Sunday, March 01, 2015

A pristine day in the Cascades - March 1, 2015

We decided to head out past Detroit Lake and up into the Breitenbush area.  In all over our adventures over the years we had yet to explore any of the roads out here.  We really had no agenda, so we just picked the first road we came upon, which turned out to be the road to Elk Lake (NF-4697).  While what we saw out here was worth the drive...I wouldn't recommend it if you don't have a 4WD with good tires.  A good majority of the "road" feels a lot like a stream bed.

Here's our trek:  KMZ file

We stopped for lunch on the east side of Elk Lake.  
The headwall of the glacial valley we are in is behind me.
Photo by Gary Miller, Jr.

Wiley enjoying the sun while we ate lunch.  
Each trip gets harder and harder for his back legs, but he loves it every time we head out.  
Photo by Gary Miller, Jr.

Of all our Danes he's been the most enthusiastic of our adventures, 
even though he's the"handicapped" one.


Gorgeous view and day!  If you check out the map with Google Maps in terrain view it's easy to see that Elk Lake sits in a glacial valley.  In this panorama you can see the headwall.  
Elk Lake in the foreground.  
Photo by Gary Miller, Jr.

It's interesting to note that the surrounding valleys display a lot more fluvial erosion.  My initial thought as to why is that the water is mainly moving underground except during high rain events.  There was a lot of evidence of springs and seeps along the drive.  The rocks, fractured volcanics, which are overlain by glacial drift in the valley itself.
Photo by Gary Miller, Jr.

After lunch we drove to the west side of Elk Lake and explored the campsites.  
There is a nice big horse camp out there, though it was empty at this time of year.


On the way back out we stopped at Dunlap Lake, and the weather was so pleasant (~40F) that we decided to hike around it.  There isn't actually a trail but the amount of "bushwhacking" is minimal.  There must be enough snow here normally to keep the vegetation fairly sparse.  The lake is smaller than it looks, so it didn't take us too long to traverse it's perimeter.
Photo by Gary Miller, Jr.

There are primitive campsites here and we decided this would be 
the time of year to camp out here.  

It was truly pristine...the geology...the water...the air...the day.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

GEO144 Cascades Field trip - October 20, 2013

Sunday we spent the entire day with 8 of my Chemeketa students.  Our class topics on this trip were hydrogeology of Cascades, classification of lakes by formation process, surface processes (heavy on stream processes)....and geology in general.

Here is the final map of our trip.

I like to look at the Google Map in "Maps" then "Terrain" view.  It makes many of the surface features much more obvious....and its really easy to see the Cascades Graben in this view (Western Cascades to the left and Green Ridge to the right).

I like "Satellite" view for looking at lava flows.


We...well *I*...had a fantastic time.  We couldn't have asked for better clouds anywhere...even the usually cloud covered peaks.

We headed out Hwy 22 toward Santiam Jct before sunrise. Along the way we stopped to observed the differences in stream characteristics & processes below and above Detroit Dam.

Outcropping bedrock causes the rapids here...North Santiam State Park. Photo by GEM.

Had the "V" versus "U" shaped valley discussion here.  MP 59 along the North Santiam River. Photo by GEM.

Both of the above stops had obvious areas of erosion and deposition including cut banks and mid-challel bars...also erosion mitigation at MP59...some features are easy to spot in "Satellite" view on the Google map.  Note that there is "Street View" available at the boat ramp at North Santiam State Park.

If one has time there are plenty of great stops along the North Santiam on this segment of the Hwy 22.  It's one of my favorite rivers to explore close to Salem.


At Santiam Jct we headed to the Hoo Doo ski bowl turn off on Hwy 20.

Big Lake was our destination but we also discussed Mount Washington, Hayrick and Hogg Buttes, and Hoo Doo with respect to volcanic and glacial processes.

Best view from here ever!!  Mount Washington from Big Lake.  Photo by GEM.

Hayrick Butte from Big Lake.  Photo by GEM.

Photo op.  Three Fingered Jack from the road out of Hoo Doo ski bowl.   Photo by Hols.


Next we made two quick stops along Hwy 20 to view and discuss the formation of Blue Lake and Suttle Lake.

Mount Washington and Blue Lake from the Mount Washington viewpoint.  Photo by GEM.

Blue Lake is hard to see from the road and we've tried to access it from the Suttle Lake side with no success (private gate).  If anyone knows a better place to see/access it please let me know!!

Suttle Lake from with Black Butte in the background.  Photo by GEM.


We hiked to the headwaters of the Metolius River to further discuss hydrogeology and volcanism....then had lunch in the picnic area.

View of Mount Jefferson from the Metolius Headwaters viewpoint.  Photo by GEM.

Quick stop along Hwy 20 on the way to Hwy 242 to discuss the relationship between Black Butte Swamp, Black Butte, and the Metolius River.

Black Butte Swamp.  Photo by GEM.


Then we headed to Hwy 242.

In retrospect I am so glad we added this segment of the trip even though it made for a very long day!  The views of the Sisters and other peaks is spectacular along this road on a clear day.

If you are reading this post you are probably getting the picture that this was as near a perfect autumn day in the Cascades as you get!!  We saw nothing but sunshine and blue sky!!!

