...well, it's because it's become that way - at least for me, as it's the third time I've been in this part of Oregon within seven days. But, that sure doesn't mean I'm tired of it!
With the rarity of an available summer weekend, we had a family brainstorming session yesterday about what we all wanted to do. It was decided we'd head down to the Oregon Caves on Sunday, so Saturday was spent taking it easy. Brayden, John, and I went to see "Cowboys and Aliens" (it was good, though not my favorite) and then watched "Source Code" at home in the evening with the Whites over (a very engaging movie, certainly not one I could get away with reading a book and still hope to follow along).
By the time we hit Saturday evening, the prospect of spending at least 8 hours in the vehicle driving down to the Oregon Caves and back on a Sunday didn't hold quite the same appeal as it had earlier in the weekend. Mikayla really wanted to see something "God-made" vs. "people-made" - i.e. a spectacular waterfall or another cave. As John, Brayden, and the Whites had never seen the "Skylight Cave" and knowing that "Proxy Falls" was on the way and also an "unknown" to them, I thought that might make for a fun day trip.
So it was, that by 9am, we were loaded up in my van, with both Sydney and Bogey in the far back - off to explore more of the glories of the Oregon Cascades.
First stop was this trail - I've been on it (and posted on it) twice before, but it's been a year since the last time.
When we got to the lower portion of the falls, Sydney was so happy to get in. Bogey, on the other hand, is NOT a water dog. He loves his Sydney so much, though, that it was painful watching him follow her on shore, trying to decide which was worse: braving the cold, scary water, or losing his beloved Sydney.....
Proxy Falls is a trail head found on the "Old McKenzie Highway". This highway is only accessible from approximately June through October - though this year, because of early and very late snows, it had its longest closure ever and didn't open until mid-July. The high point of this highway is in the midst of a lava field giving you stunning panoramic views of the Cascade mountains.
This time, we accessed the "Skylight Cave" from dirt roads coming from this other highway, it was actually quicker this way. Bogey had just kicked up dirt which is why Brayden looks so blurry.
I was expecting we'd leave Sydney and Bogey tied up at the top, but since Travis took Bogey down the ladder, we felt like we couldn't leave Sydney behind either. John was able to bulk her 85+ pounds down and we were hoping she'd maybe catch on to climbing on the way back up. No such luck:
A couple of family shots before leaving:
You see that look on my face? Not the most becoming expression on me, but I was scowling about Brayden to Travis who had just taken our family picture. Brayden was exhibiting all of his ADHD tendencies on this trip - I guess making up for the time we were apart while he was at Harlow. It exhibits itself in him by him being "pestery" with Mikayla and extremely oblivious and flaky/goofy with us. Basically that impulse to have fun at any cost is what Brayden listens to unless he's taking something that helps or really concentrating. Neither of those happened today. This look on my face and that look on his kind of captures the whole day with him.....
The last stop on our "Sunday Drive" was a visit into Sisters for lunch/ice cream. Unfortunately, everyone else and their dogs (literally!) also had that same thought, even at two in the afternoon. I think we waited in line at Subway for over a half hour and didn't even bother with the line going out the door at the Sno-Cap In (which was a huge bummer for Mikayla who was so excited to have her Rainbow Sherbet again).
For those of us Oregonians who recognize that deep blue skies and 80 degree days are short- lived and far between, there is a driving urge to not let any of these days go to waste. So, it was no surprise to see the very tourist-draw town of Sisters be extremely busy. I just wish Subway and Sno-Cap In could have also seen it coming - and perhaps brought in a few more employees on this gorgeous day!