Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Day #4, McKinsey Pass, each day is better than the last

Wow, all I can say is Wow! What a fantastic day! Left Redmond at 7am again and rode with the Three Sisters Mtns in our view for most of the morning. Beautiful farms and rolling hills all the way to the city of Sisters. It was going to be one of those "multi stop" days for tons of photo ops. (and it was) Stopped in the cute town of sisters where 9 of us crammed into a breakfast spot. This is where the fun happens, the impromptu eating experiences! And the scramble to pay the bill, it's like being back in college....it seems we're always short $$, even though everyone paid "extra!"

After Paul and I recovered from getting lost, we climbed up a quiet and beautiful road to the 5375 ft summit of Mckinzie Pass, a lava bed! From the summit is the observatory where you can see all the mountain peaks in the area! More photo ops, of course. Great views, lots of laughs, great photos? Great 15 miles of downhill later.....we arrived at this INCREDIBLE place called Belknap Hot Springs. This place was totally unexpected, on the beautiful McKinsey River with gorgeous flowerbeds, hot tubs, great lodge, and a shower! Everyone was blown away with this place. After a nice dinner Ubald, Nicole, Wendy, Gina and I explored all over the property, little trails and campsites all over the place....and finish the night with a soak in the huge heated pool... A fantastic day, every day gets better - which is crazy, because yesterday was awesome!

Peoples moods are starting to shift, everyone is avoiding the obvious - that they are really going to miss each other in a couple of days. (of course not everyone, but...) Though i wont be naive to say there arent some conflicts in the group, (easy for me to say...) this group has grown very tight as they've traveled across the USA together. The regiment, the routine, the fun, the tough days, the amazing experiences and scenes, the tragic loss of a new friend....it's been a life experience. I know I'm already dreading leaving them, and I've only been here a week! I have nothing but admiration for this group

 Internet sucked so I couldn't load photos last night....so hold on, cuz there is a lot to show you!

 Top of Mckenzie Pass
 Getting ready to leave Redmond
 Three Sisters

 I love these things
 Our fearless leader Paul

 reaching the Summit
 Ubald, Simon, and Mike on top
 Wendy getting to the top
 My buddies Wendy and Gina

 Trying to get artistic

 Ubald coming up

 The Jazz Choir at our Awesome Lodge

 So beautiful!!!

Too bad we couldnt stay here for a couple days!  But off to Eugene in the morning!

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