Redmond Caves



August 18, 2012

Scott and I took the boys to the Redmond Caves. I’m not really sure what the “official” name of this place is.  Base on the BLM site, it’s just called the Redmond Caves. It’s sad that people would deface this place or any place for that matter. Stupid people.  I obviously do not know how to take low light photos at the time I had taken these. It still came out interesting. I would suggest bringing a hard hat and flash light. Too many times I thought I would bonk my head on the ceiling.  We didn’t hit all the caves because I needed to get back home. Here is what it states on the site: (

Visitors and residents of the Redmond area looking for an afternoon activity can head toward the fairgrounds and stop and explore a small piece of public land right in their own backyard. The Redmond Caves are a group of five caves formed by volcanic flows of molten lava from the Newberry Caldera. Located inside the Redmond city limits, the caves are managed by the Bureau of Land Management in partnership with the City of Redmond.

The five caves were created from the collapse of a single lava tube – Map (PDF). The largest opening (Cave 1) enters a fairly deep and expansive cave, while Cave 3 has two openings joined by a narrow, but easily passable connection. Caves 1, 3, and 4 are accessible and have deep, sandy soils, with scattered boulders and ceiling blocks.

While the caves are a great place to explore today, Native Americans used them, at least periodically, over the past 6,000 years.

Today, the Redmond Caves are managed as a unique site where visitors can learn about geology, wildlife, and past human use. Visitors are asked to respect the caves and the land surrounding them as a natural park, and to avoid artifact collecting, trash dumping, woodcutting or adding graffiti to the cave walls and entrances.

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Oregon Coast – Cannon Beach

February 19, 2012
Info: (taken from The City of Cannon Beach is located on the Pacific Northwest Coast of Oregon, 80 miles west of Portland and 25 miles south of Astoria, Cannon Beach is surrounded by the rugged natural beauty of forests, ocean beaches, and rivers. Only four miles in length, and with a population of 1,695, Cannon Beach is a popular and picturesque resort area, playing host to an estimated over 750,000 visitors annually. Although Cannon Beach was incorporated as a city in 1957, it has been occupied much longer: first by native cultures, and then, since the late 1800s, by American settlers. In 1806, Captain William Clark, of the Lewis & Clark Expedition, traveled south to our area in order to secure needed blubber from a whale beached near the mouth of Ecola Creek.
Jenn’s View: Are you kidding me? I love the beach. Living in Salem, I’m only approximately an hour away from Lincoln City. Cannon Beach is one of my favorite beach to visit. The little shops located downtown are so cute. Plus, you have Mo’s Famous Clam Chowder to warm up after walking on the beach. Scott and I got there a little late so we couldn’t do a hike around the area. I saw quite a few trails and hopefully when the weather is a bit warmer (I don’t care that it’s raining but I do care about the temperature) we can hit a few of them. So, I didn’t count this as a hike so there is no number next to the name.
So, before we left Mo’s, I wanted to get some tips on the web on how to take great beach photos. One of the suggestion was to get down low. Try to get a “crab view”. Here is my first shot of acting like a crab. I couldn’t get on my hands and knees because I really didn’t want to get soaked. It’s quite tilted.
Remember you can click on any pictures on the blog to make them bigger. 🙂  The sky was a bit misty and very grey. No color what-so-ever. Blah.  Amazingly enough, there were quite a few people out today. Probably because it was a holiday weekend. The congregated near Haystack because there was some sort of event going on.
Yup that’s my man! Good ol’ Scott Wenger.
Here is another attempt of crab view. A bit better.
So, we headed towards “The Rock” and was taking random pictures.
I swear, this seagull posed for the camera! I told him I wanted a side view, and he turned!
Scott’s camera phone is amazing! Took some great pictures…Now he needs to give it up!
Walking, we came across this amazing rock with tons of muscles, starfish, and anemone. I couldn’t get close enough because near the rock, it was pretty deep. Remember, I really didn’t want to get my shoes and socks soaking wet (It was bound to happen – I got my socks soaking wet BUT was wearing my REI wool socks!). Next time, I’ll bring galoshes.
 Took more “picturesque” pictures. Well, my rule of thumb – take 100 pictures and you’ll get at least 1 that is worth printing. LOL
We finally made it to the rock and there was some sort of event going on held by Department of Fish and Wildlife. It was pretty neat but there were quite a few people there.
He was getting sooooo sick of me taking pictures of him. He sounded like my kids. Just Kidding, Scott.
Scott went ahead of me and was taking pictures of all the starfish hanging on to dear life to this rock. It was simply amazing.
Glad he didn’t fall in!
OKAY, another “pretty” shot
Love the color and the reflection of the water. The water looks like glass.
Wouldn’t be my blog without a picture of me, right?
Go fly a kite! Best place to do it!
I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend going to the beach – any time of the year! One of these days, I want to see a lightening storm over the ocean or to see a true storm in the ocean.

