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
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