The Persona Behind The Lens, With A Glimpse Into Our World.
Photographer: Anita Cross
Photographer Anita Cross & husband "Llama"
Amusing stories of travels throughout Oregon's beautiful–and sometimes not-so-accessible–scenic areas, from the perspective of a not-so-athletic photographer.
"Sometimes I do get to places just when God's ready to have somebody click the shutter"

~Dorothea Lange

Monday, July 17, 2006

On the trip to and from Prineville we drove by way of Highway 242, perhaps better known as the “old” McKenzie Highway. This “highway” is a two lane winding road, a beautiful scenic drive that is closed in Winter thanks to snow. It has a very colorful history, and was once the only route between Eugene and Sisters.

I got this shot from the top of the observatory on the trip to Prineville.

At the summit of the McKenzie Pass, in the middle of a massive and old lava flow, stands the Dee Wright Observatory. An amazing structure of lava rock and mortar, with a winding blacktop walkway. From the Observatory, you can see an impressive number of mountain peaks throughout the volcanic Cascade Range. On a clear day, you can even see the top of Mount Hood.

The Observatory has two levels: A single room, with windows directed at various peaks, the size of the window only large enough to isolate the one feature; and an open deck with a lava rock pedestal in the center, topped with a large bronze “peak finder,” which points to the various peaks and other geological features within view.

I love this stretch of road, through the lava fields. The stark contrast between the black lava, white sun-bleached trunks of long dead trees and the verdant new growth never fails to touch my soul. I find it hauntingly beautiful… The persistence of life in the face of death and destruction.

Update: You can see these pictures larger by going to my new MySpace Blog, Look for the entry dated July 18, 2006.

1 Response to Highway 242

Draw Markee

Thanks for writing that. You're info is the first real knowlege I have of the old mckenzie hwy, which I am researching. Have a good day :-)

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