Mohawk Valley, Cascades, Pilot Butte, Newberry Crater

14 October 2001

My parents told me about a short, mellow road trip they had taken this summer -- Mohawk Road over the Coburg Hills to Sweet Home.

I decided I'd try that route, too, except that I'd make it a longer trip -- I'd go to Sweet Home, and then take US 20 over the Cascades to Bend, and then I'd drive out to Newberry Crater (which is like a smaller version of Crater Lake). So I did :) 

Yansa the burly flannel-wearing traveler, preparing to leave on his expedition.

The Mohawk Valley, along Mohawk Road.

The fall colors were pretty nice, but I didn't capture any of it on film :} ... I was distracted by the road construction that was going on.  

Peace, man, from the Cascadia post office.

I'm a member of an online community called Cascadia... so I couldn't resist getting a picture of myself flashing the peace sign from Cascadia, Oregon. :) 

US 20, west of the mountains. 

I'd never been on US 20 before the OR 126 cutoff... unfortunately, it's not as well-maintained as OR 126. This was a good section, though.

Mt. Washington!

Taken from a viewpoint along US 20.

Yansa and Mt. Washington.

Mt. Bachelor and the Three Sisters.

This picture was taken from a viewpoint along US 20 southeast of the town of Sisters.

There was a lady there who was painting the mountains... she had spent a lot of time on it. Then I showed up, jumped out of the Yansamobile, took a couple of pictures, and jumped back in the car, feeling a little silly. :} 

Black Crater and Mt. Washington.

Taken from that same viewpoint along US 20.

Black Crater and Mt. Washington again... from atop Pilot Butte. Facing west-northwestish.

Ah, Pilot Butte -- 4,138 feet in elevation, towering over the east side of Bend.

I'd always wanted to go up there, but when I was in Bend back in June, the road was closed. This time, however, I got to go...

YIKES. It's a comfortable one-lane road but a terrifying two-lane road. Most of it looked like it had been paved in 1945. The speed limit was 15 MPH, but I think I drove something like 6 MPH ;) There was no shoulder on the road, but people were walking and biking up the shoulder anyway. It was freaky.

Then I got up to the top, and noticed that some people had driven their RVs up there. YIKES...

I parked, took quite a few pictures, and went back to my car -- and discovered that I'd locked my keys in. :} (Fortunately, I had a spare, or that would've been quite a situation :} )

Mt. Bachelor and the Three Sisters. Facing westish.

There's the aforementioned RV. Those people were clinically insane. ;)

The Yansamobile.

Facing southwestish.

View from Pilot Butte. Facing south-southeastish.

View from Pilot Butte. Facing southeastish.

View from Pilot Butte. Facing east-southeastish.

Yansa atop Pilot Butte. Facing north.

This wasn't a tremendously good picture, but since I'm not going back up there until I can forget about that road, it's what I've got. ;)

I got to the entrance of the Newberry Crater area at about 6:00pm. 

I had intended to watch darkness fall over the crater, just like I had watched the sun set over the ocean the previous night.

On the way up to the crater itself, I passed an opened gate... and I started to worry. What if they locked that gate after sunset? Would I be locked in? After all, I had to be at work the next day at 8:00am... and I didn't have so much as a stick of gum in my car for sustenance. 

But I kept going.

At about 6:10, I arrived at a boat dock near Paulina Lake... there was a (closed) general store there, and some rednecks milling around. I left quickly. ;)

Just before 6:30, I finally got to East Lake...

East Lake, inside Newberry Crater. Facing southwest.

It was quiet. 

It was very, very quiet.

It was quieter than anything I've ever experienced outside.

I could hear myself breathe.

I could hear those tiny waves in the lake.

I could hear ducks quacking on the other side of the lake.

My hurry was gone. My fear was gone. I just stood there, alone, breathing, experiencing this amazing silence, as darkness fell over the lake.


I want to take up tent-camping, so I can have more experiences like that.

East Lake, inside Newberry Crater. Facing northwest.

East Lake, inside Newberry Crater. Facing west.

East Lake, inside Newberry Crater. Facing west-northwest.

I wasn't locked in, fortunately... but on my way out, I drove like a crazy person until I got on the other side of that gate. ;)

An October sunset over the Cascades.

Taken from a viewpoint on the road leading out of Newberry Crater.

Text written 23 November 2001.
Last updated 19 January 2006.