Meeting Old Friends

Colin has very fond memories of the time when, as an ingenuous young Englishman, he first visited and lived in Northern California in the early ’70s. We stayed with Davey and Morag Paterson, with whom Colin worked at Measurex, in Cupertino. The Paterson’s live in a beautiful community in the Santa Cruz Mountains with views of the Bay Area to the East, and the Pacific to the West (pictured in the banner). While hosting us for a few days, they were gracious enough to invite some additional ex-Measurex people to meet us and, all of a sudden, we had a lovely party going, relating old stories, remembering old friends and fun times. Renewing friendships is one of the best presents life has to offer, especially when traveling.
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Humming Birds

P7146031-1Whether it was the mountain air or the ‘special sugar’, the Paterson’s humming bird feeders were very well attended. It was great entertainment watching them vie for the best spots and having their fill of nectar. Pictured are two types of hummingbirds that we don’t have in the East, these are strictly West Coast hummers: Anna’s and Allen’s.
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We hope you enjoy Cheryl’s ‘shadow-movie’ of all the activity.

  • Las Cumbres

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    Las Cumbres Community, nr Skyline Drive, Los Gatos, California

  • Crater Lake National Park

    We planned to spend a day or two at Crater Lake National Park on the way South to California and entered the Park at the North end. It was a cloudy day but we were not prepared for the weather we encountered as we drove the West Rim to the top. Temperatures dropped below 40 (snow forecast), visibility 10 yards, and we couldn’t see much further than the precipice edge. At the top we encountered road resurfacing / rebuilding, and hardly saw the flagman enforcing one way traffic. Lake views were not likely so we carried on to Mazama village and were happy to get a ‘first come first served’ campsite there.

    Crater Lake is an amazing geological formation. Like Yellowstone, it was formed as a ‘Caldera’ after a volcanic eruption emptied a huge void underground and the earth’s surface collapsed into it. It is a much smaller Caldera (6 miles in diameter compared with 40 miles) than Yellowstone. The Yellowstone Caldera was formed from three ‘super volcano’ eruptions, the most recent 630,000 years ago. However, the Crater Lake Caldera was formed only about 7,000 years ago when Mount Mazama erupted over several days and the earth collapsed into the void over only several hours. It’s very possible that the Klamath Native American tribe witnessed this phenomenon as there are tales of a cataclysmic event in their cultural history.

    The crater cooled and has filled with rain and snowfall over several hundred years to the current depth of about 2,000 feet, containing some of the purest natural water in the world. This explains the amazing deep blue color of the lake with its aquamarine edges. There is no water outfall from the Lake. The lake bottom is still active volcanically and future eruptions are very possible.

    We ended up spending 4 nights, waiting for the storm to pass and eventually experienced a beautiful day when we drove the East Rim in two sections as the middle was closed for avalanche damage repair. Colin took one of the trails down from the rim to the lake shore and back and we visited Vidae Falls in the early evening.
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  • Crater Lake

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    Mazama Village, Crater Lake National Park, OR

  • We decided to stop at Bend, Oregon on our way Southwest to California and spent most of our time at the High Desert Museum followed by a scenic tour over to the West side of the Cascade Mountains and back.

    High Desert Museum

    Mare and Foal made from Barbed Wire!

    This is a privately run non-profit, well-appointed and maintained museum covering the wildlife and history of this area. We enjoyed meeting the Birds of Prey, Otters, and Cheryl particularly enjoyed the Indian Nations of the Columbia River Plateau exhibit.

    Birds of Prey

    The birds of prey are not caged but are free to roam. All of them have a reason to be there, whether because of an injury or having been born in captivity. An easy source of food keeps them in the area and the demonstration we saw showed how they can be trained to show off their hunting skills.
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    Otters

    We found a pair of Otters living in a pool and waterfall area simulating the environment they would experience in the wild.
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    From Cheryl: My Love of Indian Art

    The traditional clothing and jewelry were magnificent and amazing in detail. I just loved what the art represented, both the practical and the ornate. To think of the hours spent creating these pieces is mind boggling. But then, winter was an opportunity to create and tell family stories, passing along skills and history to the next generation.
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    Cascade Mountains

    We took a ‘scenic tour’ in our van over the top of the Cascade Range NW of Bend via the town of Sisters to the West side of the mountains where we found Tumalo Falls. We then traveled back via the tortuous and narrow Old McKenzie Highway over the summit back to Sisters. The extent of (historically) recent volcanic remains we found as we traveled over the summit surprised us and it was interesting to see the trees and vegetation gradually reclaiming their environment.
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  • Bend, Oregon

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    Museum of the Hight Desert, Bend, Oregon