Portland gets a lot of hype and I get it now! Very charming city. Culturally rich! Coffee shops, boutique art shops, and big time beer culture. Here is a snap of Portland from the Ross Island Bridge.
Gorgeous weather...only thing better would have been to stay for the sunset to capture golden hour colors.
The opposite side of the lake is also sweet.
I got lucky when someone pointed out a snake swimming on top of the water. Not every day you get to see a snake on a lake.
Hiking alone is nice, but when it's 97 degrees and you're huffin' n puffin' up the steep switchbacks, it's sometimes nice to have a buddy. Met this local girl Peri, and we headed up together.
Peri was only going halfway up the trail, so we hung out for a bit at this summit, before we parted ways.
This is the view on the opposite side of the mountain as you can see Bend off in the distance.
Smith Rock is known for having great rock climbing routes, and I saw tons of climbers diggin' deep in the heat. There were actually a few on this thumb-lookin' rock formation. Definitely a multi-pitch climb.
Seeing white capped mountains off in the distance when it is near 100 degrees is always bizarre to me.
That thumb-lookin' rock formation looks like a face from the other side!
Did I mention it was hot? The hike is about a 3 hour hike, and by this time, I was definitely dehydrated and squinting from the sunblock that seared my eyes.
And, this is the final stretch of the Trail, a nice reflection photo for the road.
Here's a sweet little state park: The Cove Palisades State Park.
Some cool bridges.
Some rivers and waterfalls in Bend.
Floatin' down the Deschutes with Alexis Brandow!
And later that day, we visited the Lava Lands, or Lava Buttes, which are out of this world. A volcano erupted thousands of years ago, and today the lava still lies. Fascinating. Creepy? Maybe. Odd? Yup. Cool though!
Unfortunately, I did not make it to the Lava River Cave, but at that time, I realized, I gotta start heading east if I want to be in NYC by the Fourth of July. I never made it to Crater Lake either, which gets highly recommended, especially for photography.
Will put them on the list for future trips! So much to see in this great country. Good ole' USA! It is truly GREAT!!!