These past several weeks I have been going every day either on short hikes or, whenever the conditions have cooperated, downhill skiing. Above are some pictures I have taken on some of my recent outings.
The first scene was snapped from the deck of the mid-mountain Pine Martin Lodge at Mt. Bachelor after a "bluebird" morning on the slopes. It shows the snowy peaks of South Sister, one a series of three inactive, closely clustered volcanos. Several years ago, I climbed to this lovely lady's crest and consider that trek to the summit the quintessential event of my love affair with hiking. I memorialized the experience by using a photo of my happy but exhausted self as the signature picture for my adventure blog. Today's picture shows a double-layered lenticular cloud, looking like a white bonnet, resting jauntily on the sister's top. If you are curious about this aspect of climatology here is a link to Wikipedia.
The second shot is a perspective of the Cascades taken from the high desert east of Bend. So many people from out of state believe Oregon is a rainy, green, mountainous state, but don't realize that well over half the state is dry and flat. The mountains serve as shield to prevent marine moisture from crossing over them and the result is an ecosystem filled with juniper trees, sagebrush, and rocky outcroppings. Under the ground of the desert are miles of lava tubes, some of which have openings that beckon to cave-exploring enthusiasts. On the day this photo was taken, I was on my way to Pictograph Caves, a hard-to-find destination, where some intriguing Indian drawings can be found adorning its opening.
The third picture is a panoramic view of Mt. Bachelor taken from Bend's Old Mill District, a shopping complex tastefully constructed on the site of an old lumber mill. While standing on one of the miles of riverfront walking paths which meander along the Deschutes River, I spied a number of mallard ducks and pesky Canadian geese bathing in the last glow of sunlight. In the distance looms the imposing, timeless form of the mountain, gazing like a stately, benevolent king surveying his kingdom. His Majesty has bestowed on me some of the richest moments of my life while hanging on to his flanks.
Under the magical light and deep mysterious shadows cast from the jagged, crowned horizon, I do my best to mark my days in increments of joy. The magnetic force which lies within the mountains' heights holds an essence that has embraced me and granted me the thrill of feeling alive. What better backyard could a fella ask for in which to play?