We drove south 160 miles and intended to stay at the Tumalo State Park near Bend . However, the park was closed for remodeling! Note to self: ALWAYS CHECK THE STATE PARK WEBSITE! Ok…plan B…what? No plan B? Get one in a hurry. We decided to drive a little further to Sisters. Ralph has been there several times and I’ve been there once on my motorcycle. I pulled out my handy, dandy iPhone with the AllStays camping app and found the Sisters City RV Park with a $10/per night senior rate. Score! It was a decent little park within walking distance of the business district of this small, quaint, western town. No hookups here, but what do we care? We have solar!
The next day I headed out to find the library (for free WIFI), and window shop in town while Ralph stayed home and washed the windows. I’d say a win-win all the way around! I picked up a few gifts in town, had some lunch and headed home. The Sisters’ Harvest Festival was happening the next day and Ralph and I returned to check it out. Being in such a small space in the RV, I always resist the urge to buy things when on the road. The only thing I allow myself to do is buy consumables. If I cannot eat it or drink it, it cannot come in the RV. I purchased some delicious cranberry, fig, merlot wine preserves (great with Brie and crackers) and some red wine spicy mustard. Yummmm. We had pizza for lunch. This clock was on the wall.
Over the next couple of days we visited a pioneer cemetery, the Metolius Springs and River Head with a view of Mt Jefferson, the Dee Wright Observatory on the McKenzie Pass, the Newberry National Monument and the Lava Lands, and finally Bend.
We were a little disappointed with the cemetery. Ralph wondered why the heck I wanted to go to a cemetery. (To tell the truth, I think he thinks that about a lot of things I want to do…oh well) I thought there would be more old graves, but it is still used and there were many recent graves. There were a few really old ones. Some looked like they were visited often; they were set up with chairs and benches.
Metolius Springs are located just north of Black Butte near the small town of Camp Sherman in centralOregon. The springs are the source of the Metolius River, which flows 29 miles through the Deschutes National Forest emptying into Lake Billy Chinook. The flow from Metolius Springs is sufficient to create a full-flowing river, making the Metolius River one of the largest spring-fed rivers in the United States. The springs were probably created about one and a half million years ago when Black Butte erupted blocking a north-flowing river. With the newly formed butte blocking the natural channel, water backed up south of the mountain creating a swampy meadow area. Over time, the water seeps through porous rocks under the butte and now emerges on the north side of Black Butte at Metolius Springs.
Dee Wright Observatory is located in the Willamette National Forest 15 miles west of Sisters, Oregon on Route 242. The highway is part of the McKenzie-Santiam Pass Scenic Byway. McKenzie Pass is 5,325 feet above sea level, and winter snow and the narrow road surface requires McKenzie Pass to be closed from November to July each year. It was very chilly when we were there. Dee Wright Observatory is an observation structure at the summit of McKenzie Pass in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon. The structure is an open shelter constructed with lava stone. It is located in the midst of a large lava flow, and offers an exceptional view of numerous Cascade peaks.
Newberry National Volcanic Monument was designated on November 5, 1990, to protect the area around the Newberry Volcano. It was created within the boundaries of the Deschutes National Forest and is managed by the U.S. Forest Service. It includes 50,000 acres of lakes, lava flows, and spectacular geologic features in central Oregon. We took the hike through the lava field and up to the top overlook into the volcano cone. It is pretty spectacular! The visitor center was very informative and I learned a lot about volcanic activity and the surrounding area.
Bend is a beautiful little city with lots of restaurants and bars. We only spent a few hours there and ate dinner at the Deschutes Brewery. I had to have a flight of beer tastings. There were six four-ounce glasses of beer. That’s a lot for someone that doesn’t drink very much beer. And some have a high alcohol content. Needless to say I had a buzz when I left. Oh yeah, and I had beer cheddar cheese soup for dinner. Delish! Turns out that my former sister in law’s brother (or cousin, I can’t remember) has a brewery in Bend. Next time I’ll look him up. I’d like to return to Bend in the future and spend more time exploring.
All in all a very busy time while in Sisters and loved every minute of it!
Next two stops on the way home are Klamath Falls, Oregon and Redding, California.