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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Bend, Oregon, United States

Sep 29, 2018 - Roads and byways

An unexpected start to this trip was going to Richland. My mother passed away two weeks ago, and her community memorial happened to be the day before I was supposed to start. Mo and I met my daughters and sister-in-law for the service. After, Mo went home with my daughters, and I traveled to Bend. I am trying to find roads that are not Interstates. In some areas, Interstates are unavoidable: for example between Winnemuca and Salt Lake City. My main roads will be state highways. Some have official designations such as Blue Star to honor war...

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Trip Journal


Stateside Road Trip

Aug 2, 2018 - Atop an Obsidian Flow

Bend, OR At one time we had attended an art exhibit opening. We sat at the same table as a couple who previously lived in Oregon. They told us we needed to visit Paulina Lake. So we did. We first hiked to Paulina Falls. This double falls drops 80’ over volcanic cliffs onto a jumble of rocks below. We had bright sunshine today so photographing the falls was difficult. Having seen Paulina Lake at ground level, we headed up to Paulina Peak. From almost 8,000’ up (light jacket required) we could see the entire Newberry Caldera, 4 miles by 5...

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Aug 1, 2018 - The sky is blue! The sky is blue!

Bend, OR The wind has shifted and the sky is smokeless and blue. That also means it is hot, so we headed up a mountain again. We decided to tackle the McKenzie Pass-Santiam Pass Scenic Byway which starts at the small town of Sisters, a community with charming 1880s facades. Sisters Airport is an unattended small strip with self-serve fuel, fee tiedown, and courtesy bicycles. The community takes its name from the nearby Three Sisters volcanic mountains, 3 of the 5 tallest mountains in the state. In fact, North Sister has 17 glaciers. The...

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Jul 31, 2018 - Good day for a walk in the woods

Bend, OR In our continuing quest to avoid the heat and the lingering forest fire smoke, we headed up. Tumalo Creek is a beautiful mountain stream flowing down from Broken Top Mountain. Near the beginning of the trailhead is impressive Tumalo Falls, an awesome 89-foot drop. The exact origin of the word Tumalo is not known. According to the book Oregon Geographic Names, there are 3 possibilities; one is that it is from the Klamath Indian word Temelo, meaning wild plums - which were at one point abundant here. Another Klamath word, Temola,...

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Jul 30, 2018 - The High Desert Museum

Bend, OR The High Desert Museum is an indoor/outdoor museum and is excellent. Set on 150 acres of pine forest, it has something for everyone - fun, interactive, indoor and outdoor exhibits and living history characters at the Miller Ranch, and the 1904 sawmill. We started outdoors, wandering through the Ponderosa Pines and Aspens. The otters were playing in their pond and were lots of fun to watch. We took the time to attend the Raptors of the Desert Sky show, the best bird show we have ever seen, even better than Disney. We attended a few...

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Jul 29, 2018 - Last Look

Bend, OR There is a direct route between Klamath Falls and Bend, OR. We, however, ignored it so that we could detour through Crater Lake National Park one last time for a final peek at the lake. Alas, the smoke was still extremely heavy. We could again not see across the lake and certainly did not see the gorgeous blue color the lake is known for. The smoke in this are is so bad that yesterday at Lava Beds we were only 40 miles from 14,000’ Mt. Shasta but had no inkling there were any formations out there at all. It was just pea soup. We...

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Jun 18, 2018 - Winding Down

These last few days were spent mostly relaxing and getting caught up on paperwork, email and internet. One day we went into town to get propane and get stocked up on groceries again. On Sunday the park had free ice cream and a hamburger/hot dog potluck in honor of Father’s Day. It has rained all weekend and mostly overcast with some rain on Monday, which is laundry day (again!) And we will begin our trek to Yellowstone on Tuesday.

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Jun 15, 2018 - Polish Poker and a Superman Blessing

The Merrifield clan is gathered some 50 strong here on the shores of Coeur d'Alene Lake for our biannual family reunion. My grandpa Austin and his six siblings were quite prolific and there are Merrifield kin scattered throughout the Northwest, California, Alaska and beyond, some of whom are together this weekend at Lutherhaven, a camp/retreat center in Northern Idaho. Meals are in the dining hall (thus the Superman meal blessing which I'll be glad to teach you upon request) and games are in our cabin's lounge (I'll teach you Polish Poker...

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Trip Journal


Cum Laude

Jun 14, 2018 - Lava River Cave

This is one of the most popular and heavily visited sites on the Newberry National Volcanic Monument. At a mile in length (the length that is open to the public) it is the longest continuous lava tube in the state of Oregon. The hike is a self-guided journey along 150 stairs and slippery or uneven surfaces, sometimes sandy and sometimes rocky. It is in total darkness, the only light being from individual flashlights or lanterns. There were many times when the only light was from our 2 flashlights. That was plenty in some of the narrower...

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Jun 13, 2018 - Benham Falls

Benham Fall was an easy 1 mile hike through the forest to falls on the Deschutes River. This is a fairly swift river with class 6 rapids in some areas. The water was crystal clear. From the parking area to the falls we had to cross a bridge with an overgrown logjam underneath. According to the sign, logs were tied together and floated to the bridge to help dissipate the strength of the flow and to keep the bridge pilings from being washed away during flooding. Over time more logs and sediment accumulated and flowers and grass began to...

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Jun 12, 2018 - Crater Lake National Park

We had originally planned to stay in this park since it is quite large and we thought we would need more time to enjoy the scenery. As it turned out, the price was rather steep and the spaces were pretty tight for our size of RV, thus we ended up in LaPine. This turned out to be a good thing considering the many things we would have missed otherwise. Anyway, back to Crater Lake. For 400,00 years repeated volcanic eruptions built 12,000 foot Mount Mazama. Thick lava oozed from vents on the mountains. Crater Lake was formed when Mount Mazama...

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Jun 11, 2018 - Lava Butte

After a day at the museum, it was back to the volcano for us. Lava Butte is a cinder cone that rises 500 feet above it’s 9 square mile lava flow. After a 3 mile drive of 8% grade up to the top, there was a forest lookout, which was closed to the public. We took the ¼ mile trail around the top for fantastic views of Newberry Caldera and the surrounding mountains. Hard to believe that something so destructive initially could be so beautiful now. I suppose we may be saying the same of the lava flows in Hawaii in the distant future. We ended...

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