With a stretch of amazing weather underway in Oregon, I set off yesterday to do what I like best, to explore some of the finest landscapes available anywhere, and to attempt to photograph and captureĀ  them.

Lower Proxy Falls in Oregon’s Three Sisters Wilderness…

Monday marked the opening of Highway 242, or the McKenzie Pass Highway. Along this route are trailheads for some of the finest hiking trails in the Pacific Northwest. Unfortunately, most are still locked in by snow. But Proxy Falls was open, and that’s where I started. This popular and often crowded trail, is an easy, one-mile loop that includes two sets of waterfalls.

After completing the short hike, I drove to the entrance for Scott Lake, but was forced to hike when four-to-six foot banks of snow still covered the road into the lake. Fortunately, I had snow boots and it was a trek up and down piles of snow for a mile and a half to my destination.

Scott Lake, with the reflections of the North and Middle Sisters…

I enjoyed some time taking in the stupendous mountain view, and it was a good time for lunch. It’s always interesting to connect with other hikers, and I had fun visiting with two folks who had trekked into the lake for the same purpose.

My last activity of the day was to head to Clear Lake on Highway 126 and a hike around its perimeter. By mid-afternoon, the temperature had reached 90 degrees, so the 5.5 mile hike around the lake was a challenge in that regard. But shady sections of trail that stretched along moving water helped make up for some long sections through ancient lava flows and sharp rocks that required attention. The lake’s name is incredibly accurate. Wonderful, clear, clean, blue and green-toned water made the hike a visual delight.

Clear Lake, in the Willamette National Forest…

I am blessed to have the physical ability to hike and explore. I am also blessed to have a plethora of natural settings to choose from, all accessible within easy driving distance. On this day, forests, mountains, rivers, lakes, and waterfalls, all combined in a glorious ten-hour adventure.