Central Oregon – Tumalo Falls (#20)

 December 3, 2011
Info: (from my Hiking book: Oregon Hiking: The Complete Guide to More than 490 Hikes). The people who call Bend home are lucky to live such a short distance from such incredible beauty. Here, for instance, at the end of a long paved road into the forest is not one, but several waterfalls on Tumalo Creek, which flows all the way down to Bend, passing through Shevlin Park. In 1979, a wildfire started by a campfire burned off six-square-miles of stately trees. It’s amazing how much the forest has recovered, and this hike doesn’t stay long in the burn before getting into the good high-country forests. Follow the South Fork Trail 0.2 mile to the right to find the top of 97-foot Tumalo Falls. Continue along the creek another 3.2 miles, passing four sets of waterfalls along the way. At a junction, go left on the Swampy Lakes Trail 2.1 miles on a high ridge (note that this trail enters Bend Watershed, and that animals and mountain bikes are not allowed). Then follow the Bridge Creek Trail to the left 1.3 miles back to the lot.
Directions: From downtown Bend, turn west on Franklin Avenue. Just past Drake Park, turn right on Galveston Road, which becomes Skyliner Drive. After 10 miles or so, Skyliner crosses over Tumalo Creek where you’ll fork left onto Tumalo Falls Road. Follow this washboard gravel road for 2-3 miles where it ends at the picnic area to the trailhead, approximately 12 miles west of Bend with several hiking and mountain biking trails nearby. 
So, this wasn’t my first choice on my adventurous weekend hike. The hike that I did want to do was completely covered in snow so I decided to make a trip out to Central Oregon to visit my man and see if we can find this fall that eluded us a few weeks ago. My drive to Terrebonne is always a pretty drive. Decided to test my “borrowed” camera at the Detroit Dam.  Didn’t do to bad.
Not sure what this green “orb” is all about but it’s on my next picture.
Would have been a great picture except for this green flying saucer on my picture.

Scott and I tried to find this fall a few weeks ago thinking it would be in the Tumalo State Park – Yeah, NOT. This time, I left the directions on my phone so we could find it easily. Also texted Scott the directions just in case too. The gate that leads straight to the park was locked so we had to hike in. The hike was approximately 2.5 miles from the gate to the falls. Good walk but would have preferred to drive in because I would love to have seen the other falls as well.  I think the snow would have prevented that from happening anyways. Kids enjoyed the walk in – not so much the walk back to the car. 
The handsome boys! Tre and Scott
 So, testing my photographic skills and took a picture of the moon. Can you see it??? Can ya? Can ya?

Mason had a great time with the ice. Slipping and sliding every where but he was laughing so I’m thinking he wasn’t getting hurt. 
After awhile we finally get to the bridge and notice there are quite a few trails that lead every where! Can’t wait to go back in the Spring/Summer to do a few of those! So excited!

We took a few pictures on the bridge. Here I go again, testing my photographic skills

Mason and dad taking pictures
He doesn’t look cold, does he?

Just follow the bend in the road and voila, you hit the base of the falls

To get to the top of the falls, you follow a trail straight up about 1/4 miles. Harder when it’s snow and ice but overall pretty easy.

