Big Bend National Park: Part 2

Big Bend National Park: Part 2

We chose to stay in Lajitas because the park had good ratings and it was close to Big Bend National Park which we knew had good birding. When we did some research about things to do in the area we saw that there were some mountain biking trails. We were not expecting to find a mountain biking Mecca, which is what it turned out to be. Almost everyone in the RV park had mountain bikes, and groups were riding from the park. We tested our legs and lungs out on some nearby dirt roads for the first few rides and then headed out to the single track. Here’s Wendy on a pleasant section of Loop 3 at the Lajitas Airport trails.

Wendy_loop3

Here’s Doug heading down a steeper section of the same trail. We enjoy desert riding because the terrain is so varied, no roots to worry about and usually the trails avoid the cactus thorns.

Doug_bike

Two other days we headed into the Big Bend Ranch State Park. We could ride to the East trailhead from our RV. The trails are a series of old roads with single track sections. Here’s Doug heading off on one of our favourite sections.

Doug-Camino-Viejo

Doug is riding here on the “Rock Quarry” trail. We were given good advice to ride it on the way back. We rode over 20 kilometres on both days.

Doug_riding

We went to Big Bend National Park for another day of birding; this time to the Rio Grande Village nature path. They have built a boardwalk out through the marsh. At the pond, we caught a glimpse of a Black-crowned night heron, but this Great blue heron was much more photogenic.

GBHE

Doug was just in the right place at the right time to catch this Pied-billed grebe.

PBGR

This section of the park is very close to the Mexican border. There’s a town a few miles away that has an official border crossing where you can wade across the Rio Grande or hire a rowboat to take you. But it’s not legal to cross at this trail. But someone must sneak across regularly, because there are displays of trinkets that are offered for sale all the way along the trail. Each bright beauty has a price tag and there is a can available to take your payment.

Trinkets

Here’s a view of the Rio Grande and into Mexico from the lookout.

RioGrandeScenic

Just below the lookout, we saw this Rock wren.

ROWR2

We took a walk around the campground at Rio Grande Village. (Actually there is no village, only a campground.) We saw a couple of Greater roadrunners cavorting alongside of the road. This one had raised its crest which allowed us to see the orange bare patch of skin behind its eye.

GRRO

Another day, we went back to the Chisos Basin in BBNP and hiked the Lost Mine trail. Here’s a view from partway up the trail. Very interesting and rugged terrain.

Lost-Mine-scenic

Here’s Wendy at the ridge. Over her left shoulder is the view that we saw from the Window trail.

Wendy_Lost-Mine

We walked along the ridge to the high point. Here’s a view looking back towards where the previous picture was taken. As we walked farther along the ridge, the wind gusted and we almost lost our footing.

Lost-Mine-hike

Here are a couple of photos of some typical flowers that we saw throughout our eleven day stay in the Big Bend area. The yuccas were blooming. (There are many varieties of yucca, like there are many sparrows. We’re learning the different sparrows, but haven’t tackled understanding the different yuccas.)

Yucca

These beautiful blue flowers are known as Texas Blue Bonnets, and they are a kind of lupine. They grow mostly on disturbed soil, along the roadside, but we happened to find this patch a little bit from the road.

Bluebonnets

So when we’re in a spot for more than a few days, Wendy sets up her “mobile quilt palace,” as Doug calls it. Here she is quilting a placemat.

Mobile_quilt_palace

Here’s the finished placemat, in keeping with our “travelswithafox” theme. Wendy did the whole project in the trailer: cutting, piecing, quilting, and binding.

Next post will document our trip from Texas to Arizona, through New Mexico.

Big Bend National Park and area

Big Bend National Park and area

From Las Cruces, New Mexico, we drove to Lajitas, Texas. Because we didn’t have a full map book for Texas, we didn’t fully appreciate what the road from Presidio to Lajitas might entail. By the time we got to the sign that warned of 15% grades ahead, we were committed. Luckily the hills were not very long and the longest one was downhill, and we have good engine braking. Doug was unfazed; Wendy was not as calm, but she kept her eyes open the whole way. We decided that we would chose another route when we left.

