Organ Pipe National Park

Organ Pipe National Park

About Me

I purchased "Sadie''s House On Wheels "in late 2007 and loved traveling in a motor home so much that I went on the road full time in late 2008. I started writing this blog to help me remember all the wonder places I have been and it allows me to share those places with my family and friends. Summer of 2013 I decided to hang up the keys for a while and moved back into my stick house. After nearly two years, I am on the road again.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Clear Lake, McKenzie River Scenic Trail, and McKenzie Pass, June 27

Blue Skies greeted the morning!  So Joel and I  loaded up the car with our day packs and hiking boots and headed up to Clear Lake, the head waters of the McKenzie River. The trail around Clear Lake starts at the Clear Lake Resort and then  intersects with  The McKenzie River Scenic Trail along the east side of the lake.  After about 3 miles the trail forks near the head waters of the McKenzie River and the MRST continues on but we followed the Clear Lake trail making a complete circle of about five miles ending up back at the resort.  The trail was real ups and downs...a plus for know he doesn't "do hills".

Overview of Clear Lake.  Its really calm, a great place for a leisure paddle.

 This was a unique bridge: One single, very long log, over a creek feeding into the lake.
 Clear Lake is really clear.  The water in this picture was at least six feet deep, if not deeper.
 The MRST on the east side of the lake traverses through some interesting lava fields.
 These flowers were growing out of the lava.
 Clear Lake looking back and at the head waters of the McKenzie River.
 Headwaters of the McKenzie River.

Next we returned to the Junction of Highway 126 and 242.  Highway 242 is the  McKenzie Pass Scenic Byway, and scenic it is.  When we drove by the junction on our way to Bend a few weeks ago the road was still closed. We lucked out and the road was open and in really good condition now.  Vehicles with a maximum total length of over 35 ft are not allowed on part of the road.  It's very narrow and windy in parts.

Views of the Middle Sisters are spectacular!

 Half way up is the the Belknap Crater  and lava flows :
 And views of Mt. Washington:

The Observatory

 is not your average Observatory:
 Inside there are portals pointing to the different mountains.  Very cool.  This is the North Sisters (I think)
And this is another one of the Middle Sisters.

The Observatory is located very near the crest of the McKenzie Pass and is made totally out of lava.

The Pacific Crest Trail crosses the road near by and just before reaching the observatory we stopped to talk to a family of thru hikers.  It turned out they had just hiked through the Sisters over the last few days during all the rain (snow for them) and they were going to head into the town of Sisters for supplies.  We shuffled stuff in the car and squeezed Vicky, Kevin, 13 year old son Jay, and 10 year old dog Utah in the back seat  with their packs.  Very cozy. I was really excited to talk with these folks because they had hiked a portion of the PCT in California that I am planning to do sometime this summer.

We drove to Sisters and stopped at, where else, the Three Creeks Brewery for a brew and dinner, then we dropped the family off at a motel where they were planning to shower and regroup and sleep in a bed. They had started out in Medford, Oregon about three weeks ago, and were planning to be in Canada by mid-August...pending snow conditions.

I'm not sure what is coming up next.  Fourth of July is next week and we have no plans. ...yet, but I'm planning to return to Portola  soon for a few weeks of backpacking and hiking and hopefully no rain.

1 comment:

  1. looks wonderful. I have yet to spend any time in the NW. Maybe next year. Sounds like you are having a great time.