Weird and Wonderful

The trees stand as storytellers, each leaf a page in a grand saga of life and transition. #LandscapePhotography #NaturePhotography #NatureBeauty

Deep in the Umpqua Forest in the Casdades…
Weird and Wild Oregon

In the heart of the Umpqua National Forest, autumn unfolds like a vivid tapestry painted by the hand of time. Here, the trees stand as storytellers, each leaf a page in a grand saga of life and transition.

Amidst the emerald guardians, the forest becomes a living cathedral, where sunlight weaves through the branches, dappling the earth below in a mosaic of gold and amber. The crisp air hums with the whispers of transformation, as the trees, adorned in their vibrant attire, prepare for their seasonal ballet.

Maples, like flames in the forest’s cathedral, ignite in shades of fiery reds and oranges, illuminating the woodland stage with their fervent passion. Birch trees stand in elegant contrast, donning robes of buttery yellows that sway in the gentle autumnal breeze.

Every leaf, a tiny vessel of life, pirouettes and descends, performing a graceful waltz to the forest floor. There, a new chapter begins as they form a vibrant tapestry, creating a mosaic carpet beneath the giants that birthed them.

The world lives on these trees, in the stories etched upon their bark, the whispers carried by the wind through their branches, and the symphony of colors they orchestrate. Life here is a cycle, a dance of seasons that paints the landscape in hues of nostalgia and anticipation, reminding us of the beauty in letting go and the promise of renewal.



Discovering the Charm of Antelope, Oregon #NaturePhotography Photography #ghosttown

It’s Spooktober! Let’s visit a ghost town. How about Antelope?

off the beaten path Oregon

Amidst the rolling hills and rugged landscapes of central Oregon, Antelope has a big story to tell. This quaint town is a hidden gem, offering a unique blend of history, natural beauty, and a sense of timelessness.

A Glimpse into Antelope’s History

In the mid-19th century, Antelope began as a station along the wagon road connecting The Dalles on the Columbia River with gold mines near Canyon City. After about 1870, the wagon road became known as The Dalles Military Road. When the highway was moved, Antelope became a quiet town of ranchers.

Is most notorious chapter came in the early 1980s when it briefly became the home of the Rajneeshpuram commune led by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. A circle of leading members of the Rajneeshpuram Oregon commune were arrested for crimes including an attempted assassination plot to murder U.S. Attorney Charles H. Turner as part of the United States’s first recorded bio-terror attack calculated to influence the outcome of a local election in their favour; the effort ultimately failed. Salmonella bacteria were deployed to infect salad products in local restaurants and shops, which poisoned several hundred people.

hidden gem of Oregon, Antelope

Remnants of the Past

Antelope has many old building.

Oregon ghost towns, Antelope


weird and wild Oregon


hidden gems of Oregon


Antelope offers breathtaking vistas…

exploring Oregon, Antelope


And creepy ones… I envisioned this school when writing the second book in the Rifters series.

off the beaten path, Antelope, Oregon

Antelop was an awesome place to visit!


Off the Beaten Path: Ashwood, Oregon #NaturePhotography #NatureBeauty #photography

Ashwood, Oregon: A Haunting Glimpse into Central Oregon’s Past

off the beaten path Oregon, Ashwood

In the heart of Central Oregon, Ashwood stands as a silent sentinel of a bygone era. Once a bustling town, it now lies in ruins, a ghost town echoing with the whispers of history.

A Brief History

Ashwood’s story begins in the late 1800s when it was founded as a homesteading community. Its proximity to the Deschutes River and the promise of fertile land attracted settlers looking to make a new life in the wilderness. By the turn of the 20th century, Ashwood had blossomed into a thriving town with a school, post office, and several businesses.