The Maverick Ranch RV Resort was quite pleasant. There was lots of space between units and good views.

Lajitas-campground

We explored the Lajitas area and did some birding at the boat launch area. Here’s a photo of Wendy on the banks of the Rio Grande. The opposite shore is Mexico. Lajitas historically had a river crossing here, but not nowadays. The river is quite low right now. We learned that all the water that is in this part of the river comes from Mexico; the American Rio Grande water has been over allocated.

Lajitas-golf-course

We also found some good birding in the marsh right beside our RV park, but the best local spot was at the golf course. The golf course was built on an old slough, and the ponds have been preserved. The most surprising bird we saw was a Common Loon. We heard it’s distinctive call and recognized it’s shape. It looked different in non-breeding plumage, but there was no question it was a loon. We went back a few days later to get a photo to confirm its identity, which was good, since a loon had not ever been recorded for that area. Unfortunately the photo is only good enough for identification purposes, not for the blog. Doug did however, get some good shots of other birds. Here’s a Ring-necked duck.

RNDU

And an interesting view of a Song sparrow.

SOSP

We just loved watching the Vermilion flycatchers, and they always seemed to be perched as if to say, “Look at me!”

VEFL

Just as we thought we had seen all there was to see, this Ash-throated flycatcher showed up.

ATFL

We went birding in Big Bend National Park with a guide. It was a cool day and it started off a bit slowly, but our guide was a former park ranger, so we learned a lot about the geology of the park as well. The photo below was taken at Santa Elena Canyon of the Rio Grande. One side of the cliff is in the States, the other in Mexico. We saw some phoebes (Black and Say’s) and few sparrows here, not a lot of birds, but we were earlier than anybody else and we had the whole place to ourselves.

Birding_guide

We visited four sites on the west side of Big Bend National Park. Most of the time, Doug travelled without his camera, so we have no photo of the Crissal thrasher. (Although it probably wouldn’t have made a difference, because the thrasher was mostly in the back of the mesquite.) We learned the difference between blue-gray and black-tailed gnatcatchers, and had a good look at a Great horned owl.

Doug carried his camera for one of our stops (Burro Mesa Pour-off) and he got a good photo of this Chipping sparrow. (A pretty common bird, but we agree with our guide when he says that every bird is special.)

CHSP

Here’s a bird that was on our “list” before we arrived: Pyrrhuloxia, otherwise known as the “P- bird,” because it’s name is so hard to pronounce. We saw our first ones back in Lajitas, but none of them looked as good as this fellow posing on a cholla. Pytthuloxias are related to cardinals but are much grayer, with longer pointed crests.

P-bird

A few days later, we drove back into the park. This time, we drove to the Chisos Basin. The Chisos Mountains were formed from violent volcanic activity and are unlike any mountain range we are familiar with. The Window hike trail started downhill, and continued gradually dropping. Our goal was the gap you can see in the photo below.

Window_hike1

The trail flattened out a bit in the middle, although it was always downhill.

Doug_Window-hike

Another view of “The Window.”

Window-hike-scenic

Along the way we saw Northern Cardinals,

NOCA2

and Mexican jays.

MEJA

Usually we only hear the Canyon wren’s song, but this one gave us a display on a rock just below the trail.

CANW

Here’s a photo taken by a friendly photographer who was there at the same time as us in front of the “Window.” The window is a natural gap in the rock that drains the Chisos Basin. You can see the small stream at our feet just above the pour off.

DW_Window2

So this is enough for one blog post. We’ll post shortly about the rest of our stay in Lajitas. More hiking, and birding as well as mountain biking.

 

On the way 2: Arizona and New Mexico

On the way 2: Arizona and New Mexico

We worked our way south through California, stopping in Barstow, and into Arizona to Tonopah which allowed us to skirt around the Phoenix area. We chose to spend a couple of nights at Picacho Peak State Park, which is 45 minutes outside of Tucson, AZ. As we were setting up, it started to rain and it sprinkled most of the afternoon. After the rain, desert smelled wonderful and the light was amazing so we ventured out for a walk. Our site was well situated at the edge of the curve.

