Mary's Peak near start of my year 2000 Oregon bicycle loop

From the top of Mary's Peak, near Corvallis, Oregon, one can see the Pacific Ocean; way off in the distance.  Turn an about face and look out over the Willamette Valley.  At slightly over 4,000 Ft., Marys Peak is the highest mountain in the northern Oregon coast range.   See more below photo.

Picture taken 2000

I took the train to Albany, OR. and then got off with my bike.  Biked a few miles to Corvallis to visit a friend.  We cheated.  He drove me to the top of Marys Peak in his car.  We met this bicyclist at the top.

Climbing South Sister near Bend, Oregon during my year 2000 Oregon bicycle loop

There is a fairly easy trail to the top of South Sister.   This is a view south toward Mt. Bachelor from early in the hike.  I spent most of the day walking to the summit of South Sister after camping near the base during my year 2000 bicycle trip around parts of Oregon.

Images taken 2000.

On a nice day, late season when the snow is melted, South Sister is a popular hike.  I passed many hikers.

Heading on toward the summit.

On this hot day, a refreshing drink from this ice cold lake was from heaven.  I knew I had a slight risk getting sick, but lucked out.  I had run out of water from down below.  Fresh snow melt is fairly safe. 

Crossing a snow field near the top.

Part of the spectacular view from the top.  This is looking north past the two other sisters in the foreground.  Mt. Washington, Jefferson, Hood and Adams were visible that day.  Spectacular views in each direction.

Visiting Crater Lake during my year 2000 Oregon bicycle loop

Crater Lake occupies the old caldura of Mt. Mazama.  About 7,700 years ago, Mt. Mazama had a huge eruption.  It blew and it blew, so much volcanic ash that much of the Pacific Northwest was blanketed in the silty fine stuff.  Native Americans were living at that time and the stories of the eruption, that they have passed down, are surprisingly accurate after all those thousands of years.

The eruption was so massive that it exhausted all the hot material in the caldura under the mountain.  This caused the massive mountain to fall in on itself leaving a huge hole in the ground. 

This hole is now filled with the deepest lake in North America; Crater Lake.  Its water is very pure and all preserved in a national park.  The lake has no visible outlet, from the surface, but water leaks out into underground springs.  The springs feed the north fork of the Umpqua River.

Deep blue waters of Crater Lake.  From Highway 58, I took forest service roads (mostly gravel) over Windigo Pass and dropped down to Diamond Lake.  This was during my year 2000 bicycle loop in Oregon.   Camping at Diamond Lake was great.  Free bike sites at the forest service campground and a big lodge nearby for meals.  Crater Lake was an all day trip from my camp at Diamond Lake.

One steep trail heads down to the lake shore.  Buy your boat tickets at the top if you want the ride.  I decided to do the boat tour.  As the boat heads around the lake, a guide explains much of the history, geology and indian folklore of the area.

Photo passing the Phantom Ship, one of two islands in the lake.  The Phantom Ship is a volcanic dike, that was part of the original volcano.  As the mountain collapsed, part of the hard rock of the dike remained jutting up into the air among the ruins of the collapsed mountain.  Now this portion of the dike is an island.

Crater Lake's other island is called Wizard Island.  It is a cinder cone caused by some "last gasp" eruptions after the mountain collapsed.

View from a trail high up along the rim.  I didn't ride all the way around the lake (22 miles) as the road is fairly busy in summer.  Instead I stopped at a few points of interest on the north side.

Road cut along the Umpqua River showing the deep mazama layer.  The ash is quite deep, near the lake, but evidence of the silty white mazama layer is visible over much of the northwest.

Umpqua Hot Spring

Images taken 2000.

Hot springs along the Umpqua River.  Soon after these springs, I headed up a lonely gravel road over the mountains to Oakridge, OR.  Often camping by myself in the woods I have never been bothered by bears or wild animals. 

I also realize that animal attacks are rare, but it is still spooky to hear bumping sounds outside my tent.  I kept hearing the thumping, but couldn't see anything when ever I shined my light.  Finally I saw part of the ground lift up and realized it was ground squirrels making that bumping sound.  Eventually they quieted down and I finally got a good nights sleep.

Old wooden pen stock still in use along the Umpqua River.  It feeds a small powerhouse.

Covered Bridge

Covered Bridge near Oakridge / West Fir, Oregon. Year 2000

Inside bridge

Photos by Robert Ashworth.