Weird and Wild #Oregon : Sea Lion Caves #animals

Sea lions are large and noisy creatures, but amazing to watch. A few miles north of Florence, Oregon, are the Sea Lion Caves, and definitely worth a visit.

The above statue is true to size. I was amazed at how they dwarf a grown man. What a treat to watch them and spend the day by the cool sea.

The species at the caves is the Stellar sea lion, one of the largest, and the cave is the largest in America. It’s part of a series of caverns open to the Pacific Ocean.

The sea lions can be viewed from an outlook. Even over 200 feet above, the sea lions can be heard (also the hella wind).

An elevator can be taken down to the largest cavern. It was a remarkable place to view wildlife in their natural habitat.

 

 

 

Weird and Wild #Oregon: Flat Iron Trail #Explore

The Flat Iron Trail is part of the Badlands Wilderness. A few miles south of Bend, Oregon, off Highway 20, it’s an easy drive. The trail is relatively flat, but be warned, it gets very hot and there isn’t much shade.

There are great views of the Cascades, and in the spring, the desert comes alive with wildflowers. The ancient juniper forest i-s unique, and the entire network of trails is a true taste of the Central Oregon high desert.

A plus to the pleasant scenery is the peace and quiet. The trails aren’t heavily used, and you rarely see another person. It’s nice to spend some time alone with nature.

 

 

 

 

#SciFi Worth Reading: Empress of Forever #BookReview

The Empress of Forever by Max Gladstone is spectacular. Wow! What an imaginative, creative, marvelous read.

If you’re looking for original space opera, this novel certainly fits. The concepts were huge and small at the same time, depending on how you wanted to take it. It’s hard not to envy what goes on in Gladstone’s head and then how he puts it in written form.

The main character is a Steve Jobs type, who starts off the story by running from the feds. She is then transported into another time, and, it seems, another universe. Viv starts running and never stops in this world and on the others she visits during the course of this delicious adventure.

What’s worse than being locked away by the feds? Hmmm, maybe killer robots and warrior monks. Then there’s an empress who rules the galaxy, who attacked Viv and brought her into this crazy galaxy.

Viv uses her smarts to survive and attract a rag-tag group of misfits who work to help her get home. One review said this story was a bit like Guardians of the Galaxy. And, it is. It’s fun, it’s poetic (beautifully written), thought-provoking, and took me into a world like I’ve never read or seen before. Fantastic!

The character are unique and alien and amazing and familiar.  There were twists and turns to keep the story fresh and brilliant. Can you tell I loved it? Max Gladstone is an author I now want to read more of, and I highly, highly recommend Empress of Forever.

A wildly successful innovator to rival Steve Jobs or Elon Musk, Vivian Liao is prone to radical thinking, quick decision-making, and reckless action. On the eve of her greatest achievement, she tries to outrun people who are trying to steal her success.

In the chilly darkness of a Boston server farm, Viv sets her ultimate plan into motion. A terrifying instant later, Vivian Liao is catapulted through space and time to a far future where she confronts a destiny stranger and more deadly than she could ever imagine.

The end of time is ruled by an ancient, powerful Empress who blesses or blasts entire planets with a single thought. Rebellion is literally impossible to consider–until Vivian Liao arrives. Trapped between the Pride―a ravening horde of sentient machines―and a fanatical sect of warrior monks who call themselves the Mirrorfaith, Viv must rally a strange group of allies to confront the Empress and find a way back to the world and life she left behind.

 

 

 

Weird and Wild Oregon: Paulina Peak #Explore #Oregon

Paulina Peak is located in the Newberry  National Volcano Monument. Newberry Volcano is a large active shield volcano, and Paulina Peak is the highest point of the Newberry Volcano.

From the top, I can see forever, or so it seems.

The rest of the caldera can be seen from the top: the two lakes, the center cone, and the gray patch is the obsidian flow.

And sunrise from the peak is transcending.