Oregon Backroads

Thursday, July 19, 2007: I made a quick stop to see Pumice Flats on my way out of Crater Lake. Once out, I headed south to Klamath Marsh NWR and the adjoining Winema National Forest. I drove the forest road to Wocus Bay. It was fairly birdy along this road, and I added Green-tailed Towhee and Black Tern to the trip list, while padding my Oregon list. I then returned to Silver Lake Road on a different (and better) forest road. At Silver Lake I took SR-31 north before heading off to Fort Rock.

A Prairie Falcon zoomed by on my way to Ft. Rock Natural Area (I would later briefly see one perched). Sage Thrashers and Brewer's Sparrows were abundant, as was a larger sparrow I couldn't identify because I couldn't find any adult birds.

I headed up Cabin Lake Road to the Cabin Lake Campground in Deschutes National Forest. Before I stopped the car I heard a woodpecker calling. I quickly found it, Lewis's Woodpecker. The campground is in a Ponderosa Pine/Sagebrush savanna. I'd never seen a habitat quite like it. Pygmy Nuthatches were present, as was a flock of Red Crossbills.

The forest service has constructed a blind next to a small water source. I had just walked up to the blind when the crossbills decided they wanted a drink! I ducked into the blind and started taking crossbill photos at point-blank range. Nice!

I then drove for some time on forest roads (frequently consulting Delorme) until coming to Newberry Volcanic National Monument. I walked the Obsidian Flow Trail, which climbs up a mound of volcanic rock, including a lot of obsidian.

Next I drove up Paulina Peak, which gives a view of the caldera. After that, I visited Paulina Falls. From there, it was only a short drive to Bend, where I spent the night.

When I made the reservation here, I had no idea Bend was considered one of the hottest properties among small cities. Since I had some time, I drove around it a bit. It's clear that people are moving here and bringing money. It also seems like a nice town.

I didn't really know how I was getting to Bend when I left Crater Lake. I just let the road take me. I'm reminded of Bilbo Baggins comment to Frodo. “It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step into the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you may be swept off to.”

Rodeway Inn, Bend, OR