10 March 2015

Of Unexpected Blessings: Pt II

From awhile ago...

Our early spring continues with many days of blue skies,
blossoming fruit trees and other plants
lots of yard work still needing to be done!

So today, instead of dipping our toes in the sea
or watching one of my favorite rivers in action,

pruned and pruned some more,
turned back on our external water system
(then had to turn it off in a few days because of the cold night temps),
raked leaves
(yep, didn't do that this fall)
and watched a red tail hawk flying over us.
the best part
(other then all of the above)
was we didn't see ANY of the slithery ones!
Now, that's what I call a perfect spring-in-winter day:)
  (Update: but this last weekend lucky me had the
first snake sighting--CLOSE up of course)
But this post isn't about today--
though it was filled with unexpected blessings--
it's about Valentine's Day weekend and our trip up into Oregon's coast range.
 Now most visitors and residents  take one of the main highways that cross the mountains that run north to south between the Willamette Valley and the coast.
But there's some of us that prefer the quieter, (usually) less traveled and
MUCH more interesting back roads.
It's a beautiful little drive -- with lots of pretty things to look at...
 some white water
(if you know where to look for it and where to park so you can take a photo or two).
A pretty meadow with a river running through it and a favorite spot of mine!
Looks peaceful doesn't it?
What you may not know is that it hasn't always looked the way it does now.
In fact if you had been here in the very early 60's,
before November 20, 1962 that is,
you would have seen a beautiful lake here.
But on that day, the historic dam holding back those waters failed.
I would not have wanted to be downstream of that dam on that day.
Though no one lost their life, it must have been scary knowing
that a lot of water and debris was headed your way.
I don't recall ever hearing about this dam break as a child;
my hubby was the first to tell me about the existence of Meadow Lake and to show me its location.
I do recall the horrible Columbus Day storm that preceded it by more than a month though and I do recall our family enjoying a picnic or two at another earth-filled dam not too far from this one.
Ah, the memories of childhood...
funny what you remember and what lays hidden deep within your mind.

You can still see the big boulders of the dam,
although there's a lot more moss and
undergrowth since my Hubby was here with his Dad in the late 60s.
That's how he knew about Meadow Lake.
Some of these boulders are quite large--the size of a car.
I didn't want to venture closer to the edge...at this time of the year I wouldn't trust the area.
Lots more to see up here--
lots of views of the valley and even the Cascade Mountains.
A drive by, not so great photo of Mt. Hood 
(one of the two snow covered peaks we saw that day and they were stunning in person)

a photo of the valley.
There's a somewhat hidden viewpoint near here that we've visited before.

A pretty little valley that you pass.
Yep, it's a beautiful back country byway and one of my favorite places.
Perhaps sometime this year I'll share photos of the lovely river canyon that you drive through on the "main" route, but until then you can check out the links below for the alternate mountain route that we've taken several times.
Now it's back to work. Our sun has gone away and they're calling for rain,
but Friday is looking good! Meanwhile the blooms are multiplying outside and
sometimes it almost feels like summer-in-winter. Truly amazing!
Blessings, Aimee
Links (I included quite a few as my search feature isn't working correctly and I wanted a list of posts from this area to refer to quickly):

(Bible Creek Rd, Lake, etc.)
(Bald Mountain/Bible Creek Rd Route)
(Bald Mountain/Bible Creek Rd Route--first time)
(Meadow Lake area and more)
(Meadow Lake area, viewpoint BLM)

Meadow Lake Dam Info:
(several photos available here of the lake before and after 1961)
(awesome history of the lake and dam that I found)
(newspaper report about the event and other problems caused by the abundance of rain that fall. Includes a very short witness account of the dam's collapse)

(Updated 3/11) Brochure and video of Nestucca River Byway:
(printable brochure with a map of the byway)

Other (just for me because it took me FOREVER to find it this last time)
Fear + Mountain Roads by Lakes


Betsy said...

Beautiful pictures and I enjoyed learning some of the history too. We had beautiful sunshine today but the clouds started rolling in just before sunset. Rain is predicted here tomorrow too and we really need it. As long as it's not snow or ice it's fine with me.

Teresa Kasner said...

Thanks for the tour of the places I've never seen or heard of! But I do remember the Columbus Day Storm - mom took us to work with her at the Benson Hotel and they put us up in a fancy suite (she worked swing shift). I'll never forget all the lights went out and the hotel guests were carrying around candles in the lobby. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

aimee said...

Thank you! I hear you about our need for rain and am grateful we'll soon be getting some.
Blessings, Aimee

You are so welcome! It's one of our nation's scenic byways and a very enjoyable drive. Wow! The Benson Hotel huh? I can think of no better place to be-- come storm or great weather :) Fun memories!
Blessings, Aimee

Linda W. said...

