Postcard from Oregon: Ouch, Those Darn Mosquitoes!

Benham Falls

Today I’m thinking, “Oh this is ridiculous, Nelson. You’re going to be blogging while on vacation? It’s like showing home movies of your vacation; nobody is going to want to see that. But then I got three comments on yesterday’s post (okay, so one was from my son), and I’ve suddenly got a new vocation: Travel writer! Read on, my armchair travel companions…
Yesterday’s lowlight: We went hiking at Benham Falls on the Deschutes River (shown above), and the mosquitoes attacked Jennifer. Jennifer is a wonderful person to go hiking with because the mosquitoes always attack her. I’m not sure why this is, but if I were a mosquito I’d dig into her soft succulent skin rather than mine any day. Anyhow, yesterday’s episode brought back memories of other mosquito misadventures in Jennifer’s past: staying at a house on the coast of Maine and being swarmed by bugs every time she stepped outside, and that lovely warm night on the Gulf Coast of Texas when she went out in shorty shorts and a tank top and got eaten alive.

Cinder cone

Yesterday’s highlight: Lava Butte, a volcanic cinder that was formed seven thousand years ago and today is part of Newberry National Volcanic Monument. Apparently back in the days when woolly mammoths roamed the earth, this part of Oregon was the home of the Newberry Volcano, which when it erupted spit out cinders and ash that formed into this 500-foot high cinder cone. It’s a pretty cool formerly hot spot. You can drive to the top of the Lava Butte, walk a few steps up to a lookout station, and see the peaks of the Cascade Range: Mt. Batchelor, Broken Top, the Sisters group, and in the far distance, the intensely beautiful conical shape of Mt. Hood. From the station, you can walk around the rim of the 150-feet deep cinder cone, peering down into it as shown above. Then, after driving back down to the visitors center, we took another short walk through a desolate section of black molten lava.

Hank's dessert More highlights: Goody’s Ice Cream Shop in downtown Bend. Goody’s make its own ice cream, chocolate and many of its candies. After being chewed up by mosquitoes on our nature walk to Benham Falls, Jennifer and the boys (they also got bit) were looking for more civilized pleasures. So we stumbled onto this wonderful old-fashioned soda fountain on the trendy main shopping street of Bend. Gabe had a blue raspberry icie, Jennifer a cool “green river” drink (club soda, lime syrup, squeeze of lemon, phosphate), Hank an orange float (orange juice with vanilla ice cream, seen to the left), and I had a chocolate-dipped vanilla bar. More tomorrow, like it or not!



Filed under Adventures in Writing, Personal, The Dangerous Quest

5 responses to “Postcard from Oregon: Ouch, Those Darn Mosquitoes!

  1. It was really good. It is awesome. I didn’t like the part when we were getting eaten by the mosquitoes.

    I love you

    From GABE 🙂

  2. Lillian Kaiser

    Dear Gabe and Hank: well, I certainly am a most
    fortunate grandmother, blue as in blue raspberry icie
    and orange float are absolutely my very favorite

    Love from Grandma Lillian

  3. Lillian Kaiser

    PS Jennifer, what is “phosphate” as added to your
    green club soda drink?????

    From your mother who loves you.

  4. Tell Jennifer I’m sorry about those pesty mosquitoes. I love hiking, but they can really make it unpleasant. I like the pictures you post of your trip too. Not sure when I’ll be able to read your next post, as I’ll be out of town for the next week and a half. Enjoy your time together as a family. 🙂

  5. ANNIE

    Family, you’ve done me proud. Finding an ice cream shop to ease the pain and pleasures of a hike? Nothing sounds more down my alley. And with such bright colors? Lime, orange, and Blue. Perfect! And, of course, nice touch daddy… chocolate always wins. All you need is the remote, and its like I’m right there with you.

    Love you tons,

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