Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Glacier National Park Road Trip - Day 04

Everything seemed bright and shiny clean as we left Lakeview at 7:45 am. There was quite a nice rain last night. Linda and Fannie got to see a little lightening while out walking at 9:30 pm. You'd never guess what Lakeview's claim to fame is: the hangliding capitol of the world (due to its unique thermals). And it is nicknamed Tall Man since it is the tallest town in Oregon at 4,800 feet. That explains all the drawings we saw yesterday of tall slouching guys.

We were mostly on Oregon's Outback National Scenic Byway today. There was hardly any traffic and lots of variety in the landscape going back and forth between forested areas and high desert with lots of sagebrush. At 10 am we stopped at the Summer Lake Wildlife Area off highway 31. It is a joint project of Ducks Unlimited and the Oregon Fish and Game Department. We saw trumpeter swans, ducks (and other shore birds), grackles, blackbirds, ground squirrels, mosquitoes, yellow jackets, cat tails and some unidentified spacey looking purple plants.

This is the "spacey looking" purple plant. Note the
bee about to land and go after the nectar.

Linda was taking an up close photo of the purple bloom and noticed that it had an aroma a lot like lilacs, The unpaved road was good but bumpy and went in a loop past various water areas. The old buzzards and Fannie had the place to themselves (from a human and canine standpoint) and felt like the experience was worth a little extra time and a few bumps.

One tiny town on the Oregon Outback National Scenic Highway has a Mosquito Festival in late July. So if you love mosquitoes just head to Paisley, Oregon. Their Chamber of Commerce must have quite a sense of humor!

As lunchtime rolled around we came to the turnoff for Fort Rock. It is a six-mile drive to the east off of State Highway 31. Fort Rock is a 325 foot high crescent-shaped remains of an ancient volcano and is now a state park. The unique formation stands in stark contrast to the high desert that surrounds it. As we pulled into the small picnic area we were very close to the base of one side of the volcano's remains. John had a turkey sandwich, chips, diet root beer and a salty sweet peanut bar. Linda had some of her leftover pastie from The Dinner Bell and some nutty clusters. As we left the park, John paused to photo a very small and old-looking cemetery that was right next to the park. Many graves seemed to be very well decorated with flags for July 4th which is tomorrow. We also paused for photos at the Fort Rock Homestead Village which consists of pioneer cabins, a church and a doctor's office.

The Scenic Byway continued as we turned onto Highway 97 going northeast and lasted until we reached Bend, Oregon and the typical congestion of a 76,000 population city. After 18 more miles of traffic we reached Redmond and our 2nd floor suite at a very nice Motel 6. Fannie Mae was not a fan of her elevator ride so will thereafter be taking the stairs.

Linda is still on songs in her uke book that start with C; therefore, our Song o' the Day is “Cabaret” by John Kander (1966). The fourth verse and the chorus seem very appropriate to adults of all ages, especially seniors: “Start by admitting from cradle to tomb, it isn't that long a stay. Life is a cabaret old chum, come to the cabaret. (And the chorus) Come taste the wine, come hear the band, come blow the horn, start celebrating, right this way your table's waiting . . .”

We took our desk clerk's recommendation for dinner and found a table waiting for us at Madeline's Grill, almost right across the street. Madeline's serves primarily Mexican cuisine, with some plain old American dishes as well. John had chicken fajitas and Linda had a garden fiesta burrito. There was no wine to taste and no mariachi band to hear but John was ready to celebrate when he looked at the check and noticed that there was no sales tax. Way to go, Oregon! Between that and not pumping your own gas, life is a caberet!

After dinner we made a short stop at Safeway to get ice for the cooler and at a Arco gas station (about 15 cents under everyone else, but cash/debit card only). For 15 cents per gallon, John decided he would go debit.

The photo gallery for today contains 34 images and can be viewed by clicking here.

Happy trails!

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