Central Oregon (August 21-24, 2007)
Madras, Prineville, Redmond and Bend
Our first big trip since buying the new car was long overdue, as we had been away for a month in California and Australia, and I had to prepare my exhibit for APS StampShow. However, once the show was over, off we sallied over the Cascades to enjoy the summer weather while we could.
The Cascades and Mt Hood are in the distance here, and the east side is drier and much more like Australia.
Then, suddenly we were in an Oregon version of the Grand Canyon!
Down, down, down ...
... over the Deschutes River ...
... through the town of Madras (brief stop here), and back up the other side. After that, I will never take central Oregon's countryside for granted again!
Farms near Prineville provide a verdant counterpoint to the high country ranges.
Prineville was situated in a valley below the rim.
The rim was more obvious on the west side towards Redmond. On ascending the valley, we had a bird's eye view of the golf course.
The Petersen Rock Garden is situated south of Redmond on the way to Bend. Built from the 1930's to the 1950's by Danish immigrant Rasmus Petersen, it grew to 4 acres in size, and contains structures made mainly of rocks found on his farm.
Many are themed on American patriotism, and some quirks are evident.
For instance, under the Statue of Liberty a plaque reads, "Enjoy Yourself - It Is Later Than You Think".
Steve remembered the garden (and these logging wheels) from his boyhood, and was disappointed that the structures had not received as much maintenance as the flowerbeds. However, they were still worth the visit.
On to Bend, and a drive up Pilot Butte, a cinder cone in the north-east part of town. On the way up we passed many people walking their dogs or just using the road as a fitness track. We were quite surprised to read that there are 400-odd cinder cones in the Newberry crater area. Lava Butte is easily visible to the south.
We could also see Mt Bachelor, Broken Top, the three Sisters and Mt Jefferson to the west, but the late afternoon sun precluded a good photo of them. To our surprise, we could just make out Mt Hood in the north.