Here we discussed volcanism and lava flows, jointing of rocks, extrusive rocks, and weathering processes.

Mount Washington from the first lava field viewpoint along Hwy 242 coming from the east.  Photo by GEM.

I had to laugh at the view of Mount Hood from Dee Wright Observatory...I'd never seen it before from here...and last weekend we were all bummed that it was too cloudy to  You'll have to zoom way in to see the peak.

View from Dee Wright Observatory.  Photo by GEM.

We were looking into the sun was so bright I was crying under my sunglasses.  It was also a very comfortable 60 degree here.  Have I mentioned it was absolutely gorgeous?!  Note my "Rock Star" shirt. ;)

My students and I at Dee Wright Observatory.  Photo by GEM.

We followed the highway west to out next official stop, Proxy Falls...making one unofficial stop (photo op) to look at the Sisters.

North and Middle Sisters.  Photo by Hols.

The lighting at Proxy Falls wasn't good for pictures so here is a shot from our last trip with Lockwood in August.  Proxy Falls has a fun puzzle that I was fortunate to learn from Anne Jefferson via Lockwood.  One of the two students who walked in with me (we arrived first) got the problem and answer right off...I was very proud!

Proxy Falls.  Photo by GEM.

We made a brief stop at a spring along hwy then headed to Sahalie Falls.  This picture is from our last trip in August.

Natural spring. Photo by GEM.

Sahalie Falls on Hwy 126 was not an official stop since I had the field questions printed before I found out it relationship to Clear Lake.  It was well worth stopping for.  Lockwood recommended it and it was spectacular!!

Sahalie Falls.  Photo by Hols.

Next stop was Fish Lake also on Hwy 126.  Here we fully discussed Sand Mountain volcanism and the relationship between Clear Lake and Fish Lake.  I prefer Fish Lake to Clear Lake as a field trip stop for ease of access and lack of crowds.  Clear Lake has been downright crowded every time I've ever stopped.

At Fish Lake we also observed what a difference a week can make.  


Fish Lake with water on 10.13.13...and without water on 10.20.13.  Photos by Hols.

Our final stop was Little Nash Crater...entrance is on Hwy 20 right before Santiam Junction.  This is a long time student favorite (mine too!!).  Here we talk about volcanic processes and rocks related to cinder cones.  Also spend time thinking about mass wasting processes and the angle of repose with respect to cinder cones and the piles of human made road gravel that can be found there at this site.

Many colors of scoria can be seen here along with great lava bombs (some as much as 1m or more in diameter)...both those that solidified fully in the air and the bread crust type.

Fighting sunlight at Little Nash Crater.  Photo by GEM.

Pyroclastic material at Little Nash Crater.  Photo by GEM.

From here we called it a day and headed back to Chemeketa...arriving after dark.  Thankfully my students were troopers and *seemed* to have a good time.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Geo Trip August 11, 2013

We had a lot of driving on this trip. Left Salem around 7:30am and returned home after 10pm.  The main purpose of the trip was hiking to the top of Sand Mountain. Hols and I attempted to visit it last fall but there was already to much snow on the ground to hike up the last 2mil stretch.

The first 129 mile segment of the trip was picking up the Geo Blogger Lockwood and one of Hols past geology students then heading out to Sand Mountain.  At the time of this post the road was in bad shape from a rain storm so 4 wheel drive and high ground clearance came in handy.  You can see the look out cablin on top of Sand Mountain from the spot we parked!

Due to road closures the hike was about 4 miles round trip with with 800' elevation gain and the view was great. The view was nice 360 degree image below.

A little bit above and to the right of the grey sand pit in this photo you can make out the reflection of the sun of off the 4Runner's wind shield.

After our hike back to the truck we drove another 40 miles or so over to Proxy Falls. This was more of a 1.5 mile walk in the woods instead of a hike. After checking out the Falls and noticing that the water was pooling at the bottom Lockwood took us to the outlet few miles West of the falls.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

High school next year...

Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.0

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Awesome 3000

Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.8

Awesome 3000

Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.8

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

#60 Matthew had his first football game

Stephens vs. Judson, His team won 28 to 0!

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Wiley walking on water

Wiley does not like to swim, but he figured out how to walk on water.

This photo was messed up as our camera died, RIP Stylus 720 we had a lot of fun with you!
Posted by Picasa

Matt and Ryan in the river

Matthew and I met my sister and her family for camping up at the South Umpqua Falls, good weekend to be close to water.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Weekend Fun!

We went up to the Oakes this weekend to let Wiley (1yr Fawn) and Nova (10mo Black) play. They had a lot of fun wrestling and playing in the river!
Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 17, 2010

Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum

Kent, Matthew and I visited the spruce goose out at Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum we had a full day of fun seeing and reading about the history of aviation and space history. We watched a 3D imax movie as well!
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, April 18, 2010

My how tall I’ve grown!!

On the last visit to the vet...they said that Wiley is not even close
to being done growing yet and he’ll be at least
36 inches at the shoulders.

Right now he is almost 10 months old and nearly 35 inches…
here he is next to the island in our kitchen that is 35.5 inches tall…


Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Puppy love at the Oakes House

Wiley is 6 mos and Dweezel is 4 mos....
and of course Matthew is 12...

Posted by Picasa