Skip to main content

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 -


If you have been mildly amused, challenged or inspired by what you have read, please pass on my blog to a friend, colleague, family member or even random acquaintance


  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!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

it's holy week

It's Holy Week, and I don't feel very "holy." 

Things are coming apart and are broken. There's a friend whose husband has been dealing with serious health issues for a few years. A family who lost a dear loved one and marriage struggles for other friends. My job is coming to an end. And, heck just don't even bother to watch the news.

It's Holy Week, and why don't I feel "holy?" 

Because I'm consumed by what I see and what's happening all around me. Lives are shattered into mosaic pieces. And, I desperately need the One who controls life and breath and everything else to put the pieces together.

When I think of the word holy, visions of a perfect, devout person comes to mind; someone like Mother Theresa or St. Augustine. They probably didn't feel holy either. Stuff happened around them as well. I don't have a corner on the market for crap going on.

You want to know what holiness is really about? 

Look at Jesus. He was a normal guy …

excellent. how serious are you?

Have you been told you always say something? I have. Evidently, I respond with "excellent" and then ask two questions:

How serious are you? And, what's the vision?
Each could be asked independently of each other or in reverse order, stacked on each other. Answering one leads to the asking and answering of the other. I know, it sounds like a labyrinth conversation.

How serious are you? About a decision, about a change, about a direction or choice? If the answer is some laissez faire something, then nothing will occur. Serious action will not take place, and probably nothing will come of the thought. You see, the degree of seriousness creates movement. Movement, in turn creates a response.

I picture it like the proverbial mousetrap game - the dropped marble starts a chain of events.
What's the vision is directly tied to the serious question. The vision will determine the degree to which we seriously take things. A wishy-washy, obscured view doesn't require much. Howe…

the quiet paradox

I'm a music girl, but I like the quiet. So, I live with this paradox. I see other enigmas in my life - some are trivial, others deserve attention.

Look at society. Our current culture is rife in a quagmire of nonsensical. We say we care and want to love, yet do nothing. Or, worse, we simply yammer on about how "somebody" really should be taking care of this or that. I'm guilty here. No stones are being cast.

Ergo, I turned off the music to sit in the quiet. What can be heard in the quiet is unreal; the birds waking up, the guy down the street is warming his truck, the slight ringing in my ears,  my thoughts. I can hear my thoughts instead of drowning them out with sound. Sound that I normally groove on.

When I hear my thoughts, I'm more aware of the paradox. Even as I sit, the furnace clicks off and the sound of the refrigerator is noticeable; a see-saw invasion to my soul searching and hearing.

My interlude with quiet is ending. The sun is pouring through the w…