Sisters Folk Festival: another reason to visit one of our favourite places in Oregon. The festival takes place on the weekend after Labour Day each year. We decided to come down a bit early and do some hiking and fishing, along with craft beer tastings.
To begin our trip, we stayed at our favourite spot on the Metolius River in Camp Sherman. This time, Doug actually caught a fish. Unfortunately, his camera and phone were back in the trailer (along with Wendy and Tali), so we have to take his word on it. We went back the next morning and took a photo of “the spot.”
That morning was also our most productive birding. We saw two white-headed woodpeckers along with a kingfisher, yellow and yellow-rumped warblers, a very vocal juvenile American Dipper, ospreys and a large flock of cedar waxwings.
On a cloudy day, we ventured into Bend for visits to a quilt shop and two breweries. We had an amazing lunch at Craft Kitchen and Brewery; a new one for us. They specialized in smoked brisket. Doug had the Craft burger with shaved brisket and Wendy had a “Burnt-Ends Bowl” – yum. Craft Kitchen is right on the edge of the Old Mill District, looking over an inviting path along the river. After lunch, we strolled along the path, past a fly-fishing “golf” course and lots of birds, over to REI. A visit to Crux brewery for a tasting and a growler fill rounded out our afternoon.
When we got some better weather, we hiked up Black Butte, a prominent bump that we could see from our campground in Camp Sherman. Black Butte is featured on the label of one of Wendy’s favourite beers. The road gets you to 5500 feet with a 1500 foot climb to the summit. It’s a well-travelled trail that winds through huge pines before breaking out into the open with panoramic views of the Three Sisters wilderness.
Up at the top, we passed the manned lookout to the viewpoint. We had the whole place to ourselves and enjoyed the 360-degree view.
Soon a group arrived sporting huge backpacks. It didn’t look like a great place to camp to us. Turns out, they were paragliders planning to launch. We saw them floating as we were heading down the trail. They had hiked an hour and a half for a 15-minute flight.
The next day, we moved camp to the Bend/Sisters Garden RV Resort to be closer to Sisters. Here’s a photo of a sunset, with the reflection in their fishing pond, complete with fountain.
On Friday, we had another great weather forecast, so we got up early to hike the Tam McArthur Rim. It was cold at the 6000-foot trailhead at Three Creeks Lake at 8:30, but within half an hour of climbing we were down to t-shirts. This is another hike with panoramic views. We followed the rim through the scrub pine and meadows enjoying the myriad of birds (Clarks Nutcrackers, Mountain Bluebirds, Cassin’s Vireos.) We enjoyed our lunch at a spectacular viewpoint. (See feature photo on the webpage version of this blog.) The views were just as good on the way down.
We were back to the truck by 1:30, giving us plenty of time to ready ourselves for the next part of our adventure: The Sisters Folk Festival, the topic of our next blog.