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road tripping: french glen and steens mountain

we took a stinkin' lot of dirt roads, but i wouldn't have it any other way

The drive wasn’t long by west coast standards, a mere few of hours; which meant there was plenty of leisure (interpreted coffee time) before leaving on another road trip escapade. 

I can’t begin to tell you how much fun it is to pack a bag, gas up the car and set out to see what can be seen.

An interesting thing I’ve discovered on these exploits, is that having lived in Oregon for the majority of my life, I’ve missed “seeing” a lot of things. You know, I think we all get into the habit of going to the same places, which is a good thing, but we forget about the “other” places that are right in our own backyards. Case in point, yesterday afternoon, when my darling man and I went to Tumalo Falls. I’ve been to Skyliner Snow Park, but never gone the few more dirt road miles to see the falls. Holy cow! Is that lame, or what?

a sweet little place, no frills, but plenty of yesteryear character

Oily black birds peck on the lush green grass, littered with a few leaves that have dropped from the poplars; welcome shade from a steamy afternoon sun.
Mildly refreshing, a breeze stirs the leaves, like a set of earth chimes.
Two cottontails hop in the grass, nibbling. They aren’t afraid as we approach a weathered wood picnic table and attached Belle's leash to one of the legs.
She lies silently in the grass, watching the birds, snapping at the odd fly that annoys her, and us.
A covey of quail walks by, their topknots resembling man buns, which I don't mind; their voice intrigues me, as does their funny walk-run motion.
The air is alive with other bird songs and oversized dragonflies take their erratic flight pattern.
I'm curled up on the grayed boards that make up the bench; my feet and legs bare and warm from the day.
The trees are rustled again by the wind, a composition that never gets old.
While life close by is busy eating from the earth, the horizon is broad.
Golden prairie land dotted with patches of green from the Blitzen River stretch before us.
Puffy thunderheads rise in the late afternoon sky.
It's quiet, really quiet, until the occasional car comes by; most likely stopping for dinner.
Once more, I'm struck by rural life, a familiar stranger.

wild thistles growing in a bed of rock; crags and vistas

Day two, it was time to bust a move on 60 miles of gravel roads to get to Steens Mountain. I never knew it was mountain – singular – I always thought it was a range of mountains.

It was like all of the wildlife came out to play…golden eagles and wild horses (yes we saw two of the Kiger mustangs. The lady at our hotel had been up the day before and spotted about 80.) Grouse, a massive barn owl and a minuscule hummingbird moth welcomed us to their homes.

I was taken by the vastness of the area.

As a person of words, I had none. 

an altar, to remember

Even now, I struggle to find words to describe the beauty of things carved from stone and life growing. And…by the way, it’s one of the most remote places in America.

Awestruck by extensive vistas -


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  1. Nice Cairn you have made with those stones. Love it. :)

  2. Thanks for taking me along the road with you through your words and captures.. enjoyed it! ��

    1. You are so very welcome! I appreciate that you took time to read, and thanks for your thoughtful words.

  3. beautiful..drink it all in..I miss the Oregon Desert ..

    1. Thanks, Mom! We need to get you and Lee to move back here!

  4. Beautiful vistas there. I would enjoy them, just not the hike to them. :) The air looks so clear. It's nice you both enjoy that kind of adventure.

    1. Oh my gosh, Marlene, it was amazingly beautiful ... and the best part is you can hike, but we drove to every place we stopped. There were a few places with a short walk to get a better vantage point. Have a great week!


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