Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Our Other Oasis - Part Five (the final chapter!)

Before we bid a fond farewell to our river retreat, let me show you a few pictures of the magnificent scenery that surrounds us there.

These shots were taken by my son, Matthew and his girlfriend, Christine, the stalwart hikers in the family.

There are many wonderful hiking trails in the area, and they hiked all of them, even the mountains. From the top of Castle Rock, the closest mountain they took most of these views of the surrounding peaks.

Foremost among them the Three Sisters, still snow capped and majestic. The evening shot just after sunset showed me just what the phrase "purple mountains' majesty" means. It's all so lush and green and mossy in the forest. A very different world for us.

Another amazing natural feature is the abundance of awe-inspiring waterfalls that surround us.

The greatest is Sahalie Falls, about 20 miles from our house. It was so refreshing to climb to the top and stand in the mist. Refreshing but really cold so we didn't linger long there.

One of my favorite aspects of nature at the McKenzie River in June is the beautiful wildflowers. Completely different from the hugely prolific bushes and trees of blossoms everywhere you look in Key West. These are shy and gentle blooms sometimes hidden in the greenery of the forest floor.

Christine was the wildflower expert among us and not only photographed them but brought us pretty little bouquets to enjoy at the house.

I had never before seen the lovely orange columbine. We only found out later that is a protected flower indigenous to Oregon and illegal to pick. So sorry -we'll know better next time!

We'll be back to visit our river retreat at the end of the Summer. And until then, I'll be dreaming of wildflowers and blue water crashing over rocks. But in the meantime, this isn't the worst trade off...

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