Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Sparks Lake and Mini Frogs!

We've spent a bunch of time in the house lately, and Mike's been suffering from serious boredom. So we hopped into the car and headed out to Sparks Lake, which is one of the most popular lakes around here. But even on a late Saturday afternoon, we didn't see many people.

the view of Sparks Lake and South Sister (the mountain) as you hike up to it.

Since it's the end of the season, the water level is a little low.

This is one of the biggest lakes in the neighborhood (10 miles of shoreline), but it is super shallow, with an average depth of only 1 foot. The deepest part is only 7 feet. So it's perfect for floating, and we saw lots of SUPs (stand up paddleboarders) and kayakers. 

We also saw tons and tons of these super cute little frogs! They actually made walking around the shore really difficult, because we didn't want to step and crush them. 

Friendly mini frog!

The area surrounding the lake had a lot more trash, like cigarette butts, bottle caps, etc. Sort of sad, and next time we go out there we'll bring a trash bag and clean it up a bit. I guess that's what happens when there's more people - there's more ignorant and disrespectful people, too. Leave No Trace!

lone mossy tree on the shore of the lake.

There was this beautiful mossy covered tree just standing all alone. The moss around here is a bright green. I love it - I've been collecting some pieces to do some art piece with. BTW - I found out if you click on the pictures in the blog, you can see them in a larger size. 

moss up close, sort of looks like coral to me

Depending on where you park (you just pull over to the side of the road near this lake), you have to walk a bit through the forest. As we were walking back, we looked for mushrooms (barely any to be had, since it was so dry here), and saw tons and tons of pumice all over the ground - leftovers from the volcanic lava eruptions. You can actually toss one in the lake and it floats!

Never going to need to buy another foot scrubber again!

Mike with our new mushroom basket, searching for fungus.

Although we didn't get to spend a lot of time at the lake, maybe we'll be back in the winter - we bought snowshoes! For Mike, anyway. I'm still hunting for a used pair for myself. 

We also bought our season's passes to Mt. Bachelor for snowboarding season. If anyone is thinking of coming up this winter (winter lasts until May 24th here) for snowboarding, there's a 4 day pass for $179, only available until September 30th. You can use it for any 4 days you want (except Christmas and the Sat/Sun of President's Day), and you get a bonus day if you come at least once before December 19th. Winter is on its way!