Category: Journal

Guler Ice Caves, Trout Lake, WA

Ice Cave

Sunrise over Timothy Lake

We woke up at 5:30, ready to go! A cop had pulled into the parking lot next to us and sat there for a while and probably ran our plates. We weren’t sure if we would get a ticket for where we were parked, but then he moved on.

We took a quick stop by the lake to watch the sun come up. The fog was rising off the water like steam, and the fish were jumping and skittering across the surface like skipping stones. It was completely silent. All of the world was still asleep. Time to hit the road. It’s nice to get an early start.

The views today were even more magnificent than yesterday. Not only can we see Mt. Hood, but now Mt. Adams has come into view. That is where we are headed, to a little place near Mt. Adams called Trout Lake.

Hello, Mt. Hood!

Sisters, OR

Timothy Lake

The Three Sisters and Broken Top

Still not quite sure where to head next, we buttoned down everything in the bus and headed to Sisters where we would have signal to do some research. This is the view where we pulled off the road.

Now that the skies are clear you can see how magnificent these mountains really are! They’ve been mostly hidden from sight for the entire two weeks that we’ve been here.

Lake Billy Chinook campgrounds all look full, so we decided to lay down some tracks and head further north to the Hood area and explore some campgrounds near Timothy Lake. It’s so hard to know if they will have availability since the sites are “first come first served”. We will have to just head up there and find out.

I absolutely love being on the road again. More than a few days in one place makes me feel restless, and I love the excitement of heading off to who knows where, some unknown place that will hold the next adventure.

Sisters, OR


What a miserable night. It was cold, and I got all twisted up inside my sleeping bag. My shoulders kept falling asleep and I had to keep turning. I was wearing all of my layers and my giant puffy, and was stuffed into the sleeping bag like a sausage. In the middle of the night I woke up and realized that I was getting sick. By morning, it was for sure, I’ve got a nasty head cold, probably from all of this hiking in the rain.

And the rain won’t stop. There isn’t even a hint of the blue sky that was promised. It seems that the clouds are locked in over this mountain. I bet it is sunny and warm everywhere else…

Matthieu Lakes, OR

Sisters Backpacking

We woke up this morning to snow! It seems the weather is not quite done spitting and sputtering yet. But we are not done yet either. We repacked our gear, waited a bit until noon, and then set off up the trail.

It is exactly as I remember it. I have such vivid memories of the last time we were here. The burnt-out forest, the marshy swaps, then the steep climb up to the Matthieu Lakes. I remember every curve of the trail. The rain won’t stop.

Belknap Lava Flows, OR

Lava Fields

The highway is open! We had a nice two-day stay at the cabins, and are now packed and ready to go. The bus batteries are recharged and the water tank is full. Our batteries are recharged too. 🙂

I’m pretty sure we were the first ones to drive down the highway once it opened, but it didn’t take long before we started seeing cars and people. It’s kind of amazing how outdoorsy Bend people are, even in the rain.

We made it to the trailhead by 10 am. It’s still rainy, but the ground is made up of this porous volcanic red sand, so there is little chance the bus will get stuck in the mud. We settled in, packed up a lunch, and then headed out for our day hike through the lava field.

The lava field looks like an alien landscape – miles and miles of jagged, ankle-busting lava rock punctuated by stretches of white snow for as far as the eye can see. It is treeless except for one or two tenacious pines trying desperately to stay alive. In the rain and fog, it is eerie and mysterious, truly like stepping out of a rocket ship onto an alien planet.