Monday, October 11, 2010

On the Road Again

Those of you who follow my blog know that I travel for work during certain parts of the year. This happens to be one of those times. I still have more pictures to post from vacation but that will have to wait until after this trip to New Jersey. Meanwhile, Kendall and the family are hanging out at home. I'm sure she's missing all of the deer and the adventures we had in Sunriver.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Cowboy Dinner Tree

One of the last adventures that we went on during our trip to Central Oregon was a trip to the Cowboy Dinner Tree in Silver Lake, OR. It's a restaurant located about 60 miles from where I was staying out in the middle of nowhere. You have to make a reservation, and when you do, you have to order your dinner. You only have a choice of a whole chicken or a 26-30 oz steak. I chose chicken and my husband chose steak. We really had no idea what to expect on our way there.
Cowboy Dinner Tree restaurant
 This is what the restaurant looks like from the outside. It's definitely not the kind of place you'd be driving along and decide to stop. It also had another building that was the waiting room/gift shop.

The waiting room/gift shop

Another view of the outside

This is where they cook all of the meat
Dinner comes with a salad, soup, yeast rolls, a baked potato, and dessert! Needless to say, there were a lot of leftovers to take home.

My chicken dinner

The steak dinner - no fat here

The inside of the restaurant
If you ever make it out to this part of Oregon, you have to go to the Cowboy Dinner Tree at least once. It was a fitting adventure to wrap up our vacation.

Now, it's back to reality. I head back to work tomorrow and Kendall is back to our usual routine. You can bet I'll be on the lookout for more adventures to blog about.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Oregon Outback

On Sunday, we drove out east on the Oregon Outback National Scenic Byway. I've been out that highway before but never knew that area was known as the Oregon Outback. As you head east, you definitely get into high desert country. The ponderosa pines give way to scrub brush and flat land. Then, you come across places like Hole in the Ground and Fort Rock.

Fort Rock
Here's Fort Rock from a distance. It was formed from volcanic activity. At one time, it was a big circle but wave action eroded one side. I read that this was called a tuff.

 You can drive up fairly close to one of the walls. Fort Rock State Park is a day-use park. There are hiking trails all through the area. We were on our way to dinner, so we didn't have a lot of time to spend here.

In the town of Fort Rock there is a museum where they have a collection of old buildings that they've brought in. On a previous visit we took time to go to the museum. It's well worth a visit. You also have to check out the tavern there in town - not the fancy, new restaurant but the local tavern. It's also worth a visit.

From there we headed off to dinner another 20 or so miles down the highway. That dinner deserves its own blog entry!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Lava Butte

Today Kendall and I drove up to the top of Lava Butte to take some pictures. Lava Butte is a cinder cone that juts up out of a lava flow outside of Bend. It's really spectacular to see and gives you a great view of the surrounding area. The nice thing was, it's one of the places that's included in our Northwest Forest Pass.
Image from the US Forest Service site
I've included a photo taken from the air because you just can't get a real feel for it from the photos I took. The road up winds around the outside of the cinder cone and stops on the top lip of the crater.

The view looking out from the parking lot at the lip of the crater

Mt. Bachelor

The other day I posted a picture looking out over the meadow with Lava Butte jutting up out of the landscape.
Lava Butte way in the background
 Well, here's a picture from the top of Lava Butte looking out over the meadow. The meadow is the yellow area in the back of the picture. They're doing controlled burns in the area, so that's smoke you can see hanging in the hills.

Looking out from Lava Butte over the meadow
Once you get up to the parking lot, you can climb even higher on a steep path up to the fire lookout tower. I left Kendall in the car while I walked up there. You can see her in the window of the VW station wagon.

This run of nice weather is supposed to end tomorrow. Perfect timing since the September adventures have run into October, and it's time to wrap up this vacation.