Monthly Archives: July 2017

AZ Heat Follows us to Oregon! Darn it!


Last night we had a wonderful dinner prepared by Bernadette's Catering and relaxing evening. Bernadette started us off this morning with regular food, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan…so there were gluten-free pancakes, oatmeal, fruit salad, juice and coffee for me! We rode our bikes right out the front door from the cottage and 19 miles later we met the van for snacks. There 3 of the 5 of us got a boost, via van ride, of almost 6 miles to take a break from some of the uphill…which was all uphill for those 6 miles! Back on the bike, we rode through lava fields on both sides of the road. This was the first area where we were not on a shady, tree-lined road. The chunks of lava were impressive to see! The Dee Wright Observatory is made of lava and has a directional arrow showing the name and distance of nearby mountains. Some mountains have snow on them, another was only the solidified magma core from an old volcano. We were also at the top of McKenzie Pass some 5000+ feet and now to bike ride about 15 miles for our descent which was 98% downhill….but it was way to hot…91-99 degrees.
Half hour van ride to McMenamins Old St. Francis School Hotel in Bend, Oregon. Tomorrow we will walk the town. It is a layover day with some taking a hike, but I may skip that if it remains hot.
In a few minutes we are leaving to eat dinner at a local restaurant…so…enjoy the photos….and notice with the bicycle pictures, I captured a California turquoise shell butterfly!


Toughest 60 mile ride I have ever done!


We left Eugene, OR this morning by shuttle and hopped on bicycles at West Fir after a good night's sleep at Eugene's Valley River Inn. Baked oatmeal, hard boiled egg and what!…no coffee! But we are a hearty group as we bike the Aufderheide Scenic Byway which has camping, beach, rafting, mountain biking, campgrounds, cottages, waterfalls, reservoir, rivers all along its shady road. We started at the covered bridge you will see in photo below.
The bicycling profile indicated 30 miles up with a 3600 foot elevation and 30 miles down. The reality was rolling hills on both sides! We had good support for water, snacks and to move our butt onto a different surface…a chair! My arms were killing me so another bike adjustment will be made by tomorrow. On the road my chain shifted into the spokes so that was fixed…and whatever else on the 9% grade!! I never drank so much water and it is needed here because they are having a heat wave! Great, we escaped AZ and seemed to have brought the heat with us!
Lunch, at the top and at 32 miles is Box Canyon. The Willamette River was with us most the way as we biked in lots of shade. I almost wished I did not wear such dark sunglasses. Then we stopped at Cougar Crossing and a dam….huge dam for a reservoir and also a segment of the McKenzie River.
About 5pm we arrived at McKenzie Riverside Cottages. We have a room with 3 bedrooms, Eagle's Nest, and is great! No cellular data today so the only method of communication is now at this place via wi-fi. Dinner is being made and once we have that at 7pm I am sure my body will really appreciate relaxation, some wine, and star gazing!
I did not stop to often today, but here are some photos and a couple are from the cottage that we are staying in for our group of 5, plus two guides. Very comfortable! Although I will admit I needed a few walking moments and was always pulling up the tail end; oh well! At least I did it! And I'll sleep well tonight!

Happy 4th of July!


Two hundred forty-one years ago the people of this new country achieved independence, and I am thankful! While we can surely take time today to complain about various things: legislative actions against our environment, health, workplace, along with some incompetent or non-productive leaders, and any other personal concerns or noted shortcomings within this great nation, it is also important to be thankful for what we have. What are you thankful for?

Covered bridges are part of our history. I am thankful a few still stand!


What is a Burl?


A growth encircling a tree is a burl. It may have been caused by an insect or mold infestation.  When this occurs, the tree grows in a deformed manner around dormant buds, and a burl grows. I discovered this burl in upstate NY where there is plenty of humidity and organic material, so the tree was growing nicely with its burl.

Wood sculptors value discovering burls. They slice the burl wood to use its unique grainy-look for tables, etc. Trees have been chopped down for its burl. I hope this burl will not be found as I enjoyed the tree’s shade!

This is a burl.