Fall Colors in the Cascades Camping Trip
Well finally, an update! Yes, we’ve been that busy. Eve and I just got back from a working holiday, taking photos in the Oregon Cascades during the peak of the fall color.
The trip started out a bit rocky, but turned out well. We decided to try a new road, the Cascade Lakes Scenic Highway. It leaves Eugene SE on hwy 58 and actually starts near the crest of the Cascades, passing several high mountain lakes. All the campgrounds were closed, the views were, at best, Ho-Hum, not very scenic at all, and the hiqhway was lined with small pines packed so tight you couldn’t have fit through them.
So, we continued driving into Bend and hit 3 intersections in a row that were those damn, stupid circles thingies with a sign telling you where each went, easy to read in traffic in a place you’ve never been, NOT. I just kept trying for east, and eventually got on highway 97 north to Redmonds, then back over to Sisters and the Historic McKenzie Highway 242. We ended up about 10 miles out of Sisters at Cold Springs CG, a nice, quiet little USFS camp in virgin pine and big aspens. After about 150 miles further than we had planned, we were pretty frazzled!
The next day, we headed up the road, taking pictures and drove all of about 15 miles to one of our favorite CG’s, Lava Camp Lake, and got our regular spot on the shore, all by our selves here. I worked out of here all day, hiking a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail and driving over to the lava fields, leaving the trailer in the CG. Late the next day, we went on down to the McKenzie R. and Olallie CG, another of our favorites, and got the best site in the place, right at the confluence of Olallie Cr. and the river.
Again, the first night, we were all alone, 2nd, we had a couple very quiet neighbors, although the campsites are far apart, so you have lots of privacy. I did a whole bunch of fall color shots around the rivers and lakes. Clear Lake, just up the road about 8 miles, is practically surrounded by lava fields, full of vine maple, so the colors were intense.
Maybe the best part of the campsite was all the dippers, also known as the “water ouzel”, a really neat little bird that feeds in cold rocky streams, running in and out of the water. They have one of the prettiest songs of any bird in the PNW. I’ve always loved them. This time, I actually got some decent photos of the always very active, little birds.
Tug, our big black dog, had a wonderful time. He’s a great traveler, always ready to go, and hard to keep out of the car!
I’ll say more about the campgrounds in a separate post, soon.