Picacho-St-park

The light was also good in the morning. We were surrounded by Saguaro cacti.

Saguaro

It rained each day we were there, but never enough to bother us. Here’s a view from our campsite on our last morning. Sunshine and rain clouds: not a typical desert scene.

Saguaro2

We didn’t have to look far for birds. This cactus wren posed on the closest Saguaro: singing away.

CACW

There were also lots of Curve-billed thrashers.

CBTH

And a few Gila woodpeckers.

GIWO

As well as some Black-throated sparrows.

BTSP

We chose to stay a couple of days in the Tucson area because Wendy learned of an art quilt exhibit that was showing at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

Poster

This was one of Wendy’s favourite pieces. It’s by Karin Lusnak from Albany, California. Her description: A photo of sun on the water in Tahiti, the color of indigo blue, a jazz rendition of All Blues by Miles Davis. L’Attitude Bleue.

Quilt1

Doug’s favourite was Force and Reflection by Doris Hulse of Florida.

Quilt2

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum was worth visiting. We spent over three hours there. Except for the art gallery, everything was outside. It was a zoo as well as a botanical garden. Here’s a photo from one of their cactus gardens.

Cacti

Our next stop was Las Cruces, New Mexico. We had a couple of nights there, and we will be returning in a few weeks. The forecast was for winds picking up by midday, so we chose to drive to White Sands National Monument instead of birding. After viewing the video at the Visitor Centre, we drove to the far end of the road to the trailhead of Alkali Flat. The sand dunes were formed from gypsum in the mountains that first dissolved, then crystallized on the flats, then was wind-blown into dunes.

Whitesands1

We headed out on the Alkali Flat trail, walking from sign post to sign post. But the trail was longer than we wanted and we could see the posts that were at the end of the circuit, so we headed off cross-country. It was a bit like walking in firm snow and a bit like navigating on an ice-field. Our tracks were probably covered in about half an hour.

WhitesandsWendy

We stopped at another site in the park that had a boardwalk out into the dunes.

WhitesandsPano

The next morning we headed for Texas. Within an hour from Las Cruces, we were in El Paso, Texas. We took this photo from the truck when we were a stones throw from the Rio Grande and the Mexican Border. If you look past the larger white buildings, you might make out the border wall. The colourful buildings on the hillside are in Ciudad Juarez, which has a population of over 1.3 million.

Juarez

Later that day, we arrived in Lajitas, Texas, our home for the next dozen days. You can look forward to seeing photos from Big Bend National Park, and our adventures mountain biking in the trails around Lajitas.

On our way to Texas

On our way to Texas

On January 24, it was -7 in Cranbrook and a clear morning. The snow from the day before had been cleared (or so we hoped), so we headed off on our next adventure. Our plan this time was to drive to Big Bend National Park in Texas to do some birding. We had planned to take our time getting south; allowing for possible weather delays.

All went well. Once we were past Spokane, the ground was snow free. We stayed the first night in Ritzville, WA, a choice we won’t make again. We were happy to have a 6 degree temperature, but not so thrilled with the mud that we encountered in the RV park.

The next day, we checked into an RV park in White River, WA (just over the Columbia from Hood River, OR.) Wendy was really glad that she wasn’t driving over the toll bridge because the lanes were 9 feet wide and our 5th wheel trailer is 8 foot 6″. Luckily when smaller cars see a big rig approaching, they move over. We had time to go for a hike in the afternoon. It was great to be warm enough to walk in short sleeves. There is a lot of basalt along the Columbia Gorge and you can see a good example in the bluff behind Doug in the photo below.

Doug_hike

We walked below Coyote Wall on the old highway, before we headed onto the trail. The light was perfect when we returned to the truck.

