High Desert Museum

September 30, 2008

A great day to head for the mountains via the McKenzie/Santiam Passes. Our destination point was the High Desert Museum, south of Bend on Hwy. 97. The weather was perfect — although lingering smoke from several fires made the mountains hard to see, especially when we are all so used to seeing these glorious mountains against a vivid blue sky, with their magnificent peaks and white glaciers. The familiar towering giants, Mt. Hood and Mt. Jefferson were obscured from our view points because of the lingering smoke.

Thirty riders enjoyed spectacular sights of Sahalie Falls and many peaks of the beautiful McKenzie River along the way. A good amount of water coming over the falls, made for refreshing mist in the face as many a camera made for some excellent pictures. We even had some guests with us who had not had the experience of seeing the falls — a first time experience.

The High Desert Museum was full of new exhibits and much more activity and information than one could see in a couple of hours tour. We enjoyed lunch in the Rim Rock Cafe, inside the museum. The weather, continuing to be just great, found many of us enjoying outside dining. The pair of eagles and the Canada Lynx were a favorite with many. The museum is noted for animal and bird rescue and rehabilitation. Some make it back to the wild and for some, the museum will be their permanent home. It is a great facility.

Beginning our trek back Eugene, found us experiencing the Cascade Lakes Hwy. and more mountains almost a touch away. At this point of the trip, questions began to arise as to what mountains were in the 10 Peak Climb requirements for Obsidians, and how many in our tour had completed such a task. John and Lenore McManigal and Don Payne could all rise to the occasion and claim their victories. There were some extra goodies for them. Congratulations!

As we approached the lava flow surrounding a portion of Davis Lake, the burnt area from a few years past, made us vividly aware again of the destruction wild fires leave on our beautiful Oregon forests. The lake is completely visible now from the highway, with just blackened tree trunks. As we approached Hwy. 58 at Crescent Lake, yet another recent fire burned both sides of Hwy. 58, thus closing Hwy, 58 for a day or two, just a few weeks ago.

Our last stop at Oakridge, was a refreshing stop for Rootbeer Floats and dishes of ice cream for some. This A & W Rootbeer stand is one of the few drive-ins still operating with carhops. We did not drive the bus up to one of the carhop windows and ask for 30 floats, although I am sure they would have been happy to accommodate us. We enjoyed our snacks in their restaurant and on the outside deck.

Riders were Ethel Allen, Barbara Beard (leader), Paul Beard, Paula Beard, MaryLee Cheadle, Sharon Cutsforth, Rosemary Etter, Barbara Flanders, Dennis Flanders, Marc Hansen, Dora Harris, Marjorie Jackson, John McManigal, Lenore McManigal, Barbara Payne, Don Payne, Liz Reanier, Janet Speelman, Vera Woolley and guests Alice Anderson, Ron Bauer, Patty Cheadle, Virginia Cheadle, Susan Frasier, Albert Harkness, Theresa Harkness, Susan Reinoehe, Beverly Robertson, Ellen Zimmerman and Ken Zimmerman.

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