Monday, July 23, 2012

A Little of This and a Little of That

Another week in the books and we're still having a great time. It's hard to believe we've been here for 3 months and that we're over half way through the season already. The tentative timeline calls for us to finish here in early October.

Last weekend was the Sandy Mountain Festival, so we dropped in on Saturday, tried a little festival food and bought a few things made by local craftsmen. Joan picked up a small pocket wallet made out of duct tape and a hummingbird feeder made out of a wine bottle.

Our work week was busy with more and more campers coming out to the parks to enjoy the warmer temps and better weather. Besides filling in for camphosts on their days off, we've been working on repairing and painting aged and damaged facilities such as signs and gates.

While we were working one day we met a couple of older gentlemen on their Cushman scooters. Pretty cool.  The scooters harness a little over 40hp each and can run 60-70mph. When the guys started them they sounded just like their larger Harley counterparts. And when they left, they didn't waste anytime; zoom, vroom and they were gone!

We had the chance to play cards with a couple of our co-workers and we learned a new game: Fruit Salad. It was fun and quick to learn to play. Later they taught us a dice game called Farkle.

This past weekend Joan and I decided to take a little overnight motorcycle ride.  We left Saturday morning headed south. Just after lunch we turned off of Hwy 126 southeast of Detroit onto a little road that turned out to be one of the highlights of the trip; Hwy 242 also known as McKenzie Hwy.

This is a small 2 lane road that includes 22 miles of a historic highway. The road takes you up, up, up through the Willamette National Forest along multiple switchbacks and hairpin turns to a height of 5600' before entering into the Mount Washington Wilderness, then through Three Sisters Wilderness, across the Belknap Lava fields into the Deshutes National Forest and finally into the city of Sisters.

Along the way you can stop and walk onto the lava fields.

Or visit the Dee Wright Observatory located at McKenzie Pass. The observatory was built in 1935 by the CCC and is made completely out of lava rocks. From the observatory you have views of numerous snow capped mountains including North and Middle Sister Mountains, Little Brother, The Husband, Mt Washington, Mt Jefferson, 3 Finger Jack, Scott Moutain, Belknap Crater, Little Belknap, Mt Jefferson, Mt Washington and Mt Hood.

The temps had been cool all morning and only when we left the lava fields and made it into Sisters did it warm up enough that we could take off our jackets. We ended up spending the night in Redmond.

Early Sunday morning we took off north through Madras and into Maupin where we had a late breakfast. Then it was back towards Mt Hood and home. All in all we traveled a little over 350 miles and really enjoyed being back on the bikes for a while.

Our softball team has been playing for a couple of weeks now and our record is 5-2. It's really been fun playing again. A birthday shout out to 2 of my softball buddies from Florida; Kenny and Tom. Joan and I will miss the annual party. And finally, to Mary...."We'll try to be on time next week. We don't want you to worry".

Stayed Tuned...More to Come.


  1. Looks like you guys are enjoying your days off. Those Cushman's are pretty neat, although I would not want to ride 350 miles on them.

  2. So happy you found the Dee Wright Mountain Observatory on McKenzie Highway. Such a great little place for views of the mountain peaks (if it's sunny!).

    Just north of Redmond in Terrebonne, OR, if you see a large rock formation east of the highway, head over there. That's Smith Rocks State Park, a primo rock climbing venue in Oregon. You can hike trails along the bottom of the canyon--and higher up if you want--and watch rock climbers of all abilities.

    Bend is a destination all it's own, but it's really become crowded over the years. I probably wouldn't recognize it anymore.

    So happy to read your blogs. You're a good writer. And I love some of your quirkier photos like the bar with guns for door handles. Great stuff.


  3. Gorgeous photos! Sounds like you guys had a great ride. I'm jealous!