Thursday, October 16, 2008

A River Runs Through It

Well, Lee and I are on our way back to Utah now, and although I'll be happy to get home and pick up our dogs, I did SO much enjoy our time in Oregon!

Over the week or so that we were in Central Oregon, we saw some absolutely beautiful country, with landscape features that would please just about every taste. There are mountains covered with pine and spruce trees, green mountain meadows and rippling streams, lakes, high desert covered with junipers and cedars, and meandering rivers.

By far, the greatest highlight for me, was seeing the beautiful Deschutes River. The Deschutes is an important landmark in Central Oregon, and is the namesake for Deschutes County and the Deschutes National Forest.

The Deschutes River originates on the east side of the Cascade Mountain range, near Mount Bachelor, courses south for a few miles from its origin, and then twists its way back into a northerly direction and eventually ends up at the mighty Columbia River between Oregon and Washington.

It’s nearly impossible to travel from one point to another in Central Oregon without crossing or coming up alongside the Deschutes. Our resort condo community, Eagle Crest, was located west of Redmond, on a bluff just above the Deschutes River. Thus, Lee and I were able to explore the network of hiking trails around our condo complex as they worked their way down to the river’s edge.

On our various day trips throughout the Central Oregon area, Lee and I drove between Redmond, Bend and Sisters, visited a number of the state parks, and even ventured into some of the picturesque back roads along the way. And I would guess that in our travels, we must have crossed at least 10 different bridges across the Deschutes . . . .some rural and some urban, some elaborately designed in concrete and stone, and others simply constructed of wood planks and metal railings. Even those times that we weren’t crossing the Deschutes, we often found ourselves traveling on a road that ran right beside it!

Even as a visitor to this area, I recognize the Deschutes as a river of many faces. . . . sometimes shallow and clear, seemingly little more than a mountain stream . . . other times lively and rippling . . . .and even other times, slowly meandering yet deceptively deep and powerful.

And with its many faces, the Deschutes represents different things to different people. I understand from the local literature that the Deschutes is a fisherman’s dream, with at least ten different types of trout in its waters. Fishing from boats is not allowed in the Deschutes, but Lee and I have seen wading anglers along certain points of the river. I also understand that there are parts of the river where the rapids lend themselves to river rafting.

At its wider points, such as at the south end of Bend, the Deschutes was once home to a local logging mill. . . . This old historic mill is now gone, but the area has been transformed by a local entrepreneur into a lovely riparian habitat, alongside a quaint and picturesque shopping center.

Lee and I have seen ducks leisurely swimming in the quiet areas of the Deschutes. We have seen beautiful marshy areas of the river with little islands of tall willows and cattails. And we’ve even seen a local resident standing alongside the gently flowing river in a rural area outside of Redmond, playing a game of "throw the stick in the river" with her labrador retriever, who was thoroughly enjoying swimming out into the river to get the stick.

This will be my last post about our Oregon trip, and I’m dedicating it to the Deschutes River.

These first few pictures were taken southeast of Bend, as the Deschutes is still in its southerly route coming out of the mountains. We took the photos just off the side of the road as we were traveling along the scenic Cascade Lakes Highway.

These next few photos were taken just off the hiking trail that Lee and I took from our condo down into the river canyon below.

Here's the intrepid photographer . . . . sometimes my only recourse on these day trips (in my role as photography "widow") is to take photos of Lee taking photos! Be sure to watch Lee's Blog and Lee's Etsy Shop for new fine art photos from this trip!

And me on the walking trail down by the River.

Here's a shot taken off a little rural bridge over the Deschutes.

The following photo was taken by Lee, of a turbulent area on the Deschutes River, called Cline Falls.

And below is another photo of yet another bridge we happened upon, crossing the Deschutes, in one area of Bend, as I recall. (The river runs through Bend.)

The photos below show the area of the Deschutes River in the Old Mill District of Bend . . . . this is where the old logging mill used to be, but has now been redeveloped into a Riparian habitat area, with a walking path all around the River, and a lovely shopping center with restaurants, galleries, and various shops nearby.

This is a view through the window of Greg's Grill, on the Riverfront, where Lee and I had lunch on two different occasions . . . . it was SO beautiful and relaxing there.

Here's my dear hubby, as we were waiting for lunch at Greg's.

And yours truly.

I hope you've enjoyed these snapshots, at least almost as much as I enjoyed taking them!

Until we meet again . . . . may you find daily delight in all the miracles of nature.


Lazy Bone said...

Looks like a beautiful place!

Jane said...

Hi Jan,
Lovely writing, and great photos. So glad to see them! I think Bend looks like a wonderful place. Will look forward to hearing more about it.Beautiful river too!

Tatyana said...

Great photos - it looks gorgeous and so explorable :P

Life With Dogs said...

Thanks for bringing this to my attention Jan. I can see why you enjoyed it. Just beautiful! I want to grab a canoe and camera and disappear...