Exploring Prospect Oregon

Bill and I are spending the summer getting to know Oregon. We’ve seen some amazing and beautiful sights. It’s hard for me to say what I loved the most about our summer Oregon adventure to date. I don’t have words to give justice to the  beautiful Oregon Coast. And we are amazed at how many waterfalls there are in Oregon. Seems like every place we’ve visited had numerous beautiful waterfalls to see, and amazing hiking trails.

This week Bill and I went to see the Mill Creek Waterfall. It’s a little hidden jewel within the woods around the town of Prospect. The air is very smokey from the wildfires that are contained, but still burning themselves out, just outside of Prospect. But that didn’t take away from the experience once you get there.

We hiked up to the waterfall viewing spot, and sat and just enjoyed the beauty of the forest, and the waterfall cascading down from the mountain. So, so, peaceful.

The hiking trails around the waterfall are very pretty as well. Its like walking through an enchanted forest.

When we left the Mill Creek area, we went a short distance down the road to the Rogue River Gorge. The hike we took here started where the water coming into the Gorge looked calm.

But very quickly picked up speed as we made our way down the trail along the Gorge…

Of course the rushing water took on very different looks as the Gorge widened and narrowed, but all of it was amazing and really gave us a sense of the power of nature.

You never know who, or what, you will meet up with when you are hiking through the forest. This little guy/girl was slowly making its way across the forest floor towards the water. Looks like a snail without it’s shell to me.

This tree stump caught our eye and we just had to go over and read the sign in front of it that read “Living Stump: On the flat surface of the lava flow, away from the Gorge wall, the trees live as a group rather than as individuals, the roots of these Douglas-Firs have grown together, providing each other with nutrients and water. Before it was cut, the roots of this tree had grafted onto those of a neighbor. Because of this, the stump continues to live”. I find that AMAZING, and I LOVE that!!!

Wouldn’t it be wonderful, if everyone in the world, would take a lesson from these trees, and help one another (family, neighbors, strangers..), like that? Just imagine what a beautiful world that would be.

Stay Tuned!

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Trillium Lake, Oregon

Today, Bill and I took a scenic drive to Trillium Lake. We stopped on our way along the side of the road so I could capture this picture of the mighty Mt. Hood. So reminds me of the first time I saw the Grand Tetons.

When we arrived at Trillium Lake, we were greeted and captivated, for the entire afternoon, by the stillness of the water (minus a few tiny ripples when a row-boat, or paddle board, goes by), and the sight of Mt. Hood in the background, casting its mirror image on the lake.

The water of Trillium Lake is crystal clear.

The lake itself is not natural: “The boggy meadows here were submerged by a dam built across Mud Creek in 1960.” But, regardless how the lake was built, it is beautiful, and the perfect place for folks that want to spend time in nature and having fun on the water.

The hike around Trillium Lake is a lovely 2 miles.

Around every curve in the trail is another opportunity to stop…, and take in all this area has to offer, like these pretty purple wild flowers that surround the lake.

I couldn’t resist getting a picture of these three canoes, one red, one silver, and one black, just lined up in a row on the edge of the water. So inviting..

As we made our way around the lake, I just loved how the trees seemed to part, and make space for me to take another picture of the lake and all the beautiful trees that surround it. Bill and I shared a lovely picnic lunch enjoying views just like this.

And how could anyone, with a camera in their hand, resist taking a picture of this adorable little blue canoe, sitting on the edge of the water between the trees, just waiting for someone to get in and take a spin around the lake? I couldn’t!

Another beautiful day exploring the FABULOUS state of Oregon.

Stay Tuned!

 

 

Starvation Creek Falls, Oregon

Bill and I took an amazingly beautiful hike today at Starvation Creek State Park, located in Oregon, just west of Hood River.

One of the trails we hiked was called “starvation creek” because it was said that a train was stopped there by snow drifts, and passengers had to dig out the train. No one actually starved there. The passengers were kept from starvation by men who packed supplies in from Hood River on skis.

