Sunday, July 12, 2015

Oregon (part 2-ish)

By now it seems like almost another lifetime ago that we were looking into the deep blue of Crater Lake (Oregon's only National Park- however, the whole coast is a string of beautiful state parks, and all of it belongs to the public, there are no private beaches).

Not only was the lake mesmerizing, the surroundings were breathtaking as well- even if we were literally 'hailed' on during our first brief  hike (and found protection under an ancient tree). We had, in a moment of insanity or sanity, that's all a matter of perspective, splurged and booked a room in the historic lodge with lake view. I have no regrets, I would recommend it to all who can find room in their budget, and ask for the third floor, it has the cute dormers- except I hope that you will have better service and food in the historic lodge dining room if you do decide to go for this. The hike down to the lake's edge is not as bad as the ranger tells you.

From there, we drove to our 'away from it all log cabin' between Bend and Sisters. My love fell in love at first sight - this was after we had gotten thoroughly lost on that particular mountain for a while and were doubting that the rental car would make it alive- and it took me only a little bit longer.

This was a one-room, true log cabin with AMAZING views, which we did not manage to capture sufficiently or satisfactory in any sense.

Such peace and quiet there.

There was an intricate system of bird feeders, a misnomer since the chipmunks not only picked up the spilled seeds (never ever will I see this many chipmunks in one square yard again) but also some daring little ones climbed the poles and walked the tightrope to get to the food.

We stayed there three nights. To my surprise, Bend and surroundings are dry and desert-like. Definitely appropriate for the town to have a good many microbreweries to ameliorate the thirsty throats after a long day in the sun. We went to Deschutte's, (listed as Oregon's #1) which did not let us down. The best beer and the best pub food. I my humble opinion. If you find yourself in Bend OR during the summer, and you want to try out the 'only in the pub' list, hope that they have the 'sagefight'. Or the 'blond walking into an abbey'. The wait staff was extremely good and generous and accurate with hike recommendations. The 'real butt-kickers' (their words not mine) were indeed so, but worth the effort. We did 'earn our beer' and could report back with clear conscious.

Smith Rock
More to tell, however we had to move on to our last destination already. The Mount Hood area. Just as fascinating and beautiful as all our other stops and yet again completely different.

We met the owner of the 'Swedisch Stuga' we rented there, a cabin he stated to have built with his own hands. He added several intriguing and personal touches to the place. To reach it, we had to cross a rickety bridge over a fast stream. It was marvelous.

a small part of the deck that was covered

a short way up a rocky path was this 'outside bedroom' complete with chandelier and light up mushrooms sprinkled through the forest
And all good things... In any case, this was but a brief summery of our adventures. It was fun to get excited about a new place to explore every few days. Although also sad to leave some favorites where I felt we did not have enough time to hike the trails, get a better feel. Oregon: still on my bucket list.

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