a weekend in the high desert

snag

I am leading with this photo because I just read a post over at Lost in the Landscape where James has a few things to say about dead trees as ART. I happen to think (and I think James would agree) that Mom Nature has done a pretty good job of turning this dead tree into ART all on her own. We spent the weekend at Sunriver, a resort near Bend, OR. It is a kind of wilderness version of Disneyland, where families can access entertainment for all ages, and an event like the wedding that brought us here can achieve the iconic status that will burn itself into the memories of all who attended.

great hall

Just get a load of this room, where the reception took place. The “Great Hall” was a part of the fort that was later renovated as one of the key buildings giving the resort its character. It would be hard to top this as a setting for a wedding reception.

horseback riding

But we had lots of free time, during which we chose to explore the outer limits of the resort. The stable offers many levels of equestrian adventures. In that field behind the horses we spied many ground squirrels. Overhead, the red tailed hawks were perusing the menu. I did not happen to see one zeroing in on his dinner, but R claims that he saw one of the hawks soaring overhead with something dangling from its beak. It’s one thing to watch these things on “Nature” and quite something else to experience them first hand.

old horse

This old horse looked like it would be about my speed, if we had not been committed to proceeding on foot.

grasses and Indian paintbrush

We did, at least, stick to the horse trails, which took us off the paved paths for bicyclists and into areas where wildflowers like Indian paintbrush flourished.

more Indian paintbrush

Backing up a little bit, we can see the grasses and shrubs where the paintbrushes have chosen to proliferate.

pine forest

The pine forests have none of the underbrush typical of the other side of the mountains.

evidence of beavers

We might not catch sight of all of the creatures living here, but there is no mistaking the signs of beavers working the woods.

great meadows

The meadows are composed of many different grasses. It is hard to capture the undulating beauty of these seas of nodding seedheads, shimmering in the breeze.

wildflowers and grasses

Some of the wildflowers and grasses are familiar, but others are peculiar to this region.

bioswale landscaping

Where landscaping has taken place, there is a heavy reliance upon grasses, day lilies and willows. I think they must water these bioswales with some regularity to keep them looking this lush.

the “Great Hall”

The wedding took place on the lawn, cocktails on the terrace, and then we retired to this magnificent room for dinner and dancing. The site was originally a fort, so when, in the sixties, it was reconfigured into a resort, the log structures became the main lodge and the great hall. I’m repeating myself here, but the first photo showed the chandeliers, while this one features the spiral staircase built around a huge tree trunk. What a romantic setting for two young people to join hands and set off into their future.

7 Responses to “a weekend in the high desert”

  1. Grace Says:

    It sounds like a nice place for a wedding, indeed. Love those outdoor photos. Still green over on the east side too, it looks like.

  2. Loree /danger garden Says:

    For just a moment I thought perhaps your opening shot was a dying agave with it’s bloom spike…gee, not a one track mind here…

  3. Wendy Says:

    That site of the reception reminds me of the lodge from Twin Peaks. That beaver hewn tree is so cool!

  4. ricki Says:

    Grace~We thought sunny days over there would be a sure thing, but you’re right: it looks like they have had some rain and we just lucked out.

    Loree~The rest of the world seems to be catching up to you. I saw a very large Agave for sale at the Ace Hardware in St Helens the other day.

    Wendy~We looked all over for further evidence of a beaver dam, but with no success. I LOVE lodges!

  5. lostlandscape (James) Says:

    How come I always seem to get invited to weddings that take place at the Elk’s Lodge? Your trip sounds wonderful. I couldn’t imagine a nicer place to tie the knot.

  6. ricki Says:

    James~Been to plenty of those Elk’s Lodge nuptials too.

  7. Dagmar Says:

    Good day! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my good old room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this post to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

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