Day 10 - From Sagebrush to Forests
Trip Start Jun 29, 2007
27Trip End Jul 30, 2007
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Our destination today is a town in the volcanic region of Oregon. My original route had us taking a more southern route but we switch to this route straight west after a conversation with a guy in Minnesota. This guy did some surveying in the Sisters region a few years ago and told us that the region is very beautiful and the route that we planned was mostly desert. He was right - the drive out of Ontario was very pretty with terrain that was not tree covered but sagebrush covered. The big difference in the look of this Oregon region and the other high plains areas we have been to is the proliferation of colour
We traveled on secondary highways through a number of small towns which slowed us down a bit, but it gave us a sense of local history and a chance to meet some folks. On one stretch of the plains section we saw a fire burning near the summit of a very high hill. It didn't look as though is was being put out but we couldn't see it burning to far afield to be much of a problem.
Later in the day we started to get into more mountainous and forested regions. The areas of transition from plains to mountains was spectacular as the road threaded its way through deep chasms and twisting grades.
Before too long we were completely surrounded by stands of large (we think) yellow pines. The air had a sweet, piney smell and we just loved it. It was a welcome break from hundreds of miles driving across the barren open range. We were seeing logging trucks all over and the forest looked very healthy. Wherever logging was being done it looked as though they were taking care not to trash the place.
Late in the afternoon we started to catch glimpses of the Three Sisters Volcanoes. This is where we would be camping. A little research told me that the last eruption happened about 19 000 years ago
We were very impressed by the quality of Oregon's highways - even on the small, secondary routes we were traveling on. We thought their one word highway signs were quite comical too. Signs like "ROCKS" , "ELK" , "CONGESTION" and numerous signs reminding motorists of the most basic of highway rules "DO NOT PASS WITH SOLID LINE IS IN YOUR LANE" and "RIGHT LANE IS FOR RIGHT TURNS" when approaching an intersection. Oh well, whatever it takes to keep the peace.