Thursday, August 28, 2014

Another Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood

Starting in October, lots of roads and mountain passes around Bend are closed due to snow. I've already been seeing Halloween stuff in stores, so we know it's creeping up on us fast! Every free moment we have, we're out roaming around. This week, we went to Paulina Peak and Paulina Lake, which is in the Newberry National Volcanic Monument. Paulina Peak is the tallest point in the park, at almost 8,000 ft elevation. You can see California's Mt. Shasta from the top, on a clear day.

So I have to admit that we cheated on the Paulina Peak part. Although you can hike to the top if you want, you can also drive there. Which makes the hiking part feel unnecessarily difficult, you know? Why do things the hard way?

the view from the top of the easily accessible Paulina Peak.

Paulina Lake, seen from the top of Paulina Peak.

The peak was freezing! We were wearing our winter puffy coats and it was still awful. And I learned - when you're supremely cold and hungry, it's really hard to be nice and understanding with each other. I'll admit, there was some yelling. So, we headed back down to a more reasonable elevation and temperature to walk around Paulina Lake (and eat a snack). To make up for our laziness earlier, we walked 2.5 miles to the campground at the other side of the lake, and then back again. We're slowly working our way up in mileage.

Mike adjusting his backpack at the edge of the lake.

Paulina Lake was formed when the top of the volcano caved in, leaving a crater. The crater filled with water, but then the volcano kept erupting. It ended up splitting the lake into two. Below, you can see Paulina Lake on the left, and East Lake on the right, with a giant obsidian flow/blob in the middle.

Photo by Tyson Gillard.

Mike scouting for mushrooms...

The walk around the lake was beautiful, and I really wish I could bottle the smells and transmit them through the computer screen to you. It was so fresh out there - pine, wood, clean, clear water - and just a bit crisp. 

The day's poisonous bounty.
And what would a walk in the woods be, without a little mushroom foraging? My favorite is the little "fairy house" mushroom at the top there, with the purple "window." How cute is it?!

We found a lot of different varieties than what we found around Todd Lake - most likely due to the variation in elevation. 

But when we brought them all home, they all came out with suspect poisonous attributes. We basically learned that we know nothing about mushrooms, other than how to find them.

When I got home, I signed Mike and I up for a mushroom and truffle foray in the woods in October. Hopefully we'll learn something and be enjoying a yummy foraged meal in the near future!