Week 181: Bend and Rufus, OR

Jul. 17 - 23, 2022

Sunday, we made it to Crater Lake. It was a beautiful drive and the lake is breathtaking. We stopped at a couple of the overlooks and visited the gift shop. There was a group of cyclists that seemed to think they owned the place. They set up picnic tables in one of the overlooks but I didn't let that stop me from walking right in and taking in the view.

On our way home, we made a stop at the Bigfoot Tavern in the little town of Crescent. It was definitely a local bar and I wish we had found it earlier. We had a nice chat with the bartenders and they made us feel very welcome. As we passed back thru La Pine, I was surprised to see that the Homestead Quilts & Gallery was open so of course we had to stop.

Monday, on the road again.... After chatting with some neighbors as we were getting ready to leave Cascade Meadows RV Resort we moved to Rufus, OR to Rufus RV Park. The drive was uneventful and the park staff was waiting for us when we arrived. They welcomed us in and after we navigated a pretty tight turn we got settled into our site with time to spare to enjoy a little outside time while waiting to get my daily sunset picture. The campground is a couple of blocks from the Columbia River. I spent some time reviewing my menu planning because we will not be near a "real" grocery store for another week.

Tuesday, we did a few chores, I started reading a Peter Robinson book (Blood at the Root) I found in the park's laundry room, I edited some photos for the blog, and we did some exploration planning. A nice leisurely day after several days of non stop action.

Wednesday, Elard found a great "little" air museum. After a beautiful drive along the south side of the Columbia River we reached the museum. It is called the Western Antique Aero-plane and Automobile Museum or WAAAM. We could have spent a lot more time there. All the aircraft and cars are drivable and or flyable! I highly recommend you visit if you are anywhere near this place. Next we visited the Hood River lilac farm that was in full bloom. There was also a vineyard right next door but we didn't partake. Instead we drove to Mr. Rainer to the Timberline Lodge, you know from The Shining! At least the outside of the lodge was used for the outside of the hotel in the move but the interior in the movie is NOTHING like the real lodge (well thank goodness for that! HERE'S JOHNNY!). We had a refreshing beverage at the Ram's Head Bar inside the lodge. There were a lot of snowboarders taking advantage of the one run they seem to keep open all year. When we arrived the parking lot was full. When we left it was almost empty. The inside of the lodge was so awesome. Rustic, huge ancient timbers holding up the ceiling, just so cool and pretty. The bartender gave us a liquor store location to maybe find Blanton's. Government Camp was only a slight detour and while they did NOT have any Blanton's, they did have a good price on Maker's Mark and Pendleton. It was a beautiful drive home.

Thursday, oh my stars! We visited the Goldendale Observatory, the largest publicly accessible telescope in the US. Not the largest, but the largest that allows people to actually look through the lens. We went for the afternoon session to look at the sun. It was pretty cool and I was able to see some sunspots, once Peter Sinclair, our ranger guide, explained what to look for. They also do an evening "show" where you can look at the stars. It was very interesting. On our way home we stopped at a WWI memorial in the shape of Stonehenge. It is the first WWI memorial in the nation. It was dedicated in 1918. It is positioned on a bluff overlooking the Columbia and the views are beautiful.

Friday, road trip day. We did part of the scenic drive #4. There were lots of waterfalls and river views. We saw several folks out wind surfing and another fire fighting airplane. The plane looked like it was about to land on the road in front of us but then scooped up water from the river. We visited the Vista House, beautiful structure and it is appropriately named. We also visited the Bonneville Dam and were in time for a tour. They did a brilliant thing when they installed the fish ladder. They put in viewing windows so that you can see the fish under water as they go thru the ladder. I got a weirded out by the Pacific Lamprey...one of the docents said that when they are spawning they will cover the entire window. Very creepy fish (are they a fish?). The tour was interesting all around. We stopped at Thunder Island Brewing company for a refreshing beverage and with the hope of getting a good view of the Bridge of the Gods. Well, the beer was good! There was toooo much traffic to try to go across the bridge so we ended the day with dinner at Bob's Texas T-Bone and Frosty's Lounge. It was okay and at least I didn't have to cook or clean up.  Another good day to be alive.

Saturday, we did some household chores and just chilled out.

Make Life An Adventure!