There are several amazing waterfalls in the area. The first waterfall we saw was coming down from the top of a mountain, in a beautiful water cascade, that flowed down to a small creek at the bottom of the mountain. Huge, green trees, all around the area, made for lots of shade, and a beautiful picture.

The second waterfall we saw wasn’t as big, and I didn’t notice anything strange about it, until I got home, and started looking at the pictures I took. That’s when I noticed what looks to me, to be the image of a face of a man inside the waterfall. Don’t know if my sighted readers can see it, but Bill said he does. The man’s face is towards the top of where the waterfall begins. I can see two eyes, a nose, a mouth, and one ear. If you look closely, you can also see what looks to Bill and I like a snake that wraps around the man’s head just in front of the man’s ear, going over his forehead, and over the other side of the man’s head. The snake looks like it has its mouth open… This was early morning and no, we were not drinking…Ha!

When we got to this next waterfall, the water was coming down so fast and hard, we could feel the mist spraying out over the surrounding rocks and trees. It felt wonderful just to stand there and let the cool mist spray over us too.

It was a lovely hike, with stunning views. Like this view I captured looking down from halfway up the mountain trail we were on. The 24/7 train that runs by our campground is in the foreground, and there were lots of sailboats, with colorful sails, out enjoying the waters of the Columbia River Gorge.

When we first started our hike, we saw two men hiking up to one of the waterfalls we were looking at. They were carrying a large ice chest cooler between them. One of the men had on a white shirt and tie, while the other was dressed in shorts and a T-shirt. The man in the white shirt and tie left immediately after the ice chest was delivered. The other man was taking pictures, and we got to chatting with him, and found out the man in the white shirt and tie was his friend who was getting married this morning right at that very waterfall. I asked if the bride was going to hike all the way up there in her wedding gown and heals… and he said no, they were going to ride bikes up to the trailhead, and then it was just a very short distance to the waterfall. He said the bride would be wearing a wedding dress, but it was not a big, puffy bottom gown. He said we might see the bride and groom getting married when we make our way back down the mountain after our hike. And, sure enough we did. An adorable young couple were saying their wedding vowels just as we arrived back to that spot. The bride was in a long white gown, but it was more straight fitting, and something like you would see when a couple are getting married on the beach…

As we made our way down to the beginning of the trailhead, we saw the “bikes” the bride and groom rode in on… How adorable is this three wheel bike with a sign on the back that reads “just married” complete with the traditional tin cans tied to the back of it?

Yet another fun-filled day in Oregon…

Stayed Tuned!

Bullards Beach State Park, Oregon

I was asked to write my thoughts about my first impression of the Oregon Coast. Well, guess what? For the first time, in a long time, I actually don’t know what to say. I don’t think I even know words that can begin to describe the beauty Bill and I are sitting in the middle of here at Bullards Beach State Park. After a year of waiting, planning, and anticipating this Oregon adventure, we are finally here. And, all I can say, is that I am overwhelmed by the absolute beauty everywhere I look.

From the moment I looked up and saw a glimpse of the Oregon coastline as we were making our way to Bullards Beach State Park, all I could do was cry. I know some folks find it hard to believe, that at 65 yrs of age, I have never traveled across country, until Bill and I retired and started our full-time RV life, but it’s true, and I have never seen anything like Oregon. I just can’t wait to get out on some day trips, and explore all that Oregon has to offer, because I’ve been told “you ain’t seen nothing yet”… But, for now, I will share some pictures of what we are enjoying within the Park we are calling home for the next two months.

Welcome to Bullards Beach State Park, Oregon.

This is our campsite where we are all set up to sit a spell with coffee in the mornings, happy hours in the afternoons, and a campfire in the evenings…

Of course, this is the awesome lighthouse where we work two days a week.  LOVE it!

And look closely in the middle of the next picture and you will see two deer romping around.