Coyote-Wall

The next day we drove to Grants Pass, OR where we planned to stop for a few days. Grants Pass was enveloped with fog, but Crescent City, CA was only a two hour drive away and the forecast was for sun, so we did a day trip. It was worth it for the views.

Crescent-Beach

We hiked up to a headland and enjoyed the sun on our faces. It was about 16 degrees and no wind. Paradise! We had visited Crescent City in March on a previous trip and been much cooler.

Doug_beach

You can fish the rivers in California in January, like we saw this group on the Smith River that goes through Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. We stopped to take a walk among the redwoods and came across a trail along the riverbank, with a good view of the river.

Fishing

We had time to visit a few brewpubs. This one in Ashland, OR had the cutest succulent “mini-planter.” Their beer was good too. Doug enjoyed the Oak Street Amber and Wendy had “Darth Vator.”

SSBrewing

Next stop, Lodi, in Central California. Sunny skies! Life is good! We were glad we had planned a couple of days here.

Doug_Lodi

It turns out that Lodi, California is in the Pacific Flyway, so there were lots of birding opportunities. We started at the Woodbridge Ecological Reserve. The Northern Mockingbird posed nicely.

Sign

Here’s a better view of the Northern Mockingbird, when he was on the ground.

NOMockingbird

We were at the Isenberg Sandhill Crane Reserve, so we had hoped to see some cranes. We had seen a couple of dozen in a field a long ways off, so we were thrilled to see these fly over. The light wasn’t great, but it was still pretty cool to see them.

We also caught a view of a Snowy Egret.

SNEgret

We were confused at first with this hawk, because it was spiralling upwards. We’ve usually seen the Northern Harrier flying low over fields with its white rump patch visible. This time we could see the underside of a male.

NOHarrier_male

Later that day we saw a juvenile Northern Harrier perched in a tall tree.

NOHarrier-Juvenile

Our second birding spot was at Cosumnes River Preserve. There were paved pathways close to the river and also out at the wetlands.

Wendy_bino

Here’s a White Crowned Sparrow.

WCSparrow

Doug thought the Marsh Wren was singing, “Please take my picture!”

MAWren

There were plenty of Golden-Crowned Sparrows, which were a new bird for us.

GCSparrow

Another new bird to us was the Greater White-fronted Goose, a bird you would not likely see in British Columbia. There were hundreds of them.

GWGoose

We enjoy watching Black-necked Stilts anytime we see them. This photo hides his distinctive red legs.

BNStilt

Doug got a photo of a Northern Pintail, just as he emerged from the water. He spent most of his time with his head under water.

NOPintail

From California, we’re heading east to Arizona. Look forward to photos of cacti and warmer weather!

Sisters Folk Festival and an Okanagan Tour

Sisters Folk Festival and an Okanagan Tour

Last year’s folk festival was cancelled because of smoke, so we were looking forward to it this year, on the weekend following Labour Day. Many of the artists that were scheduled for 2017 would be coming so we were anticipating some good performances.

We started our trip on the Sunday of the Labour Day weekend so that we had time to visit friends in the Okanagan. We arrived in Oliver around lunch time, got set up and headed out to the bike and walking path along the irrigation canal. Most of the trail is paved, but we rode south past the pavement, then crossed over the canal and rode north on the access road, past vineyards. (Where this photo was taken)

The next day we met Kath and Jeff and their daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter for a birding excursion along the same watercourse. Here are the birders all trying to get a better view of a black-headed grosbeak. We enjoyed a delicious lunch at the restaurant at Hester Creek winery.

The next day we headed south and chose to break the drive into one longer day and one shorter day. We had made reservations in Maryhill State Park, which is on the Columbia River in Washington, just across the bridge from Biggs Junction. The sites are well spaced apart with plenty of trees. It was a bit loud, however, with the sound of trucks coming down the hill and the trains barreling past all night; but that’s what ear plugs are for.

