Treasure Hunt Natural Wonders

So fellow travelers, Oregon has surprised me with its diversity of habitats and terrains. Within half a day’s drive from the quirky urban landscape of Portland we have explored


wild and deserted stretches of the Pacific Coast



dense forest covered hills



snow capped (even in summer) mountains



hidden waterfalls

and on this year’s trip  we spent three amazing, glorious days with the kids, exploring the natural wonders near Bend, including



breath taking Crater Lake a volcano with a caldera lake, the deepest in the United States



a mile long, lave tube cave at Newberry National Volcanic Monument, which we discovered also has a huge lava field where NASA astronauts trained for their moon mission




the mysterious Painted Hills desert where temps hit 103 keeping photo treks short and close to the relief of our air conditioned rental car



and Smith Rock State, a mecca for outdoor rock climbing which draws climbers from all over the world. It has the benefit of year round access to over 1,500 routes.

On the way back to Portland, we stopped for a refreshing swim in Lake Billy Chinook



and as spectacular as it is to swim in the basin of a massive and ancient canyon




it was this view of my three adventurers on the trail ahead of me which I count as my favorite vista of the trip


Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.











Deborah H Rahalski


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