And every summer we somehow manage to be much too close.
Yesterday we were trying to decide on a bike ride or a hike. After pondering which would be more crowded on a Saturday, we opted for a hike at Tumalo Falls, about 10 miles west of Bend. It turned out to be an excellent choice.
The main falls were impressive enough, but if you continue upstream along Tumalo Creek, the North Fork trail passes at least a half dozen other waterfalls, and although none are as tall as the 90+ feet Tumalo Falls, they were all impressive in their own way.
After a little over 3 miles of the moderate uphill climb with rushing water either heard or seen for the entire hike, we came to an impasse. Way too much snow for us to be comfortable walking in.
It sort of took us by surprise, but we were almost at 6,000’ so it shouldn’t have been unexpected.
This was one of the prettiest trails for waterfalls we’ve ever been on, and not too difficult, either. We didn’t quite make it the 4 miles to Happy Valley but everyone we passed on our way down asked if we got there. Apparently the valley is full of wildflowers in the summer, but I think we were a month or so too early even if we would have pushed on through the snow.
We could see odd clouds and possible smoke as we were coming back down, and there was a sheriff’s car in the parking lot. He was telling people the trail was now closed due to the nearby forest fire. It just started yesterday afternoon, two small fires that merged. Cause yet to be determined, but since the weather has been beautiful it sure wasn’t from lightning, so most likely it was due to human carelessness.
We caught this on the way home. Getting a bit too close to some really nice neighborhoods.
What was burning a couple hundred acres yesterday has now grown to over 6,000. The fire is just 10 miles northwest of Bend, so hundreds of homes are being evacuated. Not a good way to start the summer.
Jim took the Subaru to the dealer Friday to get the brake fluid changed and to diagnose a problem with the power windows (not covered by the extended warranty, of course). Today he changed the oil and replaced air filters on both the Lazy Daze and the car. Always nice to get those things out of the way for awhile.
We didn’t make it to a brewery yesterday, so this evening we are meeting Gary and Leslie downtown at Deschutes. Too many breweries, too little time.
And can anyone identify this bird? They have a nest inside a hole of a tree next to us. In the left photo you can barely see the parent feeding one of the babies. I gave up looking for it in my bird book and online. A blue-gray gnatcatcher is the closest thing I could find but it doesn’t look exactly like the pictures. They are very cute and noisy, and probably no more than 4”.