Instead of greeting you from Oregon I am instead back in Tacoma writing this week's post in a branch library. Timing dictated on both ends of my central Oregon hiking foray that I make haste to where I was going. Quartzville Creek, while beautiful, had too many folks for our taste though I strongly recommend the high county, nearly 5000 feet elevation that is offered by continuing east-bound on Oregon Forest Road #11, just above where it intersects with State Route 126. For me there is nothing like a clear horizon decorated by mountain peaks.
From there we continued on to the famous Scott Lake which again was a disappointment. Shallow and suffering from excessive hype, the lake and area was crowded with too many folks seeking a "wilderness celebrity" better left to itself. The one very redeeming feature were the Benson Lake and Hand Lake trails leading into the Mount Washington Wilderness. Behind and beyond Benson were the three Tenas Lakes, the middle Tenas offering us a clear and deep Alpine swimming pool. The Lake Hand trail was different altogether, taking us through late-season wild flower strewn meadows, finally ending for us at a very interesting magma-flow field. The only problem being post-taxi fatigue got the best of me, almost requiring that I be carried out upon a stretcher, taxi the poorest kind of fitness training.
Today, about 14 miles east of Sweet Home, we hiked the 1 1/2 mile RT jaunt to Soda Creek Falls which doesn't sound like much until you realize the first leg is all uphill. The falls, a slender cascading thread, was well worth the time and sweat. The only taxi I saw the entire trip was a Portland-area Broadway Cab north-bound on I-205. It was my favorite color. Yellow!
Watch Out for the Backseat
When it comes to taxi, separation between driver and passenger is always the best of policies. Greeted last Saturday with a new system and no idea how to operate it, I stumbled along the best I could. Passengers can now swipe their debit and credit cards from the backseat. Wouldn't you know it my first fare was a drunk young woman using a credit card. Getting her to her Wallingford District address, both of us experienced difficulties processing the transaction, meaning I had to enter the backseat to supervise what neither of us knew little about. Thankfully the card transaction went through but unfortunately the person in question insisted on hugging me. Thank goodness though that was the end of that nonsense. I am sure many wish to repeat the same but I continue to limit the opportunities. As for putting all of us cabbies out there minus any instruction except a one-page "cheat sheet" I defer comment other than saying only "taxi" would do something like this. ______ help us all!