Hoffman Bridge over Crabtree Creek (who know Crabtree Creek went from Raleigh to Oregon.. ha.ha ) We got gas in Lebanon and remember in Oregon, they have to pump gas for you, you can’t pump it yourself. We then headed to Subway to use the bathroom where I got a diet coke (I needed a new cup for the car and a bag of pickles). Back on the road we saw a huge faucet that wasn’t connected to anything but had running water.
Then we arrived
water from nowhere
in Sweet Home and no, it was not Alabama. Trip Advisor again sent us on a wild goose chase to a covered bridge that didn’t exist. Turns out a totally different one was in the town (not the same name…) we found it and got out to walk across. Susan was going first and started swatting and said she got stung. I bee came out of nowhere and stung her on the lip. She took plenty of meds and we headed back on the road.
We were heading towards the sister’s loop when we found another covered bridge (I never knew there were so many here in Oregon). This was the “Short” covered bridge. Heading back to the road we found the Road Side America’s “thing to do”, the Ghost Town Fence. You see, there was a dude that needed a fence so he built one that looks like a ghost town. Yep, we got pictures.
We finally made it to the scenic Sister’s loop. We know why Oregon license tags have a tall pine tree on them, they are everywhere and they are straight and beautiful. We drove on roads that had what looked like giant Christmas
Bridge over Crabtree Creek
trees on both sides of them. We saw huge lava fields along with tons and tons of trees. We also saw areas where there were former fires.
Our next stop was at the start of the loop where we found Lost Lake. Lost Lake fills up each spring during the runoff, but there is a lava tube hole in the middle of the lake. It drains out completely in the summer and then is dry until next spring. There was still a bit of water in the lake and we saw the location of the lava tube. The dirt road into the lake was the worst we’d ever been on. So many potholes, it was ridiculous. As we were driving out, we saw a guy sleeping near his motorcycle and just beyond him was a girl peeing in the woods. No, she didn’t know he was there or that we would be driving up on her. She had come down from the road to take a break.
We stayed on US 20 west and saw enormous lava fields on the both sides of the road. Pam’s notes say “lava fields on both three sides of road”. What??? No,
Hoffman bridge where Susan got stung
she hasn’t been drinking. We then headed to Clear Lake. Clear, yes, gorgeous. YES!!! There are petrified trees under the cold water and you can see to the bottom. The brilliant shades of blue were just beautiful. I hope that the pictures give it justice. We spent a bit of time there walking on the dock and looking thru the water.
Then we went Sahalie Falls. We hiked down to the falls, and as soon as we walked into the forest, the temperature dropped by at least 20 degrees. The waterfall had SO much water coming over the top. It was wonderful. We could feel the spray and hear the roar of the water. We then hiked down further to see the rapids and see the blue of the water as it tumbled down the river.
We didn’t get to see the Blue Pool, the hike was too long for our time so we drove on and found the hike to the Proxy Falls. We decided to take our hiking sticks for this hike and it was good to have them. The hike started in a wooded area. It then went thru a reclaimed lava field (a lava
The "short" covered bridge
field where trees are starting to grown again). Then the terrain changed to big pine or red wood trees, then to NC foliage. We then found the lower falls, Oh My! What a wonderful waterfall. It was much taller than I expected. We met a guide who was taking around a friend from Japan. He gave us some good travel information. We when hiked to the upper falls. They were also impressive but I think the lower falls were much nicer. The hike was a loop and the terrain out was the opposite sequence to the hike in. At the end we had to go down a big hill.
Our next destination was Scott Lake. We were supposed to be able to see a mirror image of the 3 sisters (the three snow topped volcanos), but guess what, this dirt road was worse than the one to Lost Lake. We never saw a good view of the 3 sisters, but we did see the lake. We left and found the Belknap Lava Field - 65 sq miles of lava that was formed 2000 years ago. We each climbed up onto the lava to take pictures, then headed to the
The fake ghost town
Dee Wright Observatory. On the way we stopped to take a picture of the 3 sisters volcanoes and guess who we saw again, the guide and his Japanese friend. They wanted to take a picture of the three sisters in front of the 3 sister mountains. He said we HAD to go to the observatory which we did. This observatory was built out of lava rocks and the windows are aligned with the mountains and volcanoes around the area. We could see Mt Washington, Belknap, Mt Jefferson, North Sister and Middle sister, and many other smaller mountains around. The lava fields completely surrounded this area. Now, the field looks like someone came in and dumped millions and millions of black rocks. This doesn’t look like lava in many places, just piles and piles of rocks. I really don’t understand how this was formed. Most lava that I have seen doesn’t look like this. Apparently these volcanoes explode and throw these massive rocks everywhere!
After the observatory, we headed down out of the parks and into Sisters, Oregon. Yes there is a town called Sisters and you can see the 3 Sisters Mountains from it. The town is cute and
Lots of tall pine trees
has an old timey western feel to it. We found a local restaurant and had a wonderful dinner. We each had the seafood pot pie (Pam’s was Gluten Free) and it was delicious. Of course we had to take a picture of us at the sign. After dinner we headed toward Bend and our hotel for the night, but just out of town we could see a beautiful view of the 3 Sister mountains with all three sisters in it. Of course, we had to stop for more pictures. We met a nice couple who took some pictures of us with “our” mountains. They told us at sunset (which was in about 15 minutes), the colors shifted toward red, so of course we stayed and got some more wonderful pictures.
Then onto Bend to check into our hotel – TownePlace Suites in Bend. Yes, two more free nights and breakfast is included at this hotel.
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