Road Trip: Cascade Mountains and Sisters, Oregon

Two weekends ago we took off over the Cascade Mountains to do a little exploring.  We were just going to travel until we found some snow, but ended up going all the way over to Sisters, Oregon.  It was an impromptu road trip that ended up being an overnight stay in Sisters at the Ponderosa Lodge right in the heart of Sisters, Oregon.  Here is a bit of a recap of our road trip.

We stopped halfway up the Cascades to hike a small trail that lead to a bend in the Santiam River.  As you can see from the signs here, the area was known as the Santiam Wagon Road/Oregon Trail and was the road that held the first Transcontinental Automobile Race.  

Because of all the recent rain the water flow was quite fast.

Stream Flow

The dogs were in no mood to get wet on this trip, so they both hung out on the rocks while we walked around and played near the water.  I don't blame them though, it was bitterly cold.

After the river play we headed on into Sisters, Oregon.  We decided that we didn't want to drive back in the dark, so we booked a room at the Ponderosa Lodge for the evening.  Funny enough, the Mr. went back to work on Monday and learned of another friend of ours-that he works with as well-he and his fiance stay the night, the same evening, at the same motel, but our paths never crossed.  It's a shame that we didn't know that each of us were there, or we could have gone to dinner, or even sat and chatted it up a bit.

The Ponderose Lodge is on some pretty land.  It's surrounded by the magnificent Oregon trees that everyone always talks about in my family.  These pines are pretty close to the ones that grow in Arkansas-the state tree-, but they are known as the Ponderosa Pine.  Get it now?  Ponderosa Lodge, Ponderosa Pine?  The pines that grow in Arkansas are a mix between the Loblolly Pine and the Shortleaf Pine.

It was a beautiful day in Sisters the two days we were there, and I loved how there wasn't a hint of wind.  

I fell in love with the natural wood beams on the Ponderosa Lodge.

The Mr. photo-bombing my picture efforts.

Before The Bean could wreck the room anymore, I snapped a few photos of the natural wood furniture.

Check out the mirror and the beams!  

The lodge even had an area where they kept lamas on the property.  The Bean went to grab some kibble for them to munch on and we learned that the ones held at the lodge are all males, while the females are separated on a different plot of land.  

Hardy (PITA) was very curious about what this "thing" was.

Both of the dogs were interested in knowing what the giant, white things were standing in front of them.

The lodge grounds had a lot of covered wagons about.

We checked out of the lodge at about noon and drove around Sisters for a bit.  We stopped to take in the beautiful view of the Sisters Mountains.  I still can't believe, after living in Oregon for 12 years, that I am within driving distance of breathtaking views like this.  I always appreciate the fact that I can hop into my car on any given day and drive less than two hours to see this.

Sisters, Oregon, is bright and sunny with only a few inches of snow in some areas. North and South Sister Mountains are gleaming today. #cascademountains #roadtrips-See it on Instagram

We drove a bit down McKenzie Pass up until the road block.  This time of year it's too dangerous for the highway department to clear the road, so they block off the road for through-traffic.  If you remember, we took a trip to the top of McKenzie Pass to the lookout tower at the top called the Dee Wright Observatory.

Mount Washington was looking rather bright and snowy too.

It's such a fun mountain to take candid shots with at the view point.

The trees along the Cascade Mountains still show signs of the wildfire that hit here in 2003, called the Bear Butte Fire and the Booth Fire-or better known as the B & B Complex Fires.  They were two separate fires that started/reported on the same day and ended up coming together and burning in one solid fire across the Cascades.  The two fires ended up lasting for over 30 days and burning more than 90,000 acres of land and forest.

As we headed back down the mountain range we stopped off at Hoodoo Ski Area to see how well the snow pack was for the season and check out the Autobahn.

As we were pulling into the lodge parking lot we noticed a parasailing skier on the top of the mountain taking a leap with his skis on.

The lodge parking lot was pretty busy and the skiers were lined up at least 30 people deep.  The snowfall this year was a good one, so the skiers came from all around the take a jump from Hoodoo.


The parasailing guy was having a good time and ended up missing his target of the mountain side and flying right over our heads.  I really like this shot a lot.

The Bean couldn't leave the area without taking a dive into the side of the snowbank.  

My legs were antsy watching the skiers coming down the mountain side.  

We were going to hit the Autobahn while we were there, but the line went on for days.  We decided to make it a special trip next year and plan on staying a few days while we snow ski and tube.

The Bean found him some steps up the side of the snowbank and was able to climb over the top of the huge snow mound at the lodge.

The snow steps lead at the cabins that are privately owned.

Three Finger Jack.

Mount Jefferson in the distance.

It was a great road trip and a nice "get away" to Sisters, Oregon.  You can check out our other road trips on the right-hand side of the blog under labels, or subscribe by email and stay on top of new posts straight from the blog.

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