Driving to Cycle Oregon

On the drive out to Cycle Oregon, I picked up a few geocaches, spaced out so I’d drive a few hours and have an excuse to get out of the car and stretch.

The first was at the Wild Horse Wind Farm Renewable Energy Center, the site of WSGA’s August 2009 cache-of-the-month:

Wild Horse Wind Farm

This was of special interest to me because I’d recently been reading about wind power generation (for example, Why three blades?) and local weather patterns. The blade design is also relevant to my day job. These things are huge.

The second cache of noteworthiness was the “Shaniko Shoe Tree.”

Shaniko Shoe Tree

It’s fascinating that it exists so far away from civilization, but perhaps that’s because it smells like a lot of old shoes?

As the day was winding down, I discovered my primary, secondary and tertiary choices for camping sites were all full. (So much for post-Labor Day spur-of-the-moment camping.) A couple of motels were full, too. I kept driving, getting tireder as it got darker. I stopped at the first motel vacancy sign, the Woodsman Country Lodge in Crescent, OR.

It was a cute place, thematically decorated as the name suggests:
Woodsman Country Lodge

Perhaps because of my tired state, I was a little freaked out by the toilet seat because, um… holy crap, there are fish hooks so close to my man parts.

Toilet Seat with fish hooks

Thankfully, there were no “bear trap” pillows or “chainsaw-blade” lamps. The room was nicely apportioned and very comfortable. After guzzling a couple of water bottles, I slept soundly.

With several hours until the registration was going to open, I continued down US 97 to visit Crater Lake national park, hoping to pick up the handful of virtual and earth caches nearby. I entered from the north side,the Pumice Desert:

Pumice Desert

and started my clockwise-circuit around the rim. The blue in the water is awesome – wow!:

Wizard Island - Crater Lake National Park

and again, wow^2:

Wizard Island

On the far, southeast corner of the park was an interesting earth cache covering the Pinnacles. These are essentially fossilized fumaroles, exposed after streams have eroded the deposits around them.

The Pinnacles

Geology is so cool.

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