This park even has a horse camp area, complete with corrals, where you can have your own horses right in your campsite (Laurie Archbold). Now who wouldn’t love having a horse to ride on the beach…? This girl would… 🙂

There are several trails within the park that lead directly to the ocean/beach…  Bill and I followed this trail that lead us to …

these awesome sights!

I guess I’m rocking the windblown look right?

Bill is mesmerized by the ocean waves..

Like I said, I don’t know what to say, because everywhere I look, everything I see is beautiful.

Bill and I are so thankful, and grateful, for this opportunity to be here. Everyday is a new blessing for us, and we are like two kids at Christmas just running from one thing to another as we take it all in.

Tomorrow we will go to Mass, at a small Catholic Church we found in Bandon, and you know Bill and I will be giving thanks, because we take absolutely nothing for granted..

Stay Tuned!

 

 

The High End Of Bell Trail

About a week ago, Bill and I hiked the Historic Bell Trail in the Coconino National Forest. The day we did that hike, we were not fully prepared to stay out long enough to hike all the way up the mountainous cliffs that take you to what is called “the crack”.  The reason we were not fully prepared that day, was because we did not have enough water to make the 10 mile round trip hike. Now we are prepared to take on any hike we want. Because, we purchased these handy-dandy back-packs, that include a 2 litter water reservoir. The water reservoir has a hose attached that allows you to bite and suck a little tip on the end of the hose so you can drink all the water you want while your hiking. It allows you to hike hands free, making the hike much more enjoyable. And, the backpack is large enough to allow you to include your lunch, and any gear you need… Way cool!

So yesterday off we went, on a 10 mile round trip hike up the bell trail, in search of the bell crack, that Bill really wanted to see.

 

This was a very difficult hike. Because, the majority of the hike involved climbing up, over, and around some very steep and rocky cliff trails.

I mean to say, I had to really dig deep, and suck up all my courage to do this hike. Not only because of the difficulty factor, but I am also very much afraid of heights.  OMG, the things I do for Bill… YIKES!

The payoff, other than being able to say we did it…, was the beautiful up close views of the gorgeous red rock mountains.

We stopped about two hours into our hike, found a nice rock to sit on, and enjoyed our picnic lunch and all the water we could drink… Then we hiked on to see the bell crack which, by the way…,  after all it took to get there, I didn’t even get a picture of it! But that’s a whole other story that’s probably better told while sipping wine around a campfire… 🙂

Finally, after two and a half hours of hiking, climbing up and over rocks, boulders, and just about anything else you can think of along the beautiful, but rugged trail…, it was time to make our way back down the mountain and back to our car. I was hurting all over, and told Bill I felt like my toes were bleeding. He said “I’m not feeling too good myself, but I can tell this isn’t going to be about me right now”. I laughed, but I was thinking to myself, that’s right baby, you’re the one that wanted to see the bell crack… Ha!

Well let me tell you, as much as I love to hike, I was one happy girl after four plus hours of hiking, to have my feet firmly planted back on solid, level, ground!!

Today, both Bill and I are sore to say the least, but Bill is even more sore than me, because about an hour before we reached our car, he slipped in some gravel and fell flat down landing on his hip that was already sore from a previous fall when he tripped over our car dolly!  So after that happened, I told him it could be all about him now… 🙂

Stay Tuned!

Historic Bell Trail

Today Bill and I took a two-hour hike through part of the Historic Bell Trail.

The Bell Trail makes for a beautiful hike. It reminds me of some of the trails in Sedona with all the red rocks. Sedona is not far from here, and is very near and dear to my heart, because Bill proposed to me standing right outside the Chapel in the Rocks, early one morning, as the sun was just coming over the red rock mountains.

Around every bend in the Bell Trail the scenery changes,

and there is something new and different to see. Bill found this rock with the images carved on it very interesting. We were not sure if someone hiking in the area did the art work, or if it might be some hieroglyphics.

The cactuses are blooming all over this area. I just love these big yellow cactus blooms.

We didn’t hike the whole 6 mile trail because we were not really prepared with enough water to stay out that long. So after about an hour and half of hiking, we turned back.

