October 20, 2017 Bend, Oregon

Abandoned Farm
Abandoned Farm

Wandering Around  Central Oregon

I took a couple of trips out of Bend last week looking for foliage primarily. I have to admit that I didn’t find much on either trip but sure did put in a couple of long days and a lot of miles looking.

I returned to the Cascades and revisited Sahalie Falls and Koosah Falls, then continued west on Route 126 to Cougar Dam Road, shown as Route 19 on my Oregon atlas. Though I encountered a little bit of snow and ice on the road at the absolute highest elevations, I enjoyed this drive on the western side of the mountain, through the rain forest and alongside the south fork the McKenzie River.

From Atop Sahalie Falls
From Atop Sahalie Falls

Before heading down Route 19, I walked the short trail to the top of Sahalie Falls for a different perspective of the falls.

Sahalie Falls
Sahalie Falls

 

Sahalie Falls
Sahalie Falls

The other perspective of Sahalie Falls. I then drove the quarter mile down the road to Koosah Falls with the intention of hiking back north up to Sahalie Falls to check out some of the blue pools along that stretch of the river. Unfortunately, I never got very far on the trail, being forced to retreat and retrace my steps back to the car after going no more than a few hundred yards up the  trail. The side affects of my chemo were making themselves well known here and the weakness in my legs forced me to turn back to avoid injury. Sure hope this subsides at some point and I regain some strength in my legs or I will be forced to give up hiking and thus lose a lot of photo opportunities..

Then on west to Route 19 and eventually back east on Route 58.

Rain Forest Foliage
Rain Forest Foliage

I would recommend driving Route 19 if in the area. It is a decent two lane paved road winding down the west side of the Cascades roughly following the South Fork of the McKenzie River.

Mossy Rocks
Mossy Rocks

As you can see from the two images immediately above, this side of the mountains gets a little more rain than the eastern side near Bend, thus lush, green rain forest and lots of moss.

Abandoned Farm
Abandoned Farm
Abandoned Farm
Abandoned Farm
Abandoned Farm
Abandoned Farm

My other day trip went north and east of Bend up through Antelope and parts east of there, but produced nothing to speak of as far as scenics or wildlife are concerned. The old abandoned farm pictured above is the only thing I even got the camera out for on this very long day on the road.

Thank you for shopping Amazon from my site!

When you click ( on the image below) through to shop Amazon from here, I get a tiny commission, one that does not in any way impact what you pay, and all those tiny commissions eventually add up and that helps me keep this blog going !


 

 

April 24, 2017 Malhuer NWR, Oregon

Abandoned Ranch
Abandoned Ranch

More From Malhuer National Wildlife Refuge

Ruddy Drake
Ruddy Drake

Always get a kick out of the male Ruddy Duck and his sky blue bill during breeding season.

Redhead Pair
Redhead Pair
Redheads Takeoff
Redheads Takeoff

Plenty of ducks encountered this week while driving through the refuge and was able to get a few decent flight shots when there was enough light, lots of overcast mornings.

Ring-neck Drake Takeoff
Ring-neck Drake Takeoff
Mallard Drake in Flight
Mallard Drake in Flight
Gadwall Takeoff
Gadwall Takeoff
Cinnamon Teal Pair
Cinnamon Teal Pair

This pair of Cinnamon Teal have been found on this spot every day this week, so I assume she is sitting on some eggs.

Cinnamon Teal Drake
Cinnamon Teal Drake
Avocets
Avocets

American Avocets hunting along the flooded fields.

Long-billed Curlew
Long-billed Curlew
Sandhill Crane
Sandhill Crane

This Sandhill was one of several pairs out hunting the flooded cow pastures along the highway.

Ferruginous Hawk
Ferruginous Hawk

A completely drenched Ferruginous hawk manning his roadside hunting perch during one of this week’s showers.

Ferruginous Hawk
Ferruginous Hawk

The look says it all, he doesn’t care for this weather any more than I do.

Thank you for shopping Amazon from my site!

When you click through to shop Amazon from here, I get a tiny commission, one that does not in any way impact what you pay, and all those tiny commissions eventually add up and that helps me keep this blog going !


 

August 22, 2016 Twin Lakes, Colorado

St. Elmo Hummingbird Feeder
St. Elmo Hummingbird Feeder

Day Trip to Saint Elmo, Pronghorns and Bighorn Sheep

Love the feeder hangers at the general store in the ghost town of St. Elmo, if I weren’t homeless, I’d have to find some of these to hang around my house.

St. Elmo General Store
St. Elmo General Store

Other than the general store, there really isn’t all that much to see in St. Elmo, though I did get a kick out of the assortment of rodents being fed in the fallen down remnants of a building across the street from the general store.

St. Elmo Feeding Area
St. Elmo Feeding Area

Two kinds of ground squirrel, least chipmunks, pine siskins, and  juncos, all gorging on sunflower seeds.

White Rock Mountains
White Rock Mountains

On the road up to St. Elmo, I passed these white rock mountains, quite stunning set against the Colorado blue sky.

