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Enjoy Some Winter Views of Oregon

For a change of pace, I thought I might share some winter pictures from Oregon. Although I consider myself to be a Montanan, I originally came from Oregon and I know that many people who might view these pictures might never see the state. All of these images were from March 9, 2019.

The pictures  I have are from all over the state and are from public webcams. 

In terrain, Oregon is a lot like Montana, except that the mountains in Montana are the Rockies. There are two mountain chains in Oregon; the Cascades and the coastal range. Oregon also has a lot of shoreline on the Pacific Ocean and Montana obviously has no ocean shoreline. 

There are a lot more people in Oregon than in Montana, but most of them live in or around the three largest cities; Eugene, Salem, and Portland. Because of this, you might get the impression that many of these pictures are very similar to pictures I’ve shared of Montana, and you’d be right. 

To do it justice, it will take more than one post to give an idea of what Oregon is like. This first set focuses primarily on Southern Oregon.

Oregon coast view

When many people think of Oregon, this is the sort of view they think of. This picture is taken from the shore and it is facing almost due north. Although maps don't show it well, the Oregon Coast is very irregular and not at all a straight line. Because of this, you can see land many miles in the distance. The mountains you see are part of the coastal mountain range.

The fairly large black spots you can see in the ocean are channel buoys. It is inadvisable for boats to travel any closer than those buoys because of rocks and so forth. On this side of the buoys, they could easily run aground. 

This area is superb for crabbing and fishing for shrimp, though there are many other fish that are caught here, too. 

Lakeview, Oregon

If a person traveled east through Bly on the previous road, they would eventually come to Lakeview.  This is looking north from Highway 395 and this is one of the largest towns in southeast Oregon. It has a whopping population of around 2,300 people.

This is the county seat of the largest county in Oregon; Lake County. It is in the Oregon High Desert, and at an elevation of 4,766 feet, it is the highest 'city' in the state.  One of the 'claims to fame' that this town has is that it has an active geyser. Oregon has a number of hot springs, but only this one geyser.

Depending on which direction a person travels from here, they can either move north through eastern Oregon, they can go east into Idaho, or they can go southeast into Nevada. Of course, they can also go back the way they came.

Bly Mountain

Another thing that people often think of when they think of Oregon is that it is a rainy place. In some parts of Oregon, that can be true. However, Oregon also gets a lot of snow and most of the part of Oregon on the east side of the Cascade mountains is a desert, known as the Oregon High Desert.

This picture shows how much snow is on the ground on Bly Mountain. This actually is part of the Oregon High Desert and most of the year, the area is dry and hot. In the winter, it is cold and snowy. These conditions are ideal for pines and firs that can be seen in the image. Still, it gets less than 10 inches of precipitation per year, so it is a desert.

The highway is a major east-west highway in Southern Oregon, even though the camera is actually facing north in this stretch of the highway. This spot is about 10 miles from the town of Bly but is facing away from the town.

Lake of the Woods

If a person travels west on Highway 140, away from Bly and Lakeview, they first go through Klamath Falls, then they eventually go by Lake of the Woods. This is the highway that goes by the lake, but not only is there not much to see this time of year, but the lake isn't shown in the image. Still, this lake is a popular swimming, boating, and fishing location in the summer. 

In the wintertime, they hold dogsled races on the lake, which freezes over with thick ice.

Lake of the woods is actually located in the Cascade Mountains and by the time a person reaches this point, they are out of the Oregon High Desert. 

Paisley, Oregon

About 25 miles or so north of Lakeview, a person comes to a sleepy little town called Paisley. This is a farming and ranching community that is actually smaller than the tiny town I live in. The population is around 250. I've always enjoyed this little town and the people in it.

My mother and father both went to school in this town and my father spent a little time breaking horses for one of the ranchers here when he was a young man.

I'm fairly well acquainted with Paisley, too. Through most of my youth and into my adulthood, we used to take camping trips to Campbell Lake, Deadhorse Lake, or the Chewaucan River. All of these can be reached by turning to the left just up the road a little way. 

We generally didn't come through Paisley when we went on our every-other-week camping trips, but if we ran out of necessary supplies, this is where we could come to pick up those supplies. 

The road that goes up by those camping sites continues on and eventually comes out just east of Bly, Oregon and that was how we got to the campsites, through Bly.

This isn't a town that you are likely to see in an Oregon travel brochure, but it has a lot of charm and character.

Spring Creek Grade

This is the Spring Creek Grade, north of Klamath Falls about 45 miles. The creek for which this is named is behind the camera about a half-mile and it is more of a small river than it is a creek. The river is delightfully cold all year long and I can't begin to estimate the number of rainbow trout and brook trout I've caught out of that river in my lifetime.

Beyond the trees on the right flows the Williamson River. Spring Creek is a tributary that flows into the Williamson less than a mile from where this camera is situated.

Just out of view because of the fog, there is a turn on this road and the upgrade begins, rising about 1,000 feet in about 5 miles of highway. This is all prime deer country, with just enough black bears and cougars to make things interesting.

Chumult, Oregon

This picture is actually a couple of miles outside of the town of Chemult, about 20 miles from where the last picture was taken. Chemult is also smaller than the town I live in and there isn't a lot there except one store, a motel, and a service station. It is a logging town, though there are no mills there. Notice that while this is quite a bit higher than the last image, there isn't much snow. Sometimes this is a tremendously snowy area and other times, there is just a little snow, as you see it now.

The distance from this spot or from Lake of the Woods to Lakeview is about 130 miles, pretty much east-west across the state. The first picture of the ocean is just a little more distance from this picture, northwest of this location. Believe it or not, this picture is actually in south-central Oregon. I haven't even shared any pictures from the west side of the Cascades in this set, except for the one ocean picture.

Now you can see why I said that it would take more than one article to share all the pictures from Oregon and I really didn't capture all that many. 

What do you think?

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Written by Rex Trulove

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        • You’d love it here, then. The people are also incredibly friendly and helpful, too. There are about 780 people in our town and around 1,000 in the entire valley. I can go five miles and be in places where there are no signs of man. The downside is that the next larger town, the county seat, is 24 miles away and the nearest population center is 57 miles. People here think nothing of traveling for an hour or more to get anywhere. Of course, that requires reliable transportation, which we don’t have.

    • I think I misread your statement, though my answer wasn’t incorrect. Yes, the US is very large and many of the states are, too. Oregon is the 9th largest state, so not even close to the two largest (Alaska and Texas, in that order). Still, a person who travels from Oregon’s Pacific coast and goes directly east for 300 miles/480 km would still be in Oregon. If the person started out at the Oregon-California border and traveled due north toward Washington for 300 miles, they’d also still be in Oregon.

      Lake County, Oregon, is larger than the entire states of Connecticut, Delaware, or Rhode Island. I wasn’t correct in saying that Lake County was the largest county in Oregon, though. It is the third largest. However, the four largest counties in the state are right next to each other and they all are right against the southern Oregon border. They are, in order, Harney County, Malheur County, Lake County, and Klamath County.

      All together, those four counties cover about 33,908 square miles, which is more area than any of the 10 smallest states in the US.

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