Olallie Lake

Last week on a day trip to view the eclipse, we drove all the way down to Olallie Lake. What a gorgeous vacation spot, but the roads are terrible. I repeat – terrible! Do not attempt to go out any way other than the main entrance to the north. The southern road is only passable by four wheel drive vehicles. They should post a sign warning all other vehicles away. That would have been helpful as we started scraping the underside of my small passenger car on the rocks trying to get out – the roads were that bumpy! Ending up in me thinking I had a leak when we got home because my son noticed something dripping after we’d stopped the car.

So, I drove it straight into the shop even though they didn’t have time to work on it for several days because I was worried whatever was dripping would leak out and I wouldn’t be able to drive it anywhere, then have to pay to get it towed. Come to find out, they looked over my car the next day and couldn’t see anything leaking. So the mechanic asked me if I’d been running the air conditioner for a long length of time. Um, yep. It was a long trip with the a/c going most of the time. The mechanic makes an uh-huh sound. Then inserts a dramatic pause. I’m starting to get the hint that maybe the a/c was dripping by the time he starts talking again… Apparently, if you drive a long ways with the a/c running, condensation builds up, which you may then see dripping off the car when you stop. Gee, do I feel just a wee bit stupid. But better safe than sorry I say, so all’s well that ends well, right?  😉

Here I thought I hurt my poor car going on an adventure off into no mans land in her. The little diva car is still going. She says I can’t kill her yet – sometimes she gets better screen time than me when I’m on set as an extra. I have to keep her going so she can be in more TV shows and movies. She thinks I should rent a 4-wheel drive next time I want to go on an adventure. Little divalicious brat! I swear, one of these days I’m going to buy that bratty car a some of those eyelashes you put on your cars headlights so she can look like the diva she is!

 

Campground at Olallie Lake

Campground at Olallie Lake

 

Looking out to Olallie Bluff

Looking out to Olallie Bluff

 

Cute little dome tent by the lake

Cute little dome tent by the lake

 

Orange berries

Orange berries

 

Pine cone art

Pine cone art

 

Flighty little chipmunk

Flighty little chipmunk

 

So, the eclipse may have been the highlight of that trip, but we also hung around and had a picnic lunch at a campsite someone had already left after the eclipse. We tried to take photos of a cool looking bird who kept flying away from us and an elusive little chipmunk. The lake was beautiful, but there was a narrow strip of land on one side of the lake that looked like it had been on fire sometime in the past few years. When we saw that area up close on the way to and from the peninsula, it was filled with beautiful wildflowers. I just had to stop and take photos!

 

Flowers growing after a fire.

Flowers growing after a fire.

 

Out of the ashes, beauty grows

Out of the ashes, beauty grows

 

Happy 2 year anniversary to my blog today!

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Larch Mountain

A couple of weeks ago, my son and I took a trip to Larch Mountain. I hadn’t been in years. He didn’t remember going there ever. You do need a park pass to park in the parking lot. It’ll cost you $5. I didn’t realize that until I was all the way up there. A lot of the places I hike at in Oregon are free. I was not dressed in hiking boots or tennis shoes or even comfortable sandals. Luckily, it isn’t a long hike to get to Sherrard Point.

In early summer, there are lots of wildflowers along the path. There are stairs to climb to get to the top, so if you can’t do stairs, you may want to sit this one out, even though it is only a short hike.

The view from the top is worth it – even if you’re wearing uncomfortable dress sandals! You can see Mt St Helens, Mt Adams, Mt Hood, and Mt Jefferson and on a good day, Mt Rainier. Mt Rainier was hiding in the clouds the day we went, but we could see the other 4 mountains quite clearly.

Sherrard Point used to be a fire observatory before it was converted into a fenced in observation lookout at the top of the path. Larch Mountain is an extinct volcano that hasn’t been active in over 1.4 million years. You can hike from Multnomah Falls all the way up to Larch Mountain if you’re up to doing a pretty long hike.  We chose to just walk up the 0.3 mile long path from the parking lot to the view point and then back down again. The road to the upper trail head is closed during the winter months so make sure to go in the spring, summer or fall.

Happy trails!

 

Lupines

Lupines

 

Stairs to Larch Mountain Lookout Point

Stairs to Larch Mountain Lookout Point

 

Mt Hood

Mt Hood

 

Wild flower

Wild flower

 

A happy tree stump along the trail

A happy tree stump along the trail

 

Mt. St. Helens

Mt. St. Helens

 

Indian Paintbrush

Indian Paintbrush

 

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