Sunday, October 19, 2008

Oct 19, 2008 - McKeanzie Pass

We drove from Bend to Sisters and then over the McKeanzie Pass (hiway 242). Talk about startling and amazing! On this drive you can see the highest concentration of snowcapped volcanoes (and associated glaciers) in the lower 48 states. We stopped at Dee Wright Observatory, a stone memorial that offers panoramic views of the Cascade Mountain Range as far north as Mt. Hood. The sun had disappeared over the horizon and it was cold and windy so Mom and I stayed in the car, but our brave Candleman climbed the winding trail to the observatory in his shirt sleeves.

The observatory has openings (windows) and each provides a view of one specific volcano peak. So Candleman was to learn the names of some of the mountains we had questions about. Since it was dark our pictures didn't turn out well, but they still provide a reminder to us of this unusual terrain. In the top picture you may be able to see a light spot to the right of the observatory - that is Candleman.

With Dee Wright Observatory behind us, I took a picture from the car at the scene in front of us - the North Sister and the Middle Sister and piles of basaltic rock. This ancient lava flow covers a 65-square-mile area and in some places is 1,700 feet thick.

We stayed that night at the Belknap Springs Lodge.

The map shows the northern part of the Cascade Lake Scenic Drive and our route from Bend through Sisters to Belknap Springs.

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