On several previous posts I have mentioned that Bend, Oregon, is located in Central Oregon on the high desert. The above photo, taken this weekend on a hike to the Badlands Wilderness area 17 miles East of Bend, gives a fairly good representation of the countryside lying in the rain shadow of the Cascade Mountain range. The trees that flourish in this semi-arid environment are junipers. They are generally short, with tough gnarly bark, rough light green needle-like or scale-like leaves and aromatic inedible blue berries. The soil is composed of pumice, lava and igneous rock and is the remnants of the huge explosion and fiery flow from the remains of Mt. Mazama 90 miles away, which is the site of present day Crater Lake.
There are many fascinating rock formations and caves in this location, which I hope to show in a subsequent post. I may be able to share one tomorrow, but if not, I will not be back in town until a week from Wednesday.