Monday, November 3, 2008

Autumn reverie

Nov. 6, 2008 -- UPDATE

McKenzie Pass has been closed for the winter. See this post for details.

On the final weekend of October Mike and I took a favorite day trip to McKenzie Pass, Oregon. At this time of year the colors in the forest really pop, the air is crisp, and the sun plays with the essence of those qualities to always always always ensure a memorable time.

I saved these photos to post during the final two days prior to the election as my offering of reverie and respite from the chaos and excitement of this upcoming historic event. Take a cleansing breath and enjoy the journey to one of my favorite places. The only commentary I will add to the following description from is to identify those in the photo taken at the parking lot of Dee Wright Observatory. That's me with our dogs, Abby and Bonbon.
Discover the highest concentration of snowcapped volcanoes and associated glaciers in the lower 48 states when you drive the McKenzie Pass-Santiam Pass Scenic Byway. Enjoy the overwhelming sight of Broken Top Mountain and the Three Sisters. . .

. . . While viewpoints such as Belknap, show 'recent' volcanic activity, the Dee Wright Observatory offers panoramic views of the Cascade Mountain Range and the Windy Point overlook provide points where you can take in portions of the Byway from a unique perspective. . .

There is much to do and see on the Byway, whether it is walking through the cool overhangs of Willamette National Forest or cooling your feet in the waters of Clear Lake. Ancient lava fields and numerous bodies of water will provide you with a gentle reminder of the area's violent beginning. This area illustrates best how the Cascade Range was built.



Jennifer said...

Wow -- quite a contrast of landscapes there. What is that rock structure? I may have to investigate.

Thanks for posting these.

Wayfaring Wanderer said...

What a delightful journey......I love when you post pics of your own :o)

Say, that's where you're going to take me when I come for a visit, right?!

Tomorrow is the big day.....I am so nervous....and hopeful....did you watch Obama's 30 minute commercial the other night.....I cried like a baby, what is my deal?! I just think that it's soooooooooo unbelievably important and became overwhelmed I suppose. With all my heart, I hope he becomes our next president.

Darlene said...

Truly beautiful photos. Thank you for sharing your trip.

Buddha said...

I used to be a summer boy, but now that I am old, I love autumns and springs more.
Your pictures make me want to put in my resignation and jump in my car.
Damn! I wish I was filthy rich. - Sometimes.
Be Loved!

Adam said...

nice pics lydia...its good to be back :) birthdays in january, just a couple more months until my liscense...


Melinda said...

What gorgeous photos! When I was looking at them, they reminded me so much of Montana in the fall--the mountain scenery of the Montana and Oregon are very similar, I think.



Elizabeth said...

Oh, that looks gorgeous! I am definitely going to make that drive next year. [I love the pups in their coats.]

Naomi said...

lovely series, lydia. calmed me down. especially like the one of the forest floor always my best explanation of fractals.

Lydia said...

Glad you enjoyed. The rock structure is Dee Wright Observatory. Here's a link to cut/paste for info (I notice that the site has a promo for a winter travel package that would be great to use all around the area; however, McKenzie Pass Loop Road 22 miles is gated shut with the first snow and well into early spring).

Wayfaring Wanderer,
Absolutely! That's where I'll take you when you visit Oregon. Be sure to see comments to Jennifer above regarding McKenzie Pass closure.

Yes, we watched Obama's 30-min. special and it was wonderful. I understand the tears and had some then, and again on Saturday night when a bunch of volunteers piled into a local attorney's conference room for a special feed from Obama to 20,000 volunteers all patched in by the Obama organization for his call. He was in a car just coming off a plane and headed to a rally. He sounded very tired. He spoke only a few minutes but it was a quiet, personal few minutes and most of us in the room had tears.

Extremely happy to have you along for the ride!

What an interesting observation, causing me to realize that I've gone from being a "summer girl" to one who adores fall most and spring second. You deserve a vacation, most definitely.

Thanks. No more disappearing acts, ya hear? (What day in Jan.? - mine is on the 9th....)

