Great intentions don't always produce the desired result. After changing the title of this blog I had several places I wanted to explore. The weather has been uncooperative, nearly a month of drab, endless, gray days. I also contracted a deep chest cough that evolved into the worst cold in my adult life. Photography, blogging? Forget it. Finally now there is sun and renewed will that is stronger as the coughing subsides.
We drove to Eugene today to see Allison and drop off her bike, have a good lunch and a visit. From Sisters to Eugene is about 2 hours through the Cascades, over Santiam Pass and descending along the McKenzie River 68 miles from its headwaters out into the fertile valleys and small villages of Rainbow, Blue River, Vida, Nimrod, Walterville and Springfield.
Although there is no demarcation line separating the lush forests of the west side of the Cascades and the stark, dramatic, and dry terrain of the rain shadowed eastern side, the change happens in only a few miles and a slight decrease in elevation. The McKenzie River's source is just over the crest of the range at Clear Lake. The flow through the narrow channels of the first few miles is a thundering wild child river. Three waterfalls, Sahalie, Koosah and Tamolitch punctuate the fury of the river and are assessable on a well-traveled foot path through the dense forest.
We've stopped here before yet today's visit seemed all new. The fragrance of the forest, the deafening sound of the river put us each in our own space as we hiked the short trail between the falls.
The long angular light faded as the sun dropped behind the trees. In a 45 minute walk the drabness of the past month seemed to be cast off into the river and carried away. And this all happened thirty minutes from our front door.