An Ode to Oregon

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ve probably noticed that I have a healthy dose of wanderlust. I’m game for adventure, but self-preservation tells me that adventuring on one’s own isn’t always a good life-choice. I value friends that also have a desire to travel, but can also put up with my antics for the duration of a road trip. One such friend visited HMAs with me for the first time in May 2015, and I’d like to think I got her hooked. Her account of her first experiences viewing horses can be found here.

When she moved to the Pacific Northwest, that did not deter us one bit. I’m always scanning different pages for inspiration, and lo and behold! Oregon was listed as one of the best places to visit in winter by National Geographic. I passed it along, and we began scheming of a way to explore OR. We quickly ran into a dilemma. National Geographic recommended the Western coast, but all the HMAs we wanted to see were in Eastern Oregon.


The Hunchback Mountain trail is part of the Zigzag Ranger Station.

With minimal deliberation, the desire to see more HMAs won out. To get to them, we could still see a lot of areas in Oregon, but not the ones listed in the article. It seemed like a fair trade-off to us.


A foggy view from the Hunchback Mountain Trail.

Our trip started near Mount Hood, and that seemed like more of my stereotype of the Pacific Northwest. Rain for days, and moss dripping of trees. In rare instances when the sun came out, mist shimmered in the air, and Mount Hood peered from its veil of clouds on our way to Bend.


A view of Tumalo Creek.

Also on the way to Bend, we passed a lot of ecosystems. Rain in the deserts dotted with sage and tall juniper bushes, and near La Pine State Park landscapes reminiscent of Itasca State Park, or the Superior Hiking Trail. When we weren’t exploring nature, I really enjoyed the town Bend.


Tumalo Falls was a rewarding end to the hike.

By the time we reached Burns, the ecosystem had slipped back to desert. For only being in Oregon a week, we covered a lot of ground. I was impressed with how much we were able to see. In a few days, it felt like we had traversed much of the state. I’ll be going into more detail about the trip latter, but for now, I really enjoyed the ecosystems of Oregon.


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