Thanks much for visiting and I'm thrilled you liked the trip pics. I've driven through parts of Montana but haven't been fortunate to spend time there, yet. My cousin and her husband bought a summer home there and hopefully we can go fly fishing with them one future summer.

I sure thought about you during our day trip, realizing that you'd been in the vicinity lately. If co-workers hadn't directed me there ages ago who knows how long it'd taken me to discover McKenzie Pass byway! It's known, but certainly not well known. You'll love it and I hope that Atlas will be able to take the trip with you next year.

I'm glad the photos had my desired effect on you. Being calm right now is a bit of a gift. You're such a genius, relating the forest floor to something I had to go research online tonight! Fractals: wow! I read a lot about, and saw great pictures of, fractals at a sampling of sources. I must thank you for this journey-of-the-mind your comment initiated.
I'll never see the forest floor in the same way again.
How's this for a quote? "Infinity is implicit and invisible in the computations of calculus but explicit and graphically manifest in fractals." - from

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

Fantastic photos - what a landscape!

my area of the world is fairly flat - so you don't see any mountains unless you're prepared to travel a very long way xx

Bird said...

Wow, these photos are absolutely stunning, I don't know where to begin... What a gorgeous part of the world. I just quickly skimmed... now I am going back for a PROPER look! You are lucky to be in travelling distance of such a landscape. Thanks for paying my blog a visit - I'm based in the UK, by the way ;)

sharryb said...

Hi Lydia,
I love that trip over Mckinzie Pass. Your photo brought back a lot of memories,camping in that area when my kids were young. Now they've got their own kids!

It was so thoughtful to post photos of Barack Obama regarding the passing of his beloved grandmother. If you haven't read Dreams From My Father, I think you would really enjoy it.

Lydia said...


P.S. I just realized that I failed to include the link in my comments to you. To cut/paste into browser - (or google Dee Wright Observatory Oregon)

Carlos Lorenzo said...

Wow amazing views. Ask me how envious do I feel :) I like the light between those trees and the volcanic ground in the last ones. Great series. You have a wonderful country. Let's see what the future brings today. With Obama of course.

rachael said...

I think I'll be conformist and be the 15th person to tell you how great these pictures are! The one of the cloud shapes in the sky is my favorite, I think. & I'm so jealous of the fall foliage!
Sounds like a beautiful way to spend the last weekend of the month. I bet Abby and Bonbon really enjoyed the fresh air, too (:

Lydia said...

Thanks. Your part of the world might be flat but you have all those gardens that I see pictures of and would love to see someday.

Ah! You're in the UK - along with Don't Feed the Pixies! I'm so happy you came by and that you liked the pics. And you're right: we are so fortunate to live where we do in close proximity to the mountains and the Oregon coast.

Wow, you have camped in that area? I see all the hiking trailhead signs along the road and wonder about what's further in the forest. It's wonderful that you gave your children such opportunities to be out in nature. AMAZING that you'd mention Obama's Dreams From My Father! I bought it some months ago and just started reading it last night on election eve!

Well, the future dawns bright! Yes, this is a beautiful country and how awesome (in the real sense of the word) it is to have a President-elect worthy of it.
I'm so glad you enjoyed the shots of our beautiful day up there on McKenzie Pass.

Thanks much! That's so interesting that you liked the cloud. After our Old English Sheepdog, Woofles, died two years ago a cloud shaped like that one came over our house for a half-day. When I saw the one up there on the Pass it amazed me because it was so similar. We thought that Woofles was saying "hi" because he had such a great day with us years ago on Clear Lake (the lake in the photos) in a little boat.
Abby and Bonbon had a wonderful time and would love to return. Abby especially loved the dryness; she's just not a rain dog at all. :)

Lydia said...

p.s. The whole bit about the cloud might be confusing unless I also mention that Woofles had a pure white head and neck and the cloud reminded us of his fur.

Jennifer said...

Lydia -- Thank you for the link!

Lydia said...

You are welcome! BTW, our local paper on 11-05 gave notice that the McKenzie Pass is closed for the season: early snow!



Related Posts with Thumbnails