Miracles on the McKenzie River

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Let me start this epic narrative by just saying that we aren’t in the desert anymore, Toto.  I was just admiring the change in the color pallet of my photographs as I loaded them down for the post. We’re in the blues and greens of the Cascades now as we venture west from our base in Bend, Oregon. Bend is right on the dividing line between desert and temperate mountains. It makes for some pretty interesting and varied scenery.
The adventure of the day was the “McKenzie-Santiam Tour Route,” a scenic loop west out of Bend, through Sisters and into the mountains on Highways 20, 126 and finally 242.  The big event happened about halfway through the loop, but bear with me as I take you through a few early highlights of the trip. 
We start with a view of the Three Sisters mountains (from R to L): Faith, Hope and Charity.

We stop and take a peek at green, glacial Suttle Lake with Black Butte in the background.

Then an overlook of Mt. Washington, 
with the damage from the “B&B Complex Fire” in the foreground.

A glimpse at Blue Lake, aptly named, through the burnt trees of the same fire.

A pit stop at glorious Clear Lake, also aptly named.