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Summer of Taylor

I saved up some time off work. I’m going to some places and you can follow my travels here.

Story by Taylor Eke August 19th, 2015

Practicing wildlife photography

So I’m going to Alaska soon and decided to practice up taking pictures of animals before I leave. I went to the Oregon Coast, because birds are pretty abundant there and would test if I could use all the lenses of the camera.

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Really? Not a bird in sight (other than seagulls) around Indian Beach.

Sandy eye goobers are super gross
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Then I found Pelican :D

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It would be really annoying if every time you took a bite of food a flock of seagulls descended on top of you.

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searching for goats at jefferson park

I read an article about the repopulation of Mountain Goats in western Oregon and Washington. So I went on a search to find them, but what I ended up finding is my new favorite place to hike. I began the climb to Jefferson Park, where the newest population of Mountain Goats have been established.
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The climb up started to really get my hopes up about seeing Goats. The rocky sections along the trail look exactly like the Mountain Goat exhibit at the zoo.
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The trail winds around to provide some spectacular views of Mt. Jefferson. In person it feels like it’s right there hovering over you. The glacier looked a little pitiful though.

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This giant rocky cliff down below reminded me of one of those floating mountains in Avatar.

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There is some plant along this trail that definitely smells like a dirty Mountain Goat.

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Deep into the hike it flattens out and gives you a sneak peak of what is to come at Jefferson Park (spoiler it’s insanely beautiful). There are many tree-less valleys that make you feel like you’re going to see a Goat, but then you still don’t see a Goat…
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The namesake of the trail is whitewater creek, so I guess I should have expected white water. It is super cool looking and Subie was extremely happy to jump in the water (I think it was 101 degrees).
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You join the pacific crest trail for about a mile before entering Jefferson Park. The whole area is remarkably well maintained, I even saw saw some irrigation pipes around channeling water through the trail system.

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Entering Jefferson Park (sorry for the idiom, but I have nothing else) took my breath away. I need to come back to camp here, although it actually seems pretty crowded up here. exploring the park reminded me of exploring Yellowstone. I think I’ll stop typing and let the pictures speak for themselves, because I took about 200 of them and had to come up with which ones to post.

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Quick swim break. There are several lakes up here, I explored only the one with the time I had before dusk.

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OMG, could it be Mountain Goat poo hiding off the trail?

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Subie wasn’t into my plan to trick everyone into thinking I saw a Goat.

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Deeper into the park.

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At least I have the wildlife photography skills to document a pond filled with thousands of Newts.

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Either there was a dude at this pond with size 22 vibrams and a dog that really needs a nail trimming or this is evidence that Momma and Baby Bear come drink out of the Newt pond.

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The sun began to set a little and I decided it was in my best interest to take off. Though I was a little jealous of all the people who had just arrived with heavy backpacks on to camp for the night. Also it started to smell a bit like a forest fire when the wind picked up (notice how hazy the pictures are getting).

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It definitely smelled like forest fire and looked like forest fire smoke while descending in the evening. I never saw the glow or flames on the drive home so I guess it could have been summer smog.

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To end the story on a really low note, my hunt for the Goats with totally unsuccessful. However I took this awful photo of a huge family of Quail. I had never actually seen Quail, nevertheless scared off about 25 of them!

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Backpacking Newberry Caldera

Me, Subie and Thaly enjoyed backpacking part of the rim of Newberry Crater, when we weren’t kept awake by the wind.

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Newberry Volcano
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The next morning the volcanic features were more clear so we decided to head over to the enormous obsidian flow we saw in the distance.

Newberry Volcano with Large Obsidian flow behind
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The hike back from our camp spot was dusty, hot and exhausting.

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Apparently this place was basically a gold mine to the indians, who used obsidian glass for everything.
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The western lake of the caldera, Paulina spills out to these falls. Subie almost caught a break and got to rest in the water, but we moved on and hiked around the falls.
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Thaly decided to do some Parkouring, while I figured out how to use a DSLR properly.
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It’s amazing what you miss while driving on the highway. Lava Butte is right next to the highway outside bend. This is the leftovers of Oregon’s most recent volcanic eruption. It’s remarkable how a few plants are strong enough to live in the rocky environment of the basalt flow.

I wish I had been able to take a couple better pictures, because I love the contrast of the black lava rock against the nature in the distance.

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The signs urged us to complete our journey and venture to the opposite end of the Newberry Volcano area from where we had begun the day before. We found where the lava flow dammed the Deschutes river and seemed to end.
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