Friday, October 7, 2011


Leaving the relaxing hot springs at Crystal Crane, we headed west to Bend, Oregon.  Since we had but a few days to spend in Bend, we stayed at the Bend Elks Lodge (click here for read our review and see photos).

The first 100 miles west of Crane look like this (although usually without a building!)…

…then you spy trees, and the stunning Cascades.  Not much farther to Bend.

First 100 miles from Crane to Bend Approaching Bend
Lave in Newberry National Monument

We stopped in Bend to visit Costco and Trader Joe’s (yes, Sue, there IS a TJ’s here, on the north end), and to see – at long last – Newberry Volcanic National Monument, south of Bend.  Too bad for us, the first cold blasts of winter arrived on the same day we did!

It was 44 degrees and windy when we stopped at Lava Lands Visitor Center to watch a 10 minute orientation video.  Our very short walk on the nature trail ended when a few drops of rain began to fall.

After a stop at La Pine State Park to check out the campground for future trips and visit Oregon’s largest Ponderosa Pine, we were off to Newberry Crater, hoping to hike on the big obsidian flow.

As the road climbed towards the Paulina Visitor Center, the temperature dropped.  Before long, we saw fresh snow on the sides of the road.  This was the greeting we got at the Visitor Center: Boarded up!  CLOSED!  And COLD!

Paulina Visitor Center is closed
Our picnic spot

And it only got whiter and colder as we drove higher.  Before long, we faced reality: the first blasts of winter have arrived, and we weren’t gonna find warm sunshine any time soon!

This was our view from our picnic spot: the boat launch ramp at Paulina Lake.  We didn’t linger long, especially when a few snowflakes started to drift down.  We don’t have clothes for this!

The nights are now cold enough that our little electric heater can’t handle the chill.  Since we don’t like the noise of the furnace, Odel hauled out the Kozy-World propane heater which keeps us snuggly warm with no noise.  Looks like we’re going to need it every night next week, as we make our way from Bend to Sacramento.


  1. Time to head south for sure. When we are in the Bend area we stay at the Thousand Trails park. We tootled in to that park on the 4th of July one year, and the ranger at the gate greeted us with a hearty "Merry Christmas!" Yes, it was snowing at the time!

  2. SNOW! Bueatiful but cold! Had to smile when you said you got out your Cozy World heater as we just lit ours, too. We're here in Albuquerque and we were up at 5 to crew a balloon in 47 degree,rainy weather. They cancelled at 7 and we're back home warming up. We have not been to that part of Oregon. It sound interesting.

  3. You will be glad to know that the snow was 1000 feet above us yesterday, coating all three major peaks surrounding Rocky Point, but NO SNOW here! And the water is still good, and tomorrow in the 60's and mostly sunny. Gonna get you out in those kayaks yet! Bring sweats, fleece, windbreakers, and shoes that can get wet. :)

  4. We're way south of you guys in Zion and we woke up surrounded by snow on the mountain tops. Definitely time for us to move further south. Be safe and keep an eye on that weather up there.

  5. I love Bend! They have a great farmer's market and the High Desert Museum which is very interesting.

    I saw my first Jack Rabbit and piles of "treasures" from a Pack Rat there.

  6. We're camped west of you in Newport. Yesterday we saw lots o' robins "making up" and today there are no robins - they flew south. Think we'll follow suit. Looks COLD in Bend!

  7. I love that part of the country! Have fun...

  8. You are in a gorgeous spot to bad it is so cold... Loved the photos!!!
    Have fun & Travel safe

  9. Just in case you want to know, I cannot read your blog on my iPad. It is too wide for the screen yet there is no scroll bar. It is only too wide when you do a two column layout around photos, though. If it's only one column it adjusts.

  10. Oh No Snow! Time for you to Go.

    I try my best to avoid anything under 40 but it doesn't always work and I haven't found a non electric heater that I like. My experience, like yours, is that those can't always keep up.

    Tried a Big Buddy Propane but the smell was too much. So I'm interested in your Kozy World heater. I assume it either came as a floor version or you bought the legs. How many BTUs? Quiet and no odor? Thermostat?

  11. We had snow in Waco TX one December...and ice, which is the very worst when you are pulling an RV..I really don't mind it if we don't have to drive in it..but only a little, 4ft drifts like here in ILL. Your photos are beautiful!

  12. Sherry, here is a link to my post about the Kozy World when we first got it:

    I think it answers all your questions. No odor, but you need to crack a few windows to use it. Ours is free-standing, on little legs. Yes, it has a "thermostat" (kind of)... if you leave the pilot on, it will turn itself on and off as needed. We hardly every set it above the lowest setting at night.

    There are a few other posts that talk about the Kozy World, too. Just search on Kozy World in the search box on the blog - you will see that we LOVE it.

  13. thats a handy dandy little heater...and no noise..thats a good thing...sure is time to head south...:) be safe

  14. Thanks for taking the time to blog. Love following your travels.

  15. Seems winter is coming early to Oregon this year. Sure was a short summer!

    Interesting you mentioned LaPine State Campground. The long straight road into that campground is where my oldest son had his first driving lesson...he was 12 at the time. Russ's idea, not mine! Nice campground anyway.

  16. Brrrr, time to head south -- pretty to look at safe!

  17. We are currently at LePage COE, Rufus, OR on the Columbia River Gorge. Yesterday drove up Hwy 14 on WA side and came back on Old Hwy 30 on the OR side. Beautiful drive. Will move to Kelso, WA tomorrow so we can go to Mt. St. Helen, but there is snow predicted for the next few days there....oh, well, we'll see!

  18. You two better get on out of there. It looks like a lovely area but...
    Enjoy your weekend.

  19. We have explored that area quite a few times. A nice ride down into Cali. We usually stay at Cascade Meadows north of LaPine at Lake Paulina Rd.