Thursday, July 25, 2013

Broken Top and the Unnamed Pool

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This last weekend we decided to hike up broken top, starting at Todd Lake. The first few miles are nice and easy - not too much elevation gain, and nice scenery. The "hardest" part is crossing some of the streams without getting wet!
One we got to the Broken Top trail (3.5 miles in), the shade was essentially gone, but the wildflowers were starting to bloom! Some of the hike was really pretty, but to be honest parts were very bare and boring (no real views, flowers). There weren't many people on the trail to begin with, but everyone we saw turned around before getting to what I considered the destination...I started wondering if it was even worth going up further.
Right when I started thinking that, we came across a relatively small, but powerful, waterfall!

Broken top summit hike unnamed lake unnamed pool waterfall bend oregon central oregon Jaime Weatherford

Wanting to know its source, we climbed up the side of the waterfall (a bit harder than it looks) and found this beautiful lake/pool (It's bigger than the photo makes it look. For an idea of its size - this is 6 photos stitched together)!

Broken top summit hike unnamed lake unnamed pool waterfall bend oregon central oregon Jaime Weatherford

This alone would have made the hike worthwhile. The water, reflection, and rock colors are just stunning, but just a short (very steep) hike up the side revealed a gorgeous view of the 3 Sisters Mountains! Maybe I'm strange, but I just can't get enough of those mountains.

Broken top summit hike unnamed lake unnamed pool waterfall bend oregon central oregon Jaime Weatherford

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Balloons Over Bend 2013

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It's that time of year again - time to get out of bed earlier than you have to, and make your way down to Riverbend Park and watch the hot air balloon launch!
Friday night I made my way down to Farewell Bend Park and set up across from the Night Glow location. I know it might seem weird to go to a different park, but I was really trying to capture the reflections of the beautiful balloons on the river.

Balloons over bend 2013 night glow bend oregon central oregon Jaime Weatherford

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning around 6:30AM is when the balloons actually launch. I would recommend getting there a little early to watch the setup! Although I absolutely loved helping with the setup, chase-crew, and actually taking a balloon ride last year, it was really nice to just sit back and admire their beauty over Bend (from a distance).

Balloons over bend 2013 old mill district bend oregon central oregon Jaime Weatherford
Tomorrow is your last chance to see this in Bend until next year, so set your alarm a little early, make some coffee, and head on down to Riverbend Park. You won't regret it!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Sunset Over Crater Lake - Mt Scott

With an extended weekend, it seemed like the perfect time to visit Crater Lake! Less than 2 hours South of Bend, Crater Lake seemed like the perfect place to spend a little time to enjoy nature (more on that in a later post).
We did a little research before driving out, and found out that Mt. Scott is the highest point in the park, and has a great view of Crater Lake. That sounded like the perfect place to be at sunset!
I called Crater Lake ahead of time and was told the trail was closed due to snow still being on the trail...that is a lie. There were 2 very tiny mounds of snow that you could easily either walk around, or take a step over (by the time you read this, they'll probably be gone). The hike is 2.5 miles each way and rated as strenuous (personally, I don't think it deserves that difficulty rating).
We got up there about 35 minutes before sunset, and had the place to ourselves! It was so peaceful watching the setting sun without any distraction.
The sky was still a beautiful orange color as we made our way down the hiking path, only really getting dark as we got in the car. Perfect timing!
Mt Scott sunset hike crater lake national park southern oregon summer hiking Jaime Weatherford

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Monday, July 1, 2013

South Sister Summit Hike

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Some people said it was too early in the year to hike South Sister, that there was too much snow to make it safely to the top. Well, I have one thing to say to those people: You're wrong!
Early Sunday morning we left Bend and drove to the Devil's Lake Trailhead. From there, it was 6.25 miles to the summit of South Sister (Oregon's 3rd highest peak). Was there snow? Heck yes. There was a lot of snow, but given the choice of snow or the cinder and scree that lies beneath, I would choose snow every time!
The view of Middle and North Sister with a little snow cover really can't be beat! It's a tough hike towards the top (right around Lewis Glacier), but just put one foot in front of the other and keep going - it's worth it!

South Sister lake sisters wilderness Bend Oregon Central Oregon  summer hiking Jaime Weatherford

Lewis Glacier Melt Pot/pool, near the top of South Sister. It's bigger than it looks!

South Sister Summit Middle sister north sister view sisters wilderness Bend Oregon Central Oregon  summer hiking Jaime Weatherford

For any hikers out there who want to hike to South Sister's summit in late June or early July: we didn't really need any special gear. Hiking boots and gaiters would be nice, but they're not necessary (we hiked with running shoes, nothing else). We brought crampons just in case, but they weren't needed. The last mile or so is the toughest and steepest, but at that point we were hiking on/fighting with red cinder and scree.