On our way back to our car, I found this nice rock to sit on and relax for a few minutes. That’s when we decided to get playful, and use this as the background for a photo opportunity that went a little wayward…

Shantel, papa was taking pictures of me sitting on a red rock, and I was turning my head from side to side, and he started coaching me like I was a model. I finally started laughing and just kind of laid back on the rock and he snapped a picture of that too. It’s not my best look, but we had a lot of fun, and I guess some pictures are better left unexplained. Ha!

Stay Tuned!

Dead Horse Ranch State Park

Today Bill and I visited Dead Horse Ranch State Park. This is a beautiful park nestled in the cool climate of the town of Cottonwood. Dead Horse Ranch offers numerous outdoor opportunities for camping, hiking, mountain biking, canoeing, fishing or just wading in the cool water.

The information sheet we received when we entered the park says “Dead Horse Ranch got its peculiar name in the late 1940’s from its previous owners, the Ireys family from Minnesota. They were looking to buy a ranch and on their tour they discovered a large dead horse lying by the road outside of the property. After two days of viewing ranches, Mr. Ireys asked the kids which ranch they liked the best, and they all agreed the one with the dead horse! Acquired in 1973 by Arizona State Parks, the Ireys family made it a condition of the sale that the park retain the name Dead Horse Ranch.”

Bill and I decided we would hike the self-guided interpretative trail. We thought it was going to be like the interpretative trail we have at McDowell Mountain Park, where we give our guests an information sheet that explains everything they are seeing on the trail, i.e., plants, mountain ranges, wildlife, etc. But, no, this park didn’t even have a map that made it easy to find the trailhead, and there was nothing to explain what we were looking at on the trail. So, Bill and I had to make up our own version of what we were seeing as we hiked along..

This little tiny sign that was almost hidden in the bush was the only thing that gave any indication we were even on the right trail.. The only way we knew that was because I remembered reading that the self-guided interpretative trail was called the Mesa Trail.

Lucky for us we know what a blooming cactus looks like, and this one had lots of pretty blooms.

Then there was this pretty flowering bush that I have no idea what it is, and some pretty yellow flowers that I don’t know the names of either… so there is that…

This was growing out of a large cactus, and I told Bill I thought it is called a century plant, but to be honest, I’m just guessing. See, it’s important that parks provide informative information for their guests, because inquiring minds, like mine… want to know.

Here are some more pretty blooming cactus with yellow flowers this time.

The trail lead us up a hill, and when we reached the top, there were very pretty views all the way around, so that was nice.

After that hike, we made our way down to see the lagoons within the park. As we pulled into the parking lot of that area, we saw this covered wagon hitched to these two big horses. Then we found out that is where you go if you want to take a trail ride. They rent horses by the hour for guided horseback tours around the park. Now that’s cool that they provide that service.

The lagoon area was my personal favorite. So beautiful, peaceful, and quiet, with only the sound of birds chirping and an occasional fish jumping up out of the water. Take a look.

And today, we found the perfect spot for our picnic lunch.

I didn’t have cold fried chicken for our picnic, but I did have cold baked pork chops from dinner last night. Add a touch of B-B-Q sauce, some chips, olives, and cheese, and it was a tasty picnic lunch that both Bill and I enjoyed.

After lunch, we made our way down to the Verde River Greenway Trail. This trail takes you right along the bank of the water. So pretty with the trees creating a canopy of shade over the trails.

Bill stopped to see if he could locate the frog he saw jump into the water just as we passed by.

While we were disappointed with the lack of information, about the different trails the park offers for their guests, we were very impressed with the overall beauty of this park. They have 100 RV/camp sites, and eight one-room log cabins. The cabins sleep up to four people with a maximum capacity of six people available for reservations.

It is such a pretty park with so much to offer in the way of activities, Bill and I decided if we ever decide to work/camp in Arizona for a few months during the summer, we would definitely consider this park.

Stay Tuned!

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