October 14, 2013

A visit to the Dee Wright Observatory

On our way back from the Sunriver trip and everything else "lava" that we happen to see, we decided to fit in one more stop in Sisters, Oregon.  The Dee Wright Observatory is the among the interesting attractions that are included in the lava flow from 100,000 years ago.  There are many places that make me stand in awe, and the lava cave was one of those, but the Observatory makes the list as well.


Along the trail of lava flow lies that Dee Wright Observatory in Sisters, Oregon.  It's an observation deck that allows the viewing of several mountain and volcano ranges throughout the land.  The rocks surrounding the observation area are actual lava rock that hasn't been crushed.


The first mountain we saw was Mount Washington before we even climbed to the top of the observatory.

The distance from where we were to Mount Washington was covered in lava rocks.

A view of the observatory from the parking lot.  The entire building is made from lava rock.

Inside the lower deck of the observatory are holes in the foundation that point to a certain mountain range or volcano.  This one happens to be aimed straight for Belknap Crater.

North Sister and Middle Sister of the Sisters Volcanoes.


A different angle of Mount Washington.


At the top of the observatory there is a compass that is marked with the different mountain ranges that can be seen from that location.


Hardy looks huge paired against the Sisters Volcanoes.

Baz loved the breeze that came from time to time from the top.  He even wanted to run around and smell everything.





It was such a nice day at the observatory and clear too!  We even could see the tip of Mount Hood in the distance.

The lava flow can still be seen throughout the land surrounding the observatory.

Leaving the observatory we had a great view of the Sisters Volcanoes and along the McKenzie Pass we came upon a few signs that told the history of the area.  The Pioneer Mailman history was quite sad to read.  

The Pioneer Mailman:  On the knoll behind this sign once stood a rustic cabin in which pioneer mailman John Templeton Craig died in December, 1877.  Craig, who was 56, had been employed to carry the mail between McKenzie Bridge and Camp Pole, near Sisters.  While carrying the Christmas main, Craig was caught in a sudden storm and later found frozen to death inside the cabin by a search party.

Scott Road:  In 1862 Felix Scott led a crew of 50 men who blazed a trail across the Cascade Mountains following an old Indian trail which skirted lava flows.  Scott hoped to use the new route to take supplies to gold fields in Idaho.  His trail was difficult for wagon trains, and in 1866 an easier route was found which is now the approximate location of the present state highway across McKenzie Pass.  In Scott's day this area was known as Summit Prairie.  Portions of his old trail, found 1,000 ft north of this point, are still maintained by the U.S. Forest Service and are used by hikers and horsemen.

If you are in the Sisters, Oregon area be sure and make the Dee Wright Observatory on your list of sites to see.  You won't regret it!

To see other posts about the lava flow click here!


Eco-Tip:  Going to visit or see places close to your home is a great way to take in what's around you and appreciate where you live more.  It also helps in saving on gas and mileage too.  For this and other tips on going green visit, The Earth and Me:  Go Green.


For further tips on making your life a bit more informative on the "green" front, visit my Examiner Green Pages:

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