Next we were in Sisters, Oregon. As usual, we stayed at the Bend/Sisters Garden RV Resort. Since we had an extra day before the festival started, we had time to ride Doug’s favourite mountain bike trail in Bend. We started at the main trailhead at Phil’s Trail Complex and worked our way gradually uphill for about 12 kilometres, so we could experience Doug’s favourite section of the trail. The “Lower Whoops” is a flowing downhill interspersed with short rises and drops. Here’s a photo of Wendy on the upper part of the “Lower Whoops” before the more exciting bits.

We spent Friday morning walking beside the Metolius River at Camp Sherman. There was just the beginnings of fall colour in the bushes.

The Sisters Folk Festival is different from many other folk festivals, because it takes place in eleven venues around town. For Friday night and Saturday afternoon, we chose to see the performances in the tent at Village Green.

Village Green had a beer garden and a brass band to entertain us while we waited for the show.

We lined up early so we had front row seats on the side for Dar Williams (photo below) and Robbie Fulks. We left before the final performer, in order to pace ourselves and get to bed at a reasonable time.

Saturday’s daytime shows started at noon, so we found our place in line around 11. It was worth sitting on the grass for a bit in order to have front centre seats. We were impressed with the first performer, a young woman from the Portland area, Haley Heynderickx. Her songs told authentic stories with beautiful melodies. The next show was Amy Helm. She has a powerful voice and put on a very up-beat performance. The band sang close together for a rendition of a song by Amy’s father, Levon Helm. (See photo below)

We headed back to the trailer for a rest so we could be early for the Saturday night concert at the Arts Centre Tent. We ate our dinner while we waited in line and got close to the front again. First on the program was Susan Werner, whose catchy songs were full of humour. She had the audience singing along to many of her tunes. We also saw Justin Townes Earle who gave a more subdued performance and while he did have some fans, he seemed indifferent to the audience and many people chose to leave.

On Sunday afternoon, we went to the performance space in the yard behind Angeline’s bakery. The strategy for this venue was to try and stay in the shade, since there were “sail-like” sunshades and you needed to predict where the shade would be as the afternoon progressed. We stayed for all three performances and each new performer was our “latest favourite.” First up was Anna Tivel from the Portland area who sang ballads of heartbreak, even though she had a positive energy on stage. Next was Danny Schmidt and Carrie Elkin, a husband and wife, who took turns sharing songs from their individual portfolios and some of their collaborations. Finally we listened to Amber Rubarth perform her unique folk songs.

The next stage of our trip was at Lake Chelan, Washington. We stayed at Lakeshore RV, that is operated by the city. We got what we think was one of the best sites, with shade and an unobstructed view of the lake. The only downside was that shortly after the following photo was taken, we realized that the squirrels were busy harvesting acorns from our shade tree. One acorn hit Doug on the leg before we retreated to our patio beside the trailer.

We went mountain biking twice on the trails at Echo Ridge. The area had burned in August of 2015. The colourful fireweed and stark trees made an interesting backdrop to our biking photos.

We rode in the mornings which left the afternoons for wine tasting. Here’s a photo of Wendy in front of one of the posher wineries. Our favourite winery was the smaller Chelan Estate, which we had visited twice before. Most wineries or tasting rooms were not very busy, so we had good visits with the servers.

The weather was so warm and the lake was so clear that we were enticed to go swimming. Wendy paddled out to the float then followed Doug’s lead and swam back to shore. She remembered how much she liked swimming in lakes. Maybe next year we’ll do it more often.

We travelled north to the Canadian Okanagan. We stayed at the Nk’mip RV Park on a lakeside site. Sometimes it was a bit breezy, but there were beautiful views. Wendy’s sister and brother in law joined us for two nights.

We did some more wine tasting, both in Osoyoos and Oliver. We were impressed with Bordertown Winery in Osoyoos and the quality of their wines. Here’s a photo of us taken from their back patio.

After two days of wine tasting, we needed some exercise. We had perfect weather for the hike to McIntyre Bluff. The trail starts at the Covert Farms tasting room and winds it’s way uphill, past Rattlesnake Lake, and continues up to the edge of the bluff. The views from the top were amazing. The second photo below shows the view to the north, overlooking the highway and Vaseux Lake. Looking southward, we could see the entire town of Oliver.

