We left Sisters today around 11:00 AM, heading for the Santiam Pass. We heard it was finally clear enough to cross, but were told to take it slow and easy. The Santiam Pass is a 4,817-foot mountain pass in the Cascade Range of central Oregon. It was a beautiful drive, but a scary one too. ;-) Lots of curves with tons of snow on the side of the road melting and some even falling from the trees right on our windshield. It still had some ice patches on the road. We saw a ton of waterfalls we would love to visit, but they were all closed. This would be a beautiful place to visit in the summer. They had quite a few campgrounds right on the Mckenzie River that would be fantastic to camp in. The Mckenzie River was a beautiful emerald green color with tons of rapids. It was an awesome drive and one we will remember.
After crossing the pass we stopped in Eugene, Oregon for lunch and then headed on to Winchester Bay, Oregon. We will be staying here for a week. We are parked right on the water and it's beautiful!! I am amazed at the amount of birds in the area. We put our hummingbird feeder up and in a couple of hours we had a Rufous Hummingbird at the feeder. We put the wild bird feeders up and EVERYTHING came to eat, even ducks and gulls. :-) It is a bird paradise. I have all my bird books out trying to identify so many new ones, I am exhausted from trying, but having a blast doing so.
We have not had a lot of time to explore the area. We did take a drive to view the Umpqua River Lighthouse and looked for whales at the whale viewing platform across the street from the Lighthouse. No luck yet, but we heard this is the right time to see them so we will be going back often. They have beautiful, sandy beaches here, a lot like our beaches in FL. They have huge sand dunes and tons of people enjoying them with dune buggies everywhere. I am adding a lot of pictures of the drive over the pass and a few from Winchester Bay, we hope you enjoy them much. More later from Winchester Bay.