I bet he’s cold!
Here they come!

Since I had a “borrowed” camera, I took most of the pictures but it wouldn’t be a blog without ONE picture of me.  (I would have taken my normal “self-portraits” but my fingers were numb and I wouldn’t take my gloves off!)

Pictures I took while I was waiting for the boys to show

Love the ice and the snow!

Picture of the creek. I’m assuming this is the creek that we would follow to see the other waterfalls. I’ll update the blog when I return in the Spring/Summer – or possibly early Fall.

Looking downstream

This hike was pretty easy overall. Well, at least the hike going IN to the park. I HIGHLY suggest that you drive in so you will have to wait till Spring/Summer before the gate is open. That way, you will have time to do all the other trails in the area or most of them or ONE LONG one.

Central Oregon – Smith Rock (#18 )

October 15, 2011
Info: ( If you enjoy scenic views of deep river canyons or rock climbing, Smith Rock State Park is the place for you. There are several thousand climbs in the park. More than a thousand are bolted routes. We also offer miles of hiking and mountain biking trails. Along your trip through the canyon, you might see golden eagles, prairie falcons, mule deer, river otter and beaver.

$5 Day use is required.  They will tag your car if you don’t have this.

Jenn’s View: Loved the hike. It gets your heart pumping on Misery Ridge. But the hike isn’t super long so great way to get a good cardio in. Scott and I walked and did the hike all the way around on the River trail even with him not feeling 100% great. My poor babe!  I noticed there were several trails so yes, I will be back.  Click on this link to take you to the map of Smith Rock.
Smith Rock Map 

I didn’t get too many pictures.  I was more in “awe” with the climbers all over the rocks.  It makes me want to climb! When you first hit the trail, the first thing I noticed (besides the uphill battle climb of Misery Ridge) was the river. Awfully pretty.

So, Scott and I start climbing Misery Ridge. Dang, we caught up to a 2 year old, red headed little boy and was memorized on how well he was doing this hike. He did better than I did and Scott was amazing – even with his cough/cold.  I think he had the flu but he would never had admitted it. 

We reached the top and the views are amazing.  I think you can see Scott’s house from here. LOL.  There is a trail that I saw from this view point that I really want to do. One of these days, we will do it.

I think Scott’s house is somewhere there. If it was a clear day, I bet you could see the mountain ranges.

Thank you Joyce, Jonas, and Esther for my wonderful shoes!

See the zig zag line? That’s a trail I want to do next!

Just around the corner you can see Monkey Face.  It really does look like a monkey’s face. It’s super cool. What surprised me was that there were NO climbers on it. Oh well. I wanted to get a better shot of Monkey Face so I climbed the trail to get a closer look. I made Scott quite nervous.  He doesn’t like to be at the edge.  It makes my heart pump fast when the wind is blowing hard and I’m at the edge but the views are amazing AND I got signal on my phone! I was chit chattin’ with my friend Kim about my red hooker heels!

All along the trail, I saw so many climbers that day. Hopefully, one of these days, I’ll climb it. It would be so amazing!

Table Rock Wilderness – Table Rock (#11)

July 17, 2011
Info: ( About 50 miles south of Portland lies the Table Rock Wilderness, over 6000 acres that were designated by the National Wilderness Preservation System in 1984. It’s a good thing too because the surrounding mountains in this part of the Old Cascades are private industrial forest land and clearcutting is widespread. Most of the old growth trees were wiped out in the 1880’s fires but pockets of 400 to 600 year old forest still remain in the TRW.

The formations from the lava flows that created this area have been carbon dated to about 15 million years ago. The area is characterized by basalt cliffs and rock outcroppings. Table Rock is the highest point in this wilderness. Nearby Rooster Rock (one of many formations in Oregon with this name- click here and here to see others) appears as a arched fin to the south. Table Rock Wilderness is home to several species of endangered flora and fauna such as Gorman’s aster, Oregon sullivantia and the northern spotted owl.

