Monday, June 08, 2009

to Oregon and back

My mom and I went up to Oregon to visit my grandparents. It's a 350 mile drive. I did all the driving on the entire trip. I hadn't been up there for a couple years (since the reunion) and it was GREAT to see everyone.

Prepare to be inundated with photos.

Somewhere in extreme northern California:

A funky cow sculpture in northern CA that I last photographed in the wee hours of the morning (when going to a horse show in Yreka with JC):

A dragon sculpture not too far north of the cow (hmm, I actually photographed this on the return trip, oh well I'll post it here anyway):

On our second day there we drove out to some property way up in the mountains that my grandparents bought from BLM. It's a beautiful place, but pretty rough country, and more poison oak than you can imagine. I think it would be a fun place to ride a horse! This is a view from the top:

Somewhere about half way up the mountain, a pretty view of Lost Creek Reservoir:

Looking back up the road as we were driving back down (btw this was not done in the minivan, but rather in J's rugged 4-wheel drive thing):

The back yard of their house has the Rogue River running through it. Wow!

They have lots of Rufous Hummingbirds there:

On Saturday we drove up to Crater Lake, which is only about 50something miles from their house. I know I went to Crater Lake when I was a toddler. I thought I had vague memories of it but it didn't match what I thought I remembered, so clearly I'm remembering some other trip. It was AWESOME. I was amazed how much snow was still on the ground, in fact a lot of the trails were still closed due to snow.

Here's me and my grandparents at Crater Lake:

And a bunch of views of Crater Lake taken from various places:

Yeah, lots of snow! That's about 4 feet of snow I'm standing on. The temperature was pretty nice though.

On the way back from Crater Lake we stopped at the Rogue River "Natural Bridge" which is where the river actually flows underground for a short way, through what was originally a lava tube. It's pretty cool. I can't explain it my pics, but that rocky area toward the front of the photo... the water is flowing under it (and also some is going over, because the water is high enough to also flow over the top):

And this is a pretty view of the Rogue River from a bridge downstream of the "Natural Bridge":

I sat out in the back yard for a while that afternoon and photographed the wildlife. Mom was really hoping to see a Bald Eagle, but never did. Such is life.

Here's a female Oriole at the hummingbird feeder:

Unfortunately I mostly had my camera on the wrong setting when the osprey was around (oops!) but did manage to get a few good shots. I wish I'd gotten out there a few minutes sooner, he dove into the water right in front of where I was standing but I was too late to catch that.

Also saw a family of Mergansers on the river. Those little dudes are amazing, they run on the water and go upstream like you wouldn't believe!

And of course eventually it was time to leave the land of green trees and flowing rivers, and return to the flat brown Sactomato valley. I'll leave you with this pretty view of Mt. Shasta on the way home:

Back to work! :-) I've sure enjoyed my little vacations recently but feel like I'm not getting much accomplished on the art front, so I'm kind of relieved not to have anything planned for a while.