My family and I have made an annual trip to Bend, OR every September for three years now. It is my Mother's birthday this time of year, so we enjoy an opportunity to drive through Eastern Oregon (The Dalles, Maupin, Madras), through Warm Springs Indian Reservation to the high desert of Bend, OR.
I love the climate changes from the moisture and fir trees of my Washington home to the sage, pine and dry land in Oregon, four hours away. It is so beautiful! Here are a few photos from our trip this past weekend. I found the colors to be very inspiring.
(above) Driving East in the Columbia Gorge towards The Dalles, OR. Opposite shore is Washington state. The Columbia River naturally divides Washington and Oregon states.
(below) Driving South from The Dalles towards Bend, OR. Daughter Melodee and husband Aaron in the car in front of us. I am riding with daughter Cassandra (Cassie) and sixteen-year old grandson, Shawn.
Eastern Oregon is farm country at high elevation. Dark greens of trees break up the endless rolling hills, announcing where water flows freely. Cattle graze on prairies and grains are harvested each fall. The land is hot and dry. As we drove further South the sky was layered by bands of smoke from forest fires. Lightning storms commonly create fires at this time of year and can take weeks to get under controlled burning.
Dinner at McGrath's Restaurant the evening we arrived. The birthday girl was required to wear the obligatory fish hat while everyone sang the Happy Birthday song! She's a great sport and enjoyed the birthday sundae, too!
At Mom's home after dinner, time to celebrate with cake and candles, fresh flowers and pretty gifts. In the photo below, my grandson Shawn with daughters Melodee (center) and Cassandra. This was our third year in a row to do this, and we enjoyed the trip so much, with endless joy and laughter.
Lucille, my very sweet and beautiful step-mom, whose birthday is a joy to celebrate each year. I've always told her I am doubly blessed because I have had two mothers to love.
Happy Birthday, Mom!