Sisters, OR: Birds, Butterflies, Fish and Quilts

We spent a few days at Cold Springs Campground, between our time at Camp Sherman and our reservations at Sisters Garden Resort. Cold Springs is a forest service camp with no amenities except pit toilets and picnic tables. It was situated in a beautiful pine forest, with the Cold Springs stream trickling through it.


While we were there, we had many sightings of White-headed Woodpeckers, MacGillivary’s warblers and White-breasted nuthatches, along with the chickadees and juncos that we see at home all the time. (Unfortunately no photos)

Doug did catch a photo of an American dipper on a hike along Whychus Creek. (It was a cloudy day and no other photo from that day was deemed “blog worthy.”)

After talking with a birder who was at the campground looking for a White-headed woodpecker, we went in search of a Green-tailed towee. I think we heard one, but our consolation prize was finding a Western wood pewee sitting on her nest.

The “towee search” also allowed us to explore a different area. Here’s a photo of the meadows around Trout Creek and one of a butterfly (or maybe it’s a moth?) which decided that Wendy’s arm was a perfect resting spot.

While we were returning to our truck at Trout Creek, we met a carload of birders who described the location of a Three-toed woodpecker nest. The next day, we set out to explore. No woodpeckers, but an interesting walk in an old burn.


The Sisters area is full of volcanic topography. Sisters gets its name from three ancient volcanoes (The Three Sisters) that dominate southern skyline. We took a road tour west on the MacKenzie highway to the divide, where there is an observatory and a self-guided trail in an old lava flow. Here’s a photo of Wendy on the trail. It’s amazing that trees can find a foothold between the rocks.


Doug also did some fly fishing at Three Creeks Lake, a lake about a half hour south of Sisters.


The first day he went, he packed his inflatable “U” boat over the snow bank to the shore. He returned a few times, finding easier access through the ever-widening passageway that had been plowed through the lingering snow. Doug caught and released numerous Eastern brook trout, surprising the locals who couldn’t comprehend not keeping the fish for dinner.

We settled in to the Bend/Sisters RV Garden Resort and Wendy headed off to a week of quilting classes. She was happy to be able to carry her sewing machine and all her supplies all at once.


Wendy took three classes, all that didn’t have a pattern to follow and involved designing as you went along. Here are photos from the classes: Blow It Up, Improvisational Line and Design, and Curves and More.

While Wendy went to classes, Doug continued fishing, hiking and mountain biking. He even rode his bike into town to one of his favourite brewpubs a couple of times.

Here’s a scenic view from the Tam McArthur Rim looking down to Three Creeks Lake.


And a unique shot of a Red-breasted nuthatch coming in for a landing.


The second Saturday in July arrived, the day of the famous Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. The main street is closed and crowds fill the town. Wendy spent all day at the show, taking over 200 pictures. The show included the Lion King Cherrywood Challenge. Here are a few photos so you can get the feel of the event.

So, many of you know that we have been home for over a month. Oh well, at least this is posted before we head out again! We also think that some of places that we visited have burned again this August. The Trout Creek area and the forest in the old burn may look very different next time we return.