Oregon's a pretty big place. Even though I grew up here, there are still many places I haven't been to yet. And even though I have lived in Central Oregon for more than six years, I still haven't made it to some of the more popular areas.
Including Paulina. Until today.
This afternoon we bundled the kids and the dog into the car. First we had to stop and get gas and decide where to go. Until I mentioned to Scott that I hadn't been to Paulina yet. Well, that made up our minds, and that is where we went.
It was raining as we drove south out of Bend. The kids worried that they didn't have rain coats but Scott and I reassured them that everything would be fine. "We're in Central Oregon!" Scott said. "If you don't like the weather, just wait five minutes!"
The drive is like most in Central Oregon. That is - it's spectacular. We drove out to the far end first, and everyone piled out and had fun combing the beach at East Lake. The kids found chunks of obsidian, and marveled at it's smooth surface. They giggled about how pumice floats, and found smooth stones to skip across the glassy water. It sprinkled off and on, but they were having so much fun I don't think they noticed.
Next we headed to the Big Obsidian Flow trail head. It was raining pretty hard when we pulled into the parking lot. So we... waited five minutes. Sure enough, the rain subsided and so we headed out on the trail for a little hike.
If the kids thought the little chunks of obsidian on the beach were cool, they were astounded by the Flow. There are huge chunks of it everywhere, and black glassy walls rise up from the trail. The views are spectacular - with the stark rock backed by hillsides of green tress and of course beautiful Paulina Lake.
As we hiked back into the parking lot it started raining again. It was coming down pretty hard and the kids hunkered right into the back seat without complaining. We drove to the top of Paulina Falls and got lucky again - the rain was easing up and it was only sprinkling. We walked to the top of the falls so everyone could ooooh and aaaah at the double falls crashing down into the riverbed.
By then everyone was damp enough and tired enough. We headed home. Sure enough the kids and the dogs napped most of the way home. I am glad that we went, despite the poor weather. Hopefully next time there will be clear skies and sunshine, but I bet there will be a LOT more people too!