Oregon ghost town, Ashwood

The Decline

However, Ashwood’s glory days were short-lived. The town’s fortunes waned as the timber industry declined, and the construction of nearby highways diverted traffic away from its once-bustling streets. The closure of the post office in the 1970s marked the symbolic end of an era. Today, Ashwood stands as a shadow of its former self, a place where time has seemingly stopped.

wierd and wild oregon

Exploring Ashwood

Visiting Ashwood is like stepping into a time capsule. The dilapidated buildings that line its streets are a testament to its past, with some structures dating back to the early 1900s. The old schoolhouse, in particular, is a hauntingly beautiful relic, its walls covered in graffiti and its windows long shattered. The eerie silence that envelops Ashwood is broken only by the whispering wind, lending an almost otherworldly quality to the experience.

off the beaten path Oregon, Ashwood

The Legends

Of course, no ghost town is complete without its legends. Ashwood has its fair share of ghost stories, from phantom footsteps echoing in the night to whispers of long-lost settlers still roaming the area. While skeptics may dismiss these tales as mere folklore, they add an extra layer of intrigue to this already enigmatic place.

off the beaten path Oregon, Ashwood

wierd and wild Oregon, Ashwood

abandoned places Ashwood, Oregon



Unraveling the Mysteries of Pictograph Cave #NaturePhotography #NatureBeauty #Petroglyphs

Hidden amidst the breathtaking landscapes of Bend, Oregon, lies the treasure of ancient history and art – the Pictograph Cave. It’s east of Bend between China Hat and Pine Mountain in the lonely plains of the high desert.

explore mysterious petroglyph cave

The Trail

There’s no easy way to get there. It’s a 3.4-mile round-trip trek through the desert, longer as you’re sure to have some issues finding your way there and back. There is no clearly marked trail, and you’re often traipsing through the desert using landmarks and the compass on your phone for help. The day we went, it was very smokey. Boo for forest fires! If you go, be sure to wear socks. The flora have lots of stickers and prickers. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to wear those shoes again. There are still things poking me when I put them on.

discover mysterious petroglyph cave

Protecting the Past

It’s dry and dusty, so bring lots of water.  The reason the cave is pretty well hidden is to protect it from vandals. Some a$$hats defaced a cave that is easier to access and ruined it for everyone. I’m all for protecting this cave. There’s a lot to study and learn.

discover mysterious petroglyph cave

Evidence of Ancient Tool Making

That’s Pine Mountain in the distance. I ‘m usually driving past this part of the desert, not walking through it.  One of the cool things is, there are pieces of obsidian everywhere – remnants of toolmaking. The natives seemed to have used this area quite a bit for there to be so much obsidian lying around. This evidence of the past you can witness without finding the cave.

Watch Your Step!

Besides being on the lookout for snakes and roots trying to trip you, you have to be aware of sudden holes in the earth that want to swallow you up. This drop would have ended the hike in tragedy. And, you’re pretty much out there on your own. We didn’t see anybody else anywhere on the trails or parked on the dirt path leading to the walking path.

explore mysterious petroglyph cave

Closed for Bats

Be aware that the cave, and every cave in the area, is closed for bat hibernation between October 1st and April 30th. You have to respect nature and all its creatures.

And the entrance to the cave is rather treacherous. It involves climbing and is not easy. You should have at least one other person with you for safety. There are some hand and foot holds, but you have to be into rock climbing.

explore mysterious petroglyph cave

Once you make it to the cave, and then down into the cave, you’ll be rewarded with ancient rock art.

The Magnificent Rock Art

The intricate and vibrant pictographs tell stories of a bygone era, capturing the creativity and ingenuity of the early inhabitants. The cave’s walls showcase a diverse array of artwork, including depictions of wildlife, human figures, celestial objects, and abstract symbols. The drawings span over time and are thousands of years old. There isn’t any information on what they mean, but it’s humbling to stand where ancient humans did thousands of years ago and try to figure out what had stirred them to paint the images they did on the cave walls. I monkeyed with the photos to make the drawings more clear.

explore Oregon

discover Oregon

explore Oregon

explore Oregon
A Trek of Discovery

Visiting Pictograph Cave in Bend, Oregon, offers a unique opportunity. Walking in the footsteps of ancient civilizations, you can imagine what life might have been like in prehistoric times. The cave’s aura of mystery and the palpable connection to the past create an unforgettable experience, leaving you with a newfound appreciation for the richness of human history.

Alkalai Lake, Oregon: Discovering Nature’s Resilience Amidst Environmental Challenges #NaturePhotography #NatureBeauty

Alkali Lake is deep within the Great Basin region of Oregon. The Great Basin is the largest area of watersheds with no outlets in North America. Alkali Lake is a natural sink surrounded by stunning landscapes and environmental challenges.

