Last weekend, my husband Nick and I…and our yellow lab Tessie…went to south eastern Oregon. It’s such a great place to visit and see a different type of scenery and landscape. Oregon is amazing that way. In one day you can drive from lush greens, ferns and moss to high desert sage brush and junipers. Spring is especially interesting in the high desert because of the variety of colors and the surprising amount of wild flowers.

We stayed in Frenchglen at the Steens Mountain Wilderness Resort. I think they are required to place the word ‘wilderness’ in front of a resort as a disclaimer. You don’t go there expecting ‘resort’ conditions. But after being on gravel roads all day exploring the back country, a tiny ‘vintage’  trailer with electricity, running water and a bed seems somewhat luxurious!

We were hoping to make the Steens Mountain Loop but the gates were still closed due to snow. So we saw as much as we could on the south loop. And then spent some time bird watching and painting on the Donner and Blitzen River. In our few days there we saw antelope, deer, wild horses, rabbits, a coyote, a beaver and lots and lots of birds.

We took a side trip to Rome, OR. I had no idea it was there until I read something on our map about the Rome Pillars. We may have went through a gate that we weren’t supposed to, but we didn’t encounter any angry ranchers so I guess we got lucky.

And then on our way back home we took the longest shortcut we could find. We had made our lunch that morning but I told Nick we couldn’t eat it until we were on paved roads in case we needed to ration our food. But the  Subie was a trooper even on some pretty rough roads. It came home looking ‘dust tan’ instead of its normal metallic gray.

Trips like this make me appreciate the variety in nature. Sometimes it’s easy to overlook what we see everyday. When taken out of our normal surroundings, it’s like a restart to our visual system and even the familiar becomes magical again.




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