There are two trails that can get you to the summit. The normal one is the 3.6 mile Table Rock Trail that starts along an old forest road but then criss-crosses below cliffs and then up to a saddle to the final trail to the summit. You can also get there from Rooster Rock along the Saddle Trail from there. It’s a popular trail, especially on the weekends, so please pack out what you pack in and if you can, pack out any trash left by others.

The hike is pretty tame but the views are extraordinary with 10 Cascade volcanoes able to be seen from Rainier to South Sister and everything between. The Coast Range can be seen to the west.

 Directions: From Portland, you can get there one of two ways, either from the west (Woodburn) or the north (Oregon City). From Oregon City, take exit 10 off I-205 south to Molalla on Highway 213 and turn left towards Estacada on Highway 211. Go a half mile and turn right onto S. Mathias Road. Go .3 mi and turn left on S. Feyrer Park Road. Go 1.6 mi and turn right onto S. Dickey Prairie Road. Take this 5.3 miles to S. Molalla Forest Road (it’s not marked will but it is the bridge to the right that crosses the Molalla River). Take this road, nice and paved, for 12.3 miles to a point where the paved road forks right and a gravel road goes left. Guess what? You’re taking the gravel road left. (There is a sign here that identifies it as the way to the Table Rock Trail) From here, basically follow the signs 7 miles to the trailhead. There are two more forks in the road with signs to get you there. Park at road’s end at the trailhead.

If you want to access this from the west, take the Woodburn exit off I-5 where the Woodburn Outlet Stores are and head east on Highway 211 to the junction in downtown Molalla with Highway 213 and follow the same directions from there.

Jenn’s View: The hike itself is not all that inspiring…kinda boring. It’s 4 miles to get to the top. So, 8 miles round trip. There were a few “ah-ha” moments. I think the best part of this hike was running back down. You run so fast down hill that if you miss your turn — you’re a goner! Down the cliff you go! he he…I would rate the difficulty as 2 not a 3 like my book says. There were a few parts that I had to stop and catch my breath and the boulders were slippery AND an area where it was so narrow and slippery that it kinda made me wonder if I was on the right path. But otherwise, pretty flat. You get a break in the tree line to see the views. When you reach the top though, you get the whole story! I will go back on a clear day and HOPE to catch all the mountain ranges that it states at the beginning of the trail. Wore my Merrill hiking shoes – NOT recommended when running! Should have brought my new Salomon’s but didn’t 😦 ENJOY!
So I parked and met a few hikers that had just finished the trail and asked if I was in the right area. Sure enough. The first thing you see is all the information. Best time to go is on a clear day.  Go figure, I picked a pretty cloudy, crappy day.

 My first break in the tree line and was absolutely amazed.
 The trail looked mostly like this — BORING!
Same old same old…Well, it’s still nice to be out.
 On the way up, you do have to cross two streams.  I don’t have waterproof shoes but stepping on the rocks helped.

 Another break in the trees…
 We finally hit a “forested” area and was actually reminded me of Little Red Riding Hood or another fairy tale. Hanzel and Gretel?   Most of this trail can be ran but you have to be super careful. Very slippery and the quite a few switchbacks that if you miss….down you go.

 The first cliff rocks you come to. The picture was pretty dark but it looked like I could have climbed that. 🙂

 Climbing anyone? I did make it to the top…There is actually a small trail to the top but you had to do just a little climbing… 🙂

You can’t see the trail, but there is one
 Here is the view from the top of the first rock I climbed.

I look like a tired, wet puppy dog!

Over the cliff, looking down.
 So, off the cliff and back on the path… Oh go figure, I hit snow!
 Not too bad.  It was pretty concentrated in this area alone. The next neat thing I came up was the rock formations…Pretty cool stuff.

 Finally made it to the top.  Breathed really heavy and enjoyed whatever I can see. It was pretty cloudy and foggy and really wished I waited to do this hike on a clear day.  Just imagine how many different mountains you would have been able to see.

Yes, you have to climb all the way up to get to the VERY VERY top

 Poor dog was all tuckered out when we got back to the car.  We ran most of the trail down.  I will say, this wasn’t that hard of a hike. I bet kids can do this one.