Back at camp, Doug enjoyed the last of summer.

We had a calm evening to enjoy the view beside our fire: the perfect end to a great trip.

It’s been about three weeks since we’ve come home, and now the blog post is finally done. Our trailer is now cleaned and winterized to be ready to go next year. So we’ll be posting again in 2019!

Escaping the Smoke in Red Lodge, Montana

Escaping the Smoke in Red Lodge, Montana

Our original plan for August was to go off in our camper into the bush close to home, but the smoke from wildfires made us change our mind. We stayed in Cranbrook until Wendy took her “house trailer endorsement” road test. Here’s a photo of her doing the pre-trip inspection during her test. The road test went well, even through the mid-day summer traffic and she is now certified Class 5 with 07 endorsement. We left town immediately after the test for Montana, where we hoped we would be out off the smoke.

We stayed an hour east of Missoula, at Bearmouth for the first night. The next day we drove through to Red Lodge, Montana and stayed at the KOA. We chose Red Lodge because of its proximity to the Beartooth Highway, a engineering marvel. The road goes up to Beartooth Pass at over 10,000 feet. Here’s a photo of a postcard showing some of the switchbacks.

We had a perfect day. Here’s a photo from one of the viewpoints.

We drove over the pass and into Wyoming to the Island Lake campsite and trailhead and set off for a short hike. The flowers were past their prime but still beautiful. The fairly level trail goes by a number of lakes. It’s was wonderful to start a hike at 9,500 feet. No trudging uphill to get to the views!

The next day, we went up to the Beartooth plateau again and tried our hand at fishing. We went to Hauser Lake which is about 20 minutes from the highway. The first photo is of Doug, the second of Wendy. It’s kind of hard to tell us apart, since we have the same fishing clothes. We caught a fish each.

For our fifth day of the trip, we drove about an hour and a half to Cody, Wyoming. Cody is a true tourist town, since so many Easterners travel through it on their way to Yellowstone National Park. We found some good deals at Sierra Trading Company, then enjoyed an amazing lunch that included some of the best fries that Doug has ever had. After lunch, we visited the local quilt shop and were pleasantly surprised at their fabric selection.

Back to fishing: this time after buying some recommended flies and a hiking guidebook that described the route to Upper and Lower Sheepherder Lakes. The first photo is the “follow your nose” route to Upper Sheepherder and the next two are at the lake. It was a beautiful lake, but with no fish action, so we headed back down to the lower lake. Doug caught a fish on one of his first casts and enjoyed catching and releasing several. Wendy was happy to catch and release a little brook trout, especially because she had improved her cast enough to get her fly out to where the fish were feeding.

Red Lodge was a great base camp for us and it was even better when we discovered they had their own brewery. Red Lodge Ales is celebrating their 20th Anniversary this year. We visited a number of times and liked every brew that we tried.

We stayed at the KOA in Red Lodge, which was comfortable but rustic. The saving grace was the new shower room, which we enjoyed because we didn’t have sewer hookup.

On our final day up on the plateau, we hiked to Hauser Lake again, fished from the other side (no luck), then hiked to three other small lakes to make a circle tour. It rained for a few minutes before we made it back to the truck and we could tell the weather was changing.

On our way down the Beartooth Highway, we drove through a thick bank of fog. It was colder on the valley floor than it was up on the plateau. It rained hard that night and was still chilly the next morning as we packed up. The weather improved as we headed north. We chose to try out a new route home and stayed east of the Rockies, going through Great Falls to stopping in Shelby, Montana for the night. The Shelby RV Resort is connected to the local Comfort Inn and has spacious pull-through sites.

Our “travelswithafox” mascot has gone through another change. We hung the new wall-hanging in the trailer above Wendy’s chair; which you can see in the photos below.

Stay tuned for our next post from Sisters, Oregon (folk festival this time) and the Okanagan (for wine-tasting).

