Monday, August 9, 2010

Oregon vacation: Day 1 & 2

On the way to the Oregon coast, on our first night, we stopped and camped in a free rustic campground on National Forest land near this small lake. It had frogs calling, bats in the evening, Chestnut-backed Chickadees (see the brown on the side) and American Three-toed Woodpeckers (no photos to marvel at, but they were there) in the trees ... and a wonderful observatory nearby with views of the surrounding mountains.

Here's Cyndi looking out the window of the Dee Wright Observatory. Built by the CCC out of native materials, it has many windows large and small. The small windows perfectly frame the geographic feature upon which they gaze, and a caption names the mountain and gives the distance to the feature.

This is one of the many mountain peaks visible.

Here's one framed by the observatory's rough lava rock opening.

Pine Siskin were the most prevalent bird seen among the lava rocks at this elevation.

We went at sunset ...

... and again at sunrise!

Here are the Sisters at sunset. The Cascade Range is volcanic in origin, and lava flowed here just 5,000 years ago.

The Pacific Crest Trail passes through, and we hiked it ... for a few feet.

Alpine meadows have a special place in my heart and soul, so it was a true joy to visit this wet area in early mountain spring. Cyndi and I spent time photographing the wildflowers.

Shooting Stars had already bloomed!

And the Elephanthead were just pushing their first flowers forth at the bottom of their spikes.

A bit lower in elevation, Beargrass was in bloom.

And, at last, in the inimitable words of the Lewis & Clark expedition, "Oh Joy! Ocean in view!" Cormorants and Great Egret greeted us that evening at the Pacific coast.

To be continued ...

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