Central Oregon's Cascades offer some Wooly Scenery
Hey Maggie...waddaya say we spit in this guys face???

As a cyclist I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Oregon's central cascades, shown in the background here looking west from near the town of Sisters. The Cascades were the first mountain range i ever crossed, and i did it in first class fashion, fighting my way over the switchbacks of McKenzie Pass in the early morning as the sun rose over the mountains, and watching the sun set over the same mountains while cooking in a campsite not far from this farm. Oregon being oregon, it had solar heated showers.

This side of the Cascades is high plains, semi desert country, and is familiar with cyclists who take the TransAmerica trail for its golden, dry grassy hills and quiet, scenic roads. As you go further east from here the country opens up, with broad valleys under windy but sunny skies, becoming ever more rural as you head for Idaho by way of Baker and Hell's Canyon. The three peaks in the distance are North, Middle, and South Sister from left to right, and are often referred to as the Three Sisters. Dormant volcanoes, black basalt from former lava flows cover large areas including the McKenzie itself, giving the lofty pass a grim and lunar appearance. The Cascades can be passed a bit further north at Santiam Pass, with somewhat less scenery but a youth hostel.

Riders heading south to Crater Lake will have the Cascades on the right for many miles. Whil Crater lake gets all the ink, there are also several other example of collapsed volcanic Calderas in the region....stop at Paulina Peak for example. South of Crater Lake, Klamath Lake is famous for the algae gobbled down by food faddists from Maine to Malawi.

West of the mountains is the green, misty Oregon of fame. The Oregon Coast, part of the pacific coast cycling trail, boasts some of the best coastal scenery in the world. 1