Thursday, August 18, 2011

50th High School Reunion

Here we are: all 14 of us and a mother of one of our departed. It is hard to get me to leave Alaska in the summer, but I did venture out to attend my 50th High School Reunion. That and a family gathering in Maui took me south for a month of visiting and sightseeing.
The HS reunion was fun. I graduated from a class of 29 and we had 14 show up for the 2 day event. Most came with a companion so there were 30 or so. I enjoyed being re-acquainted and visiting with my classmates. The antique car is a 1929 Model A and a fun ride.

McKensie Pass

This pass is a delight to drive thru and the views at the summit are "otherworldly" with chunks of lava as far as you can see. There is an observatory at the summit with peepholes to look thru. Each peephole will show you a mountain in the Cascade Range and a label names the mountain with its distance from you.

Below McKensie Pass on the way to Salem is Clear Lake and Clear Lake really is clear. I don't know how far down you can see, but dad used to tell stories about fishing for trout there. He said he would watch a trout mouth his salmon egg on a hook, then blow it out to see if it looked natural. Do not remember it he ever caught any of those trout. I remember seeing tall tree rising from the bottom of the lake in the crystal clear water. Had not been there in 40+ years and was delighted to see not only is the lake still clear, there are still campsites, cabins and rowboats for rent.

The Steens

Awesome! The Steens were all I had imagined and more. Have been wanting to go there for years and finally did. The road to the summit is only open in summer...about mid-July to October because of snow. The summit is 10,000 feet. What is special about the Steens is the geology. I think it is called a fault-block mountain and a huge hunk of land rises gently out of the desert if you approach from the west and drops a mile to the Alvord desert floor if you approach from the east.

I met a friend in Burns, Oregon and we stayed in Frenchglen at an Oregon State Park Historic Hotel there. We drove up the gentle slope from the west to a viewpoint at the summit and YES!, you can look down a mile to the Alvord desert below.


Had some free time so drove over the Lolo pass to montana to see my friends there. The drive takes you along one of those clear green water rivers. Since living in Alaska I see a lot of rivers filled with glacier silt and few that are sparkling clear.
My drive from Montana took me to Ontario, Oregon via Grangeville, Idaho. Another road new to me. I was surprised to find the wheat fields here in what I thought was either evergreen trees or desert scrub.

PAM - Allure Auto show

Had an enjoyable time visiting my son and spending time together at the art museum. The highlighted event was the "Allure Auto Show" with several beautiful old and special automobiles.