So interesting about Meadow Lake. I've never heard of it - but then I didn't grow up here. Yes, the little byways to the coast are such wonderful drives!

aimee said...

It's an interesting place and quite pretty too -- especially when it greens up a little. Someday you should try it and check out the waterfalls in the area.
Blessings, Aimee

Anonymous said...

Beautiful Pictures....the many joys of Spring!

Gracie Saylor said...

That looks like a wonderful drive, Aimee! Thanks for all the links...I am trying to figure out your route :-) In the nearly eight years I have lived in OR I have taken most of the major routes to the coast from
Portland/I-5, but I am interested in exploring some of the territory you showed us. Blessings to you and yours xx

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Beautiful pictures and some Oregon history I wasn't aware of. (We moved to Springfield in 1971 -- people were still talking about the Columbus Day storm, but I hadn't heard about the flood.) We love backroads too.

Bethany Carson said...

Beautiful photos! The flowers and scenery are gorgeous! It looks like we might be doing our pruning tomorrow.

aimee said...

Thank you! I enjoy your pictures of rural America so very much:)
Blessings, Aimee

It is quite lovely. Your comment reminds me that I should have included this link: http://www.blm.gov/or/resources/recreation/files/brochures/Nestucca%20River.pdf (as you can see it will open a pdf file that has a lot of info on the Nestucca River Byway and directions). You will want to start in Carlton as you'll be coming from the east. Remember there are two routes once you get into the area and there's a deplorable lack of signs -- however we have yet to get lost :)
Once you're past the reservoir (McGuire) by a few miles you'll find there are two options open to you. The primary route takes you into the canyon by the river; the second one takes you up to the Sheridan Peak Viewpoint and is more mountainous. They are both beautiful and I've done both. Be prepared for lots of curves and on the second route it's a one lane road (you just pull way over when you meet upcoming vehicles). Both are paved except for a few miles on the primary route near the summit. You will not have cell phone service (at least I don't) for most of the route but there are fellow travelers and campers. Both routes come together near the Rocky Bend Campground and the route ends at Beaver on Highway 101. The route is always pretty, but I think you would enjoy it even more once the wildflowers are out and the deciduous trees have leaves on them. If it's a clear day up in the mountains you will be able to see some of the Cascade Mountains. If you do decide to go and want directions to the old Meadow Lake (and other favorite spots) let me know and I'll get them to you. There are some waterfalls in the area also. Traffic can vary from light to heavier, but not like the main routes through the Coast Range are.
Hope that helps you--let me know if you have any other questions and I'll try to answer them.

TY! I actually talked to someone today who visited the Meadow Lake area up not too long after the dam broke! She recalled the Columbus Day storm, the earthquake and the debris from the dam breaking. To say the least, I was VERY excited when she shared this with me!
I think one of the reasons most people don't recall the flood (from the dam breaking) is that it is in a somewhat remote area up in the Coast Range and was localized to just the Nestucca River area. Also, the Columbus Day storm was a MUCH bigger story as it affected a large area and a lot of people. Backroads are the best!!!

Thanks! YEA, pruning!!! That means you must be getting closer to seeing some spring out your way:) YIPPEE!
Blessings, Aimee

Rhapsody said...

wonderful flowers and photos of the river/water.

thank you for sharing. I enjoyed it.


Sam said...

Beautiful Aimee. I kind of wish we could come along as you seem to always know where the best views are and the best places to stop and take it all in are. Maybe it's time to start a tour business.

aimee said...

Sorry about the delay in posting your comment. TY SO very much for visiting and for leaving such a kind comment! So happy you enjoyed seeing a bit of my world.

Thanks Sam! Sometimes I think the same thing about you when you take us along on your walks in beautiful Canada! LOL. I think I would enjoy that, but not so sure my hubby would :)

Victor S E Moubarak said...

You're such a wonderful photographer. It takes me ages admiring each picture before I move on to the next one. Lovely colors and scenery. Makes you wish you were there.

Thanx. God bless.

Jill said...

Love these photos and the history included. Thanks for sharing and including the links! Our snow is just finally melting so we have started seeds inside but plan to do work in our yard too. Haven't seen a snake yet either, but I'm sure I'll be screaming when I do. Not a fan of them, lol. Have a wonderful week!


aimee said...

Thank you! I am still learning, but I do enjoy sharing our pretty countryside with visitors:)

Thanks! I am THRILLED that your snow is finally melting and spring is on the way there! Sounds like you and I are two of a kind when it comes to snakes:)
Have a blessed week also!

Tori Leslie said...

Wow, what an amazing place to live. I can't imagine all the peaceful times you have in God's creation there. BTW, your photos are amazing, lovely!

aimee said...

@Tori Leslie~
I am so glad you enjoyed the photos of one of my fav getaway spots in the Pacific NW:) God's handiwork truly is amazing!
Blessings, Aimee

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