Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Reading Week Pictures

As I mentioned last post, I wanted to share some pictures from our visit to Oregon. We spent one day traveling along the North Fork of the Umpqua River:

I was utterly fascinated by the color of the water and how clear it is when you are standing on the banks looking into the riverbed itself.

Our first goal was to explore Tokettee Falls. We pulled in and parked near the huge redwood-stave pipe that carries water for some of the many hydro-electric generators along the river and began to hike the trail. I don't remember the actual numbers on the trail head sign but it was close to 124 stairs up and 150 stairs down to get to the viewing platform. Just thinking about the return trip had me a little nervous, but I enjoyed the trail along the river and the quarter to half a mile didn't seem so long. Especially when we stood on the viewing platform and watched this:

A beautiful 40-foot drop that thundered in our ears. I was quite impressed, but Roger said that he remembered a bigger falls and was determined to find it.

The next turn off revealed Watson Falls. 272 feet of falling water.

We climbed up along the river and rested on a wooden bridge before clambering over mossy rocks the rest of the way to the very base of the falls. Because the drop is so far the water is mostly mist by the time it reaches the bottom and the pressure is so light that a person could stand underneath and use the falls for a shower. The sound was more of a whisper than a thundering roar, and I found myself quite mesmerised watching the water slip over the edge and fall to the ground below.

We stopped at Diamond Lake next, shrouded in a cool mist as the cloud ceiling was quite low.

We walked a bit along the shore and decided that since we were around 20 miles from Crater Lake and I had never seen it we would chance the clouds and finish our tour there.

The drive was quite foggy and cold at that elevation - I am sure some of those little misty droplets were frozen. We pulled on our jackets anyway and walked over to the lodge and the viewpoints beyond. Just as I was lamenting that perhaps the clouds were going to make this a pointless extension to our trip we noticed that even as we were being pelted by wind-driven mist there was a place where the sun was trying to come through.

To our left, we saw this:

A rainbow in the mist as the clouds parted briefly. We were able to see the lake and the far shore, though the mist did continue to obscure Wizard Island. We stayed and watched the clearing as it widened enough to see most of the lake and the startling blue of the water before closing in again and encasing us in more freezing cold mist.

We retraced our steps to return to Roger's Parents feeling blessed and refreshed. I certainly appreciated our time in God's creation as a reminder that God did put all of this beauty in the world to show us God's generosity, glory, and love. So often I forget to appreciate the divinity displayed in beauty. This trip plunged me deeply into the "Book of Nature" and I returned to my classes refreshed and reminded of the totality of God.

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