Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Aug 26, Astoria to Bend: On the Road

Thus begins a mini-adventure. Not that we expected anything to be difficult, but it would be the first time Laurel and I and Teagan would travel from Astoria to Bend to see Lee, aka Dad and Grandpa. First stop, Coffee Girl on Pier 39. I couldn't help but take a photo in this setting. I was a bit sorry to be leaving our wonderful weather and the coast I so love for dry and possibly hot parts inland.

My first glimpse of Teagan for the day was in the dark cave of the SUV. Dark because we're parked inside of the Pier 39 building.

Ooooh. Micky, Minnie, and Donald. I hadn't liked them so much as a child, but it seems they've morphed with modern technology into educational animals rather than ones that simply get caught in stupid situations and make impossible contortions with their bodies to get out of trouble. The colors are nice. As long as Teagan can't see the road from his car seat, he can learn about angles and the formation ducks fly in. I'm wondering if his first words will be, " . . . two sides of the triangle."

Same-old, same-old in a sense, but always different, and always worth a picture. I love being able to see the ships just about every day.

A few hours later and nearing Mount Hood, the clouds were interesting. In this case, the white thing on the left is INSIDE the car. Oh, well. I just like taking the photos.

More cloud formations nearing the mountain.

You get only a few good camera-worthy glimpses of Mount Hood as you skirt the old volcano. Today the glaciers are pared down to a bare minimum from where they were a decade or two ago.

Nice cloud formation, beautiful Mount Hood. Skirting the mountain by road.

Here's an underpass with pedestrian overpass adjacent to the mountain. It's attractive, with each design element featuring an animal or image. I hoped to get an animal in the camera sights as the car swooped past, but I think I got toboggans. On another trip, I believe I got a fish.

The small town of Government Camp is just off the main road. We stopped at the part of Government Camp that sits alongside the highway to use the facilities and take a break. As we pulled into a parking spot, a small animal (apparently a vole) scampered out of the weeds and stopped still. I didn't want to scare it, and my first photos were from farther away - as close as I could get with the optical zoom. After awhile, as it hadn't moved, I crept closer. It still didn't move, and I began to get the feeling it wasn't going to. "How weird," we both said, "It just crawled out of the grass right in front of our eyes and DIED, or what?"

Apparently so. This is my close-up of the cute little vole, but now it's a cute dead vole. I didn't touch it, but I did stomp on the ground a mere foot from the animal now baking in the sun at the top of the pass. Too bad. How strange. I wonder if it had been poisoned.

This is the view of Mt. Hood and the ski lift from the road at Government Camp. It looks beautiful, and today it was hot - about 95 degrees.

Here's another view of Mount Hood. For the record, this is the end of August, 2009, and the snow and ice is certainly depleted.

Laurel and Teagan get some exercise. I'd already checked to see about brain freezes or smoothies, but the place was out of ice cream and their freezer was broken. Hot coffee? Not today, thanks.

We had expected to see a lot of this, but there really wasn't much, so it didn't slow us down too much. Another two hours to go. Everything was going fine.

Past Mount Hood, down the slope and onto the high desert plains. It was August tan, gold and brown, and also hazy from fires. This particular short stretch is one of my favorites. It's in a slight draw with a marsh at the bottom. The branches of the marsh plants turn red and other interesting colors in most seasons. At one time it burned, and I always like the contrast of the tortured dark trees in front of Mount Jefferson, but unless one stops, there's only a fraction of a second to get a good photo from a moving car, and this time I didn't. In order to walk to a good photo stop, you need to park off the rise and walk on the narrow siding. That wasn't happening today, so I'm happy with the memory-book photo I did get.

Another photo of Mount Jefferson as we passed it, and then I put the camera aside for awhile even though there are wonderful rock formations between here and Bend.

I came up with one last photo, which I just love, in the valley at Warm Springs. I wouldn't know how to describe this feathery image with its subtle color and perfectly-formed shadow, so I'll simply say, I really like this one.

And on to Bend.


hyrax said...

I love that you posted the cute dead vole pics.

laurelgrace00 said...

Those were good photos, it was nice to see them , since I was driving and couldn't see all the details you saw. Thanks for sharing!

sunnymama said...

The cloud pictures are stunning! :)