12 October 2012

Back to the West: Central Oregon--Pt. II

Ah--the gray skies and rain have finally arrived in the very dry PNW...
a good day to cook some beautiful sweet orange winter squash (ambercup + gold nugget),
drink some hot mountain huckleberry tea
and remember the brilliant sun, blue skies and gorgeous leaf colors of central Oregon.
Let me see,
I believe last time we met my friend and I were in Sisters at Sisters Coffee Company...
 so we'll begin there.
We were sitting on the comfortable leather sofa in front of the big stone fireplace,
enjoying a eggnog coffee and some huckleberry iced tea,
munching on some very yummy cookies and relaxing to some good music!
Definitely an awesome place with friendly staff, yummy baked goods
 and a wonderful western decor:)
BTW, here is a photo of their outside eating area--they had a nice water feature there!
(to see more photos go here: http://www.sisterscoffee.com/hood_avenue.html)
With some newly purchased Mountain Huckleberry tea in hand we were on our way to the next destination---
Bend, Oregon.
Here we stopped at the visitor center to get
some very specific information about places I wanted to go,
things I wanted to see
and other things.
The staff  were friendly and extremely helpful;
I definitely recommend a stop there if you need information about this area.
(and BTW they were SO right about the friendliness of Bend residents).
With maps, pamphlets and a visitor guide in hand,
we headed to the next item on my 'to see' list...
Drake Park-
a wonderful park located along the Deschutes River.
There we enjoyed some golden tree leaf color,
the river
and the very entertaining ducks and geese!
LOVED it:)
From there we traveled a bit to see my beautiful niece...
also a lover of photography and nature, by the way:)
I definitely wanted to give her a proper hug goodbye as she leaves on a new adventure soon
Is it OK if I say I'll miss her...?
I will.
After bidding my talented  niece goodbye and wishing her well,
we took one of the routes the visitor center staff had recommended
(they SO understood my NEED for lots of autumn color)...
it just so happened to take us up a butte where we did see lots of  autumn color
and a whole lot more!
(the photo above is a bit of the whole lot more)
Next stop: time under the aspen trees.
Notes + Photos: 
Sisters Coffee Company
Visit Bend
Drake Park, Bend.
A BIG thank you to Sisters Coffee Company for permission to take and
post photos taken from inside their incredible coffee shop!
(SO hungry for one of their wonderful oatmeal-cranberry cookies right now).
Way too short of a trip...
As usual, I am not associated, except as a satisfied customer, with any of the businesses I feature (unless I say so specifically).  
Today is the 50th anniversary of the Columbus Day storm,
do any of you remember it?

11 October 2012

Back to the West: Central Oregon

We left before sunrise on our adventure back to the "west".
After a quick stop (and then a quick return) to a favorite stop by a lake,
we arrived at our first major destination--
the Short Covered Bridge.
I, as usual,
was dressed appropriately for the FROSTY weather in the mountains--
barefoot and wearing summer clothes.
But great lighting on a beloved covered bridge
 can make one do strange things,
even when one has bare feet.
I now know just how  freezing COLD a covered bridge's surface really is
on a frosty autumn morn.
My friend, being more practical in nature and dressed suitably for the weather
will never know such things.

Slightly before the bridge,
where my feet froze BUT I got the photo I wanted,
we passed a camp and this little 'western' town.
I have NO idea of its importance or use,
but I loved it:)
Alas, the lighting was not quite as wonderful here,
but still you have to grab a photo when something is this neat.
On our way again,
we passed by lots and lots (dare I say again?) lots of trees
and I took many photos--
but unfortunately our car window showed the evidence of many a
 bug's demise limiting the ones I will post here.
But you get the idea, right?
Beauty, amazing color, blue skies, miles and miles of evergreens,
cold mountain rivers, great vistas...
And then came the area hit by fires in years gone by...
still amazing autumn color,
blue skies
and some evergreens...
but it was SO painful to see the devastation that only a forest fire can bring
(deep sad sigh inserted here)
I was hoping there would be more recovery by this time,
having been in this area with my parents some years ago-
alas it was not to be.
And then,
after lava, a couple of mountain lakes, more areas of fire damage, amazing views..
we arrived at our next destination
Sisters, Oregon
and one of the BEST coffee shops ever!!
But, alas again, I must bid you farewell,
for the hubby will soon be home
he likes to eat dinner when he gets here.
Imagine that?

10 October 2012

Birthday Journeys

 My first birthday trip brought me west...
up into our coast range,
along creeks and rivers
and to a favorite restaurant.
 And it also brought me to one of my favorite beaches--
where my hubby and I shared some sweet childhood memories
and later made new ones in a mountain valley he had never been to.
 And then last week brought us here--
just because we're still having beautiful autumn weather
and are trying to savor every minute of it before our REAL autumn begins.
 But yesterday,
well yesterday's journey brought me west again--
to a place I consider the 'WEST',
gorgeous central Oregon...
land of sagebrush + juniper,
rivers, lakes + waterfalls,
mountains + buttes. 
And also,
land of past memories,
family ties,
a real feeling of the 'Old West'
and ASPEN--beautiful, wonderful, unforgettable aspen.
It was a great place to celebrate another year;
it was a great place to remember.
And later this week,
IF blogger photo upload cooperates...
I will share some of my trip with you.
And if blogger doesn't cooperate?
Well I am considering some changes:(
friendly cat at Camp 18--
a very well known restaurant in Elsie.
Fort Stevens--Peter Iredale Beach.
Somewhere along the central Oregon coast
(OK, I know where but I am keeping it a secret for now)

08 October 2012

Autumn in the Pacific NW

Outside the leaves are changing...
our weekly trip to the coast saw more yellow
and of course, red.
At home, the lilac and blueberries have more color than other plants...
but, from where I am sitting, I can see the Japanese maple is in the process of changing color too.
I have a very long list of 'to do's' today ...
so I hope you won't mind these photos of leaves from autumn's past
In fact one of the reasons I am SO busy today has to do with autumn leaves...
beautiful red and yellow leaves in fact.

It is also a dream I have had...
the dream I have every autumn.
But this year it looks like my dream will come true
(although not quite in the way I originally envisioned it).
Perhaps you have a autumn dream too?
Autumn leaves from various locations,
including my sibling's and our garden.
The Little Luckiamute River
(Falls City, Oregon)
Thanksgiving tablescape from last year
(just bought some things for this year's Thanksgiving)
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