We rode down to Redmond, then west on Highway 126 towards the little tourist town of Sisters. The snow covered peaks of the Cascades beckon off in the distance-
Is Oregon beautiful or what??!?
Llamas or Alpacas? Goofy looking critters whatever they are!
Cascades dead ahead!
We stopped for lunch in Sisters where we found a pretty good Mexican joint-
After lunch we hit the good stuff! Highway 242, the old McKenzie Highway to the McKenzie and Santiam passes is a narrow twisting road that’s only open in the summer.
The 242 follows the path of an old 1860 wagon route and is so narrow it’s off limits to big trucks and RV’s, a perfect road for bikes! I usually take pics as I ride, but this road really required full attention and both hands on the bars at all times
It was an exciting whack up the twisty 242 and I pulled over at a viewpoint so that we could take it all in! Kristhawee on the Land Yacht with Mount Washington in the background and an ancient lava flow in between-
Mt. Washington, Oregon! The sea of lava you see is only about 1500 years old- hard to imagine this area covered in red hot lava!
The Sea of Lava, explained:
Back on the bike and we motor along until we reach the 5,325 feet (1,623 m) McKenzie Pass and discover this bizarre structure built completely out of lava rocks:
It’s the Dee Wright Observatory!
This Dee Wright Observatory was built by hand during the Great Depression by the Civilian Conservation Corps, completed in 1935 and named for the construction crew’s foreman who had died the previous year after serving 24 years as a Forest Service packer and crew foreman. Read more about Dee Wright Observatory here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dee_Wright_Observatory
Looking east, the way we came-
Looking south at the Sisters- closest to us is North Sister and the further one is South Sister-
Up on top of the observatory is this cool brass “peak finder”, cast in 1937, that points to all the surrounding peaks-
Kristhawee with the Sisters behind him-
Hand cast in 1937- Very cool!