Off we went on our fall odyssey, down familiar roads, and some less traveled blue highways...
Gorgeous scenery everywhere... above, a scene from the breathtaking Three Capes Scenic Route along the coast of Oregon, and next to it a Photoshoped picture of the last of the sunflowers at a nature preserve in Ashland, Or. Below is a view from our room in Ashland... the famous Ashland hills, with vibrant colors in the trees. Ashland is such a wonderful small town mecca of culture and art... the Shakespeare Festival, the Cabaret Theatre, the local art galleries called the "Railroad district", Lithia Park and more... We love the "co-op" food store and often picked up something fresh to eat there.
My sketch painting of the scene...
Tillamook and Abstractions
And here is one inspired by the Tillamook, Or area... famous cheese country, lots of pastures and cows and a pungent aroma. The most amazing thing there though, is actually the Air Museum, or we call it "the Blimp" museum since it is a HUGE hanger built in the middle a cow pasture in WWII specifically to house blimps used for surveillance back then. It is SO unexpected to see it sitting there in the field... and fun to visit again, the last time was probably ten years ago.
I was fascinated with the inside of the building and odd pieces of planes and rusted equipment, and rusted old trains outside, so took many photos which look like little abstracts. I also did this at the cheese factory which had a wonderful collection of very old trucks and equipment. I am compiling a "rust" and "decomposition" series for abstractions which I will organize and post at a later time. Since I am playing with abstract mixed media painting now, they serve as great inspiration.
The Tulies and Lava BedsFrom Ashland we took a 200 plus mile side trip one day to Tulelake National Wildlife Refuge and Lava Beds National Monument in California. We took the "quick" route over the mountains directly from Ashland, which included a stretch of hairpin curves with spectacular views, though we were glad to be done with the mountain driving.
Now I'm imagining I know where the saying about being "lost in the Tule's" comes from. Tules are actually plants that look similar to the thick sturdy stems and leaves of cattails but without the same head, they get flowers instead. The Wildlife Preserve has 39,000 acres and we did see many birds that day in the small portion we visited. We spent most of our time exploring the lava beds and learned that the area has the largest concentration of lava tubes, a couple of which we walked through... And learned the whole area is a massive volcano covering 150 miles, but not in the traditional style you think of, such as St Helens. This one is underground (like Yellowstone), and is called a shield volcano. No steaming vents here, just acres of lava, lots of tubes and cones and interesting desert. And one area of the park has many petroglyphs to examine, some of which we did.
Sometimes it's the little things I remember the most about a trip (or a moment)....
...that perfect shell with lines of shimmery wet color and the undisturbed sand
...the delicate lacey undulating grass on a desert trail
...and the satisfaction of sharing it with someone special