On Monday we decided to start our day off heading to Paulina Lake. When we arrived at the fee booth, there was a sign that said to watch for Bears. The ranger told us there was a report of a bear sighting 30 days ago, HOWEVER they had just seen a COUGAR cross the road 1 hour ago!!!
Our first top was Paulina Falls!! Absolutely Gorgeous!!!
We hiked for a while above the falls, looking for the area they deem the Paulina Plunge in hopes of finding some swimming holes and waterfalls to slide down, but didn't have much luck, AND since we were in the vicinity of the Cougar Sighting, decided to head back down the trail that lead to the bottom of the falls.
Photo from the base of the Paulina Falls
The kids and I
Matt with Tyler and Ryan....(who have also acquired the genetic rock climbing defect...if you have no idea what I'm talking about, refer to postings on Vacation Day #2)
See the mountain in the background.... It is known as Paulina Peak and at the summit is 7984 feet (it is also known to have the highest public toilet in Oregon)....This was supposed to be our next stop HOWEVER, I hate heights, on ONE LANE dirt roads that are 4 miles long, going straight up, in a 12 passenger bus (the whole plummet to my death scenario not really my thing)..... So, I politely asked (okay, really I pleaded and considered pulling out the tears if necessary) not to make the trip to the summit. REALLY, what more could you see from 2800 feet higher in the air....just the same mountains we saw from Lava and Pilot Buttes and those were nicely paved for us....
As a result, we continued up the main road to the Big Obsidian Flow......
Where along the way we spotted Obama's plan in action --- Putting Americans back to work...... OR NOT!! (NOTE to Obama...please refer to vacation Day #1 posting requesting tree planting....thank you again in advance.....)
We hiked to the top of the Big Obsidian Flow, and this was the view.... Paulina Lake in the background and you can barely make out the mountains above the tree line.
The HUGE pieces of obsidian.
Matt, Sarah and Ryley coming down the trail. Sarah made the hike in flip flops because, being the perfect mother I am, I told her to put on flip flops before leaving the house. Of course, at the base of the Big Obsidian Flow, there are signs stating how sharp obsidian is (like glass) and how to be very careful along the trail. Classy Parenting.....luckily she's a tough gal and didn't get a scrape.
While on top a lady offered to take our family photo for us!!!! She also informed us we needed to "squish together" "move Sarah to the center" "remove our sunglasses" and "raise our chins up to alleviate the shadowing". Thus the reason future photos were taken with our camera on auto photo mode and set on a nearby rock/table.
Photo of "Lost Lake" on our way down the trail.
After our obsidian journey we continued down the road and stopped at East Lake Resort for some lunch!!! We finally had our first Bear sighting...and I had my camera ready!!!
Tyler with a wood carving of Chief Paulina
Then everyone was off for a swim in East Lake at Cinder Cone Campground
While I sat on the shore, reading a book and enjoying the sun!!!
Until along flew this bird.....(anyone know if it is a hawk or a peregrine falcon???)....and then the view from my camp chair became the BEST WIDE SCREEN in the world as it flew over East Lake, then dove into the water and came up with a fish!!!!!!