Oregon: Deschutes River, Sisters and Camp Sherman

Oregon: Deschutes River, Sisters and Camp Sherman

It was time for our annual trip to Sisters, Oregon for the quilt show and workshops (and fishing, hiking and biking.) We planned to stay a few days at Deschutes River State Park. We booked a beautiful site that had plenty of shade, which was important because the temperature reached 35 degrees (C) both days we were there.

Both days, we set the alarm 6:00 am, had a quick breakfast and rode from the campsite along an old rail bed that has been converted to a gravel trail. We had good views of the Deschutes River the whole way. Most of our riding was in the shade, except for a few sections, one of them allowing us to get a good photo. We rode for about two hours and covered about 20 kilometres.

In the hot afternoon, Wendy set up her quilting studio in the trailer. We also cooled off by using our pool noodles to float a few hundred metres down a slow moving section of the river.

Next stop was Bend/Sisters RV Resort. Because we had a bigger unit we needed to change to another site. This one had good shade and pleasant neighbours.

Doug hiked up the Tam McArthur Rim to Crater Lake under Broken Top Mountain, farther than he had gone on previous trips. He felt pretty good completing the 20 kilometre hike on a warm day.

While he was hiking, a flock of butterflies flew over the ridge. The air was so thick with them that he had to keep his mouth shut so he didn’t swallow one. Here’s a photo of one that was resting for a few minutes.

While Doug was hiking, Wendy was taking a art quilt class called “Creativi-tree.” She fused fabric to the backing, and added paint and stitches. Here are the small pieces (11×14″ and 10×10″) “in-progress.”

Tuesday for Doug was a “rest” day but was filled with washing the truck and RV, getting groceries etc. On Wednesday, he headed up to the same area that he had hiked, but this time he took his float tube. While he was fishing, he could look at the ridge that he had hiked a few days before. He hiked the whole skyline in the photo below (and further.) He caught and released four rainbows. There’s a photo of one of them below.

Wendy took a two day class from Jean Wells, called “Simply the land.” It was a design class and similar to a class she took from Jean three years before, so it helped to consolidate her learning. The photo below shows Wendy’s “fall grasses landscape” in progress.

On Thursday, Doug was raring to go again and took his bike from the RV park up to Peterson Ridge, into Sisters for lunch, then back to the camp for a total of 40 kilometres. He met some nice horsewomen near the top of the ridge who took his photo. One of the Three Sisters is behind him in the photo.

Wendy took another class of a new technique, which was interesting but slow, so no pictures. She was quite tired when Doug picked her up from class, but perked up after beers and dinner in Bend.

Saturday was the famous outdoor quilt show in Sisters. Wendy took over a hundred photos throughout the day. Here’s a small sampling. The photo below is of the side of the Stitchin’ Post quilt shop.

Wendy toured the quilt show with Linda, her friend from Cranbrook who also took some classes.

Fishing is big in the area and so are fish related quilts.

Quilts are hung all over town, and the organizers work hard to group the quilts so each one complements the others.

After our week in Sisters, we drove to Camp Sherman, about an hour northwest. We stayed at the Cold Springs Resort, where we had stayed previous years. This time we had a different site, right beside the creek. It was hot during the day, but cooled off nicely each evening.

We discovered a bike trail that we had overlooked other years, that went from our campsite at Camp Sherman to Suttle Lake. We enjoyed it so much that we rode it twice. The first photo shows a portion of the trail around Suttle Lake; the second one is of the forest section and the third one gives the statistics that were collected using a mountain biking app that assumed we were at the ski area, hence the title.

Doug had a great time fishing the Metolius, and caught (and released) his biggest fish: a 13″ rainbow on a #14 Golden Stone.

And the birding was excellent as well. Here’s a cedar waxwing with a Saskatoon berry, taking right at our trailer, a rufous hummingbird that posed on the overhead wire, a young American Dipper and one of a pair of young Common Mergansers that were cavorting in the current.

Jjkkkk

Most of our readers know we’ve been home awhile. Oh well, at least this post is written before we head off again!