Sunday, October 30, 2011

Weekend in Bend

Last weekend I paid a visit to my brother Dale and his family in Bend, Oregon.  Bend is such a great town, situated on the east side of the Cascades.  The weather is almost always sunnier and drier than Portland.  And the mountains are practically outside your doorstep.

Golden meadow near Todd Lake

I wanted to do some hiking while I was there.  My nephew JJ suggested Todd Lake.  JJ loves catching frogs, and I think that's what he had in mind.

Todd Lake shoreline

Fall was in full swing around the Bend area.  When we arrived at Todd Lake, I was happy to see the grass and surrounding meadows were a nice shade of yellow-gold.

Nancy and JJ walking along the lake

But the weather wasn't as cooperative as I wished.  It was a little chilly.  And there was no sunshine that morning, only cloudy skies.  Oh well, better for photography.

A lone huckleberry

Dale brought his two dogs, and they had an absolute blast, running around.  The younger dog, Domino, loves to swim, and Dale wore her out throwing sticks in the lake to retrieve.

Bright red huckleberry bushes lined the shore

At the far end of the lake was the loveliest fall meadow colors I've seen yet this year.  The grass was golden brown, punctuated by yellow-colored leaves and bright red huckleberry bushes.

Approaching the opposite end of the lake

This kept me and my camera busy for awhile.  I lagged far behind everyone.

A palette of fall colors

I wasn't expecting a lot for fall colors, and was pleasantly surprised.  What a great display!

JJ found a tiny frog

According to Dale, the far end of the lake is shallow, and a great place to find tadpoles in the spring.  And later in the summer, a great place for frogs.  As late as it was in the season, we didn't expect to see any more frogs, but eagle-eye JJ spotted a tiny frog buried in the mud.

The north end of the lake was especially beautiful

The northeast corner of the lake was my favorite part of the hike.  There were lots of red huckleberry bushes contrasting with the golden grasses.  A couple of meandering streams wandered through the meadow zone.

A small meandering stream

I'm sure the view would be even grander, had it not been for the clouds.

Mt. Bachelor peeks out from the clouds

We were about 3/4 of the way around the lake, when the sun decided it was time to make an appearance.  The clouds began to lift, and we were treated to a partial view of Mt. Bachelor.

Dale finds a dead fish

Ahhh....sunshine!  It was most welcome!

Golden valley near Tumalo Falls

We returned to the car with time to spare.  Dale suggested we drive over and check out Tumalo Falls.  I'm always game to see a waterfall.  On the way, we passed by a wonderful valley with the best fall colors.  Dale offered to pull over so I could jump out and snap a couple of photos (thanks, Dale!).

Tumalo falls surrounded by fall colors

Tumalo Falls is located a short distance outside of Bend.  It is spectacular in any season, but in autumn it's amazing!  We hit the colors at just the right time.  And the mid-afternoon light illuminated the falls perfectly.

The view downstream

A path took visitors to the top of the cascade.  There, you could look downstream.  The forest was a mix of greens and yellows with a hint of rusty red thrown in.  By now, the sun was out in full force and highlighted the colorful scene. 

It was nice to get away and see fall someplace different than my hometown.  And you can't beat a wonderful place like Bend!



  1. Some fine photos - especially enjoyed the pic of the tiny frog!

  2. Yes, I loved the tiny frog! What a beautiful place.

  3. I love Bend! It is one of my family's favorite places. Too bad it takes us 6-7 hours to drive there. Beautiful pics. I use my phone to take our hiking pics and get frustrated I can't get the shots I want. Is it a pain to carry a larger camera on a hike?

  4. Hiker mom - Thanks for your comment! I mostly carry a Canon 40D DSLR when I'm hiking. Yes, it's a little cumbersome, but I love the results I get. I usually carry my camera in a fannypack up front, so it's readily available and I don't miss a shot.


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