Saturday, August 19, 2006
All too soon we had to leave the beach. We left in search of the Cascades Raptor Center in Eugene as ds Kevin has a keen interest in owls and eagles and this would be the highlight of the trip for him. This center rescues and rehabilitates raptors to release back into the wild. Some are too damaged to release and so are kept at the center. They were able to observe many kinds of owls (featured here is a Northern Spotted Owl) and some eagles too. The kids assured us that it was a worthwhile stop.
We continued driving across the Cascades towards Sisters and Redmond, watching the skies fill with smoke from various forest fires in the area as well as huge storm clouds building in the east. The horizon falls away from you as you leave the mountains, bringing on a feeling of great expansiveness, nothing hemming you in - exactly what I've come to love about eastern Washington and Oregon. We made dinner in the Safeway parking lot in Madras, then drove on to a rest stop farther north where we stopped for the night.
Friday dawned cool and sunny and some of the smoke had dissapated. We continued on north towards Biggs Junction and I was overcome by the views of Mt. Rainer, Mt. Adams, Mt. Hood, Mt. Washington, and The Sisters - you could see them all. I think I could retire on someone's farm out there and spend my days stitching and gazing at the beauty. If that plan fails, we found a county campground where for a few dollars we can park the trailer and enjoy the view!
We finally made it past Pendleton and set up camp in Emigrant Springs State Park, in the Blue Mountains. Easy to get to, only 90 minues from our home, nice little park in the woods, excellent showers, hiking trails - we'll be coming back to this park again and again!
Once again, for the kids, we spent Saturday in Pendleton at the water park. They have several huge water slides and a diving pool, regulation swimming pool, lots of tables and loungers - and a low entrance fee. $13.50 for one adult and four kids! What a bargain!! DH spent the day scouting out benchmarks and old highways and scenic vistas. I sat with the kids and did some more stitching - hurray!
Sunday morning we did a little geocaching near the park, then broke camp and headed for home, with very mixed emotions. The leisure and fun would be missed, but home is a nice place too. :)