White Rock Mountains
White Rock Mountains
White Rock Mountains
White Rock Mountains
Along the Back Road to Leadville
Along the Back Road to Leadville

Rather than drive the main highway from my campsite at Lakeview, I found a “shortcut” that went up and over the hills and then paralleled the highway as it made it’s way to Leadville. I drove this road several times after seeing pronghorns in the distance one morning.

Pronghorn Antelope
Pronghorn Antelope

Finally, one afternoon I ran into the herd moving at a fast clip along the ridge between the dirt road and the highway.

Pronghorn Antelope
Pronghorn Antelope
Pronghorn Antelope
Pronghorn Antelope

The lone male takes up a guard position in the rear and drives his harem toward a new grazing area.

Pronghorn Antelope
Pronghorn Antelope

So fortunate to catch them as they stopped atop this ridge gazing back at me, before disappearing down the hill.

Bighorn Ewe and Lamb
Bighorn Ewe and Lamb

On my last early morning trip up to Independence Pass, I came across a small band of bighorn ewes with a solitary lamb, kind enough to pose for a couple shots before slowly grazing up the side of the mountain.

Bighorn Ewe and Lamb
Bighorn Ewe and Lamb

I broke camp at Lakeview and drove 6 miles south to spend one night at the Clear Creek Reservoir dispensed camping area before heading north to Estes Park for a couple weeks of exploring the Rocky Mountain National Park.

Being more than a little concerned about the motorhome’s ability to climb the 8 mile grade on I-70 up to the Eisenhower Tunnel, I managed to find a shop in Buena Vista that could take me in to have the ignition wires and spark plugs replaced. For the last month or so, I could feel the engine sputtering a bit under heavy load and realized that I definitely was experiencing a loss of power. Anyone familiar with the Workhorse Vortex 8.1L engine would recognize the probable cause of this power loss … this is the fourth set of wires and plugs I have had done in 65,000 miles. A couple years ago, I finally had the Workhorse recommended fix for this installed, a pair of 3 inch fresh air lines that direct cool air up and back to the rear of the engine. I had hoped that would cure the problem, but obviously it did not, though it possibly did extend the time interval between having to replace ignition wires and spark plugs.

Thank you for shopping Amazon from my site!

When you click through to shop Amazon from here, I get a tiny commission, one that does not in any way impact what you pay, and all those tiny commissions eventually add up and that helps me keep this blog going !


 

August 1, 2016 Lake George, Colorado

Colorado Settler's Log Cabin
Colorado Settler’s Log Cabin

Exploring More Back Country Roads

After getting settled in at the Travel Port RV Park in Lake George Friday, I spent the weekend checking out some of the back roads in this area, just a little west of Colorado Springs.

Mulie Doe and Triplets
Mulie Doe and Triplets

On Saturday, I traveled north on Tarryall Road ( Route 77 ) to Route 285, then south on Route 9, back to Route 24 and home. On Tarryall Road, I encountered a mule deer doe and her triplets, something I had never seen before, but have since learned is not entirely uncommon in areas of ideal habitat and proper deer populations.

Mulie Triplets
Mulie Triplets

You have to look carefully to count all three young ones in these images, but there are three and they appeared very healthy, must be great mom.

Colorado Abandoned House
Colorado Abandoned House

Along Route 77 there were several old, abandoned houses and cabins,

Colorado Abandoned Log Cabin
Colorado Abandoned Log Cabin
Colorado Abandoned Log Cabin
Colorado Abandoned Log Cabin
Tarryall Creek Waterfall
Tarryall Creek Waterfall

and one interesting waterfall below Tarryall Reservoir.

Tarryall Creek Waterfall
Tarryall Creek Waterfall

There were two small ( free ) camping loops right on Tarryall Reservoir that had three or four primitive sites that would work for a large rig.

Looking Down on Cripple Creek
Looking Down on Cripple Creek

Cripple Creek, Colorado

Burros with a Gambling Problem?
Burros with a Gambling Problem?

I drove through the small town of Cripple Creek, a former gold mining boomtown, now apparantly a gambling boomtown, early on Sunday morning.

Burro Waiting for the Tables to Open?
Burro Waiting for the Tables to Open?

The streets were deserted, except for these free roaming burros that appeared to be waiting for the gaming establishments to open their doors.

Cripple Creek Sidewalk Attractions
Cripple Creek Sidewalk Attractions

These were the only people I saw out and about this early in the morning and perhaps this is what the burros were really waiting for … free food handouts!

Cripple Creek Mine Structures
Cripple Creek Mine Structures

Gold Mining

Just on the outskirts of this small town, as well as above it, and, in fact, all around the downtown area, were remnants of many gold mining operations, some of which were still being worked.

Cripple Creek Mine Structures
Cripple Creek Mine Structures
Cripple Creek Mine Structures
Cripple Creek Mine Structures

And only a mile or so out of town ( no images unfortunately ), on the road to Victor, is the enormous Newmount gold mining operation that can be seen from miles away. The tailings from this ongoing mining operation tower several hundred feet above the road as you drive towards Victor.

Thank you for shopping Amazon from my site!

When you click through to shop Amazon from here, I get a tiny commission, one that does not in any way impact what you pay, and all those tiny commissions eventually add up and that helps me keep this blog going !