so that story about last weekend goes like this.
being the last weekend before school, the missus, the dogs and me decided to head out of town.
determined to find territory previously unexplored by our selves, we headed to the McKenzie River Valley. the drive down is rather uneventful if you can ignore a hyper-alert brown dog in the backseat. up down down up pant pant turn around repeat.
the route we chose took us part of the way up the Santiam Pass, then before arriving at the top of the pass, we executed a quick jig jog and dropped down into the mackenzie river corridor, stopping at Sahalie Falls for a bit.
being labor day weekend, we expected to find the campsites filled up, but that turned out not to be the case. we found a few open spots at Paradise Campground and pitched our tent in site #33.
this was the first time camping with both dogs and the first time with our new tent, the REI Hobitat 4, which we got earlier this year at REI in exchange for some currency. this tent is much better for car camping that our 10 year old 2 person backpacking tent, which is still in great shape for its age, but it’s a leetle on the tiny size.
*side note- sometimes i walk down to the hardware store with the dogs, and one of the older guys that works there sees Keegan and proceeds tells me about a german short haired pointer he used to have. Great dog, he says. But, a mountain lion got’im when they were out in the Wallowas. ouch. he’s told me that story at least twice.
so, keeping that in mind, the dogs slept in the tent with us. if a mountain lion wants to git’em, its gotta come thru the nylon taffeta. who knows if there are mountain lions are anywhere near where we were, but we were taking no chances. well, i think the dogs thought there were large predators about because they jumped up about every hour and stood waiting for whatever fate might have in store for us. fortunately, nothing more than a sleepless night.
in the morning, we broke camp and headed up the Mckenzie Pass, stopping at few short hikes along the way. near the top of the pass, we came upon one of the strangest things we’ve seen yet in oregon. there are ginourmous lava flows that look like they arrived just last week, though they’re really about 3,000 years old. it’s truly a bizarre, unexpected landscape. here’s a google map shot of the area.
then, we were done and came home.