Alkali Lake, discovering Oregon

Geological Formation and Magnificent Landscapes:

Alkali Lake emerged as a geographic sink, showcasing the intricate geological processes that shape our planet. Situated 26 miles east of Christmas Valley, Oregon, and to the northeast of Lake Abert, this remarkable body of water is a testament to the dynamic nature of Earth’s landscapes. The surrounding area, adorned by the majestic Abert Rim and Highway 395, provides a breathtaking backdrop.

Alkali Lake, discovering Oregon

Water Level Variations and Changing Dynamics:

Throughout its existence, Alkali Lake has experienced significant variations in water levels. In the past, it reached a prehistoric maximum depth of approximately 270.7 feet (82.5 meters) and covered an expansive area of around 1,448.4 square miles (3,751 square kilometers). However, over time, a drying trend has become apparent, leading to fluctuations.

Alkali Lake, discovering Oregon

Alkaline Salts and the Natural Composition:

One of the notable characteristics of Alkali Lake is the presence of dissolved alkaline salts within its seasonal waters. On average, these alkaline salts account for approximately 10% of the total brine weight. While this unique composition poses challenges for some forms of life, it also creates a distinctive ecosystem that has adapted to the conditions over time, showcasing nature’s resilience and adaptability.

Alkali Lake, discovering Oregon

The Alkali Lake Chemical Waste Dump:

In close proximity to Alkali Lake lies the Alkali Lake Chemical Waste Dump, which is an unfortunate reminder of past environmental challenges. This site served as a repository for chemical waste, and its presence raises awareness about the importance of responsible waste management and the long-term effects on the surrounding ecosystem. Efforts to address and mitigate the impacts of the waste dump are ongoing, underscoring the significance of environmental stewardship.

Alkali Lake, discovering Oregon

Despite the environmental challenges it faces, Alkali Lake’s natural beauty remains resilient.


Exploring the Enchanting Beauty of Devil’s Punch Bowl on the Oregon Coast: Weird and Wonderful Oregon #NaureBeauty #NaturalPhotography

Nestled along the captivating Oregon Coast, Devil’s Punch Bowl is a natural wonder that beckons adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike. This picturesque coastal formation, located near the charming town of Otter Rock, offers visitors a mesmerizing blend of rugged cliffs, swirling waters, and dramatic sea caves.

Devils Punch Bowl

The Origin of Devil’s Punch Bowl:

Devil’s Punch Bowl owes its intriguing name to the distinctive geological feature it exhibits. This natural wonder was formed thousands of years ago when the relentless ocean waves eroded the softer rock layers, creating a large hollow bowl-shaped depression in the coastal cliffs. As the waves crash into the bowl, water churns and swirls, producing a fascinating spectacle that has captivated visitors for generations.

devils punch bowl

The Spectacular Scenery:

As you approach Devil’s Punch Bowl, the panoramic views of the rugged Oregon Coastline will leave you awe-struck. The dramatic cliffs, adorned with vibrant sea grasses and wildflowers, provide a picturesque backdrop for this mesmerizing natural formation. Whether you visit during sunrise, sunset, or under the warm glow of midday, the scenic beauty of Devil’s Punch Bowl is sure to leave an indelible mark on your memories.

devils punch bowl


Tide Pools and Marine Life:

Exploring the tide pools around Devil’s Punch Bowl unveils an enchanting world of marine life. During low tide, the exposed rocks and pools teem with colorful sea anemones, starfish, crabs, and a plethora of other captivating creatures. It’s a paradise for nature lovers and provides a unique opportunity to observe these fascinating organisms up close. Remember to tread carefully and respect the fragile ecosystems when exploring these delicate tide pool habitats.

tide pools

tide pools

tide pools

A trip to Devil’s Punch Bowl on the Oregon Coast is a truly remarkable experience that combines natural beauty, geological wonder, and a sense of awe-inspiring adventure. Whether you’re an avid hiker, a lover of marine life, or simply someone seeking solace amidst the wonders of nature, this captivating coastal destination has something for everyone. The rugged cliffs, swirling waters, and enchanting sea caves all weave together to create an unforgettable tapestry of Oregon’s coastal charm. So, plan your visit to Devil’s Punch Bowl, and prepare to be swept away by the majesty of this natural treasure.

devils punch bowl

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