Northwestern Wandering -part 1

by Ridgemont on Sep 08, 2014

IMG_4882When the opportunity arises to travel to Oregon for some outdoor fun, we’re always bound to accept the offer. That’s exactly what we did for the better part of this past August, and it did not disappoint.

We’re native to Long Beach, CA, and that’s where we call our headquarters. But there will always be a soft spot in our heart for the beautiful state of Oregon. There seem to be infinite amounts of fun things to do here; hiking, camping, swimming, fishing, spelunking… You name it, we did it. Central Oregon in the summer is a true wonderland. Dreamy weather makes anything you want to do possible. Spring and fall might not be so nice here, unless you can handle rain and lots of it. Winter opens up many new possibilities for fun though: Mt. Bachelor, Mt Hood and a slew of other ski areas are top notch if you’re into skiing/snowboarding. For us, a summer trip is all we really need.

IMG_5118This was on a boating expedition around Suttle lake. It’s a high elevation lake that gets quite a few visitors for camping and waterskiing. IMG_5109We spotted a rope swing from the boat and on closer inspection decided it was a perfect way to bellyflop into the water.

IMG_5090This is another lake named Clear Lake. There are 11 different Clear lakes in Oregon. Real original name, dudes. This one is clearly (see what I did there?) the most unique of them all though. For starters, The McKenzie River starts here and flows 80 miles downhill to Eugene, OR. More about the McKenzie later.

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The really incredible thing about this place is what’s in it. 100 feet down in the middle of the lake is a stand of trees that are 3,000 years old, and perfectly preserved underwater. The story is that all those years ago, due to some volcanic activity in the area, the frigid water (it is suuuuuper cold) sprang from the ground and flooded this place, creating Clear Lake. Since it stays so cold year-round, the trees stay preserved. You’ll see a whole bunch of SCUBA divers here; it’s supposed to be one of the best freshwater dives in the states because of the trees and the ultra-clear waters.

IMG_5063Just about two miles downhill from Clear Lake is this beauty: Sahalie Falls. We’ve been to this one plenty of times, it’s so easy to get to, just a short walk from the highway. It’s always worth it though. Before you see the falls you’ll hear them thundering through the forest. It’s always pretty mindblowing just how much water is falling, constantly, from these falls.

IMG_4613Hiking upstream along the McKenzie River on a day trip to a place called the ‘Blue Hole’. The forest is thick, mossy and damp in this zone.

IMG_4637It’s a pleasant trip to the Blue Hole, as you can see.

IMG_4653So this is it: The Blue Hole.

Interesting story behind this place. It used to be a waterfall. The water was diverted upstream for a dam/reservoir a long time ago, but they didn’t correctly anticipate where the water would travel afterwards. There ended up being underground lava tubes that nobody knew about, and the river flowed into them and then pops up here, at the bottom of what used to be the waterfall. A little confusing I’d say. Not really sure why it’s so blue though. Sure is a sight to see.

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Near the end of the return trip from the Blue Hole. Gotta love this path and this forest on the McKenzie.

We’ll be back with a part two from our Oregon trip soon, hope you’ve enjoyed it so far! Let us know what you think in the comments section!

—Thanks—

 

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