Posts Tagged With: travel

Paulina Lake and Paulina Peak – Central Oregon

Central Oregon is one of my favorite places. There is so much to see and do there. So I had to make a decision on what to write about first. Since the picture on our home page is taken from Paulina Peak, I decided to start with Paulina Lake and Paulina Peak.

Paulina Lake

Paulina Lake

Located about 24 miles south and a little east of Bend, is the beautiful Paulina Lake. The lake, along with East Lake just east of Paulina, is part of the 55,000 acre Newberry National Volcanic Monument, a protected area, so nothing can be built there. However, Paulina Lake Lodge, located on the shores of the lake, was grandfathered in as it was built in 1948 long before the 1990 designation of the monument. You can rent rustic cabins, rent boats, dine in the restaurant that has rather strange hours or peruse the little store with pictures of all the huge fish everyone except us seem to catch.

When you arrive at Paulina Lake take the time to get out and check it out. It is a crystal clear blue lake that, if you get there early enough, is flat and smooth as glass, reflecting the surrounding hills like a mirror. Sometimes so many baby fish are jumping around they look like grasshoppers. It’s a serene lake to kayak on as well, allowing you to paddle out into the middle of it and just enjoy the solitude and the beauty of the area.

View from Paulina Peak

View from Paulina Peak

After you have rested, relaxed, and cleared you mind, it’s now time to drive up to Paulina Peak. Just back about a mile west from the lake is the road. It’s clearly marked. You’ll drive four miles up a washboard road, getting higher and higher, seeing farther and farther, until you come out at the top in a parking lot. You are now at 7985 feet. Step out and take a look to the north. There you will see Paulina Lake and looking down at it you won’t be able to believe you were just that far below.

The Big Obsidian Flow

The Big Obsidian Flow

Off to the east you can see  a true natural marvel – the Big Obsidian Flow. It is estimated the eruption happened about 1300 years ago and covers a little over 2 and ½ miles. What you are seeing is the flow of lava that contained just the right minerals to turn into obsidian (sometimes known as volcanic glass).

Top of Paulina Peak

Top of Paulina Peak

You can take an easy, short hike up to another lookout point and see a breath-taking 360 degree view. We like to say you can see yesterday and tomorrow. There are a few more easy trails that take you out to the east a little ways so you can view the area from there as well. Again, like the lake, you can just sit and listen to nature and be awed by the majesty of the volcanic activity that happened 75,000 years ago. The dark blue of the lakes, the deep green of the surrounding forests, the sheer size of the obsidian flow, and the cloudless blue sky, combine to create a natural postcard that could never be artificially duplicated.

So next time you are in Central Oregon, even if only for a short time, check out the Paulina Lake and Paulina Peak area. I think you will find it will be one of your favorite places as well.

Getting there: From Bend go 24 miles south on Hwy. 97. Turn left onto Paulina Lake Road, signs are also there for the Newberry Caldera. Go about 11 miles to the entrance to the park ($5 fee or Northwest Forest Pass.) About one mile farther will take you to the road to Paulina Peak. It will be on your right. The road to Paulina Lake is a little further on, look for the signs, it will be on your left.

Categories: Oregon, Outdoors | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The “Yarn Dude” of Ocean Park, Washington

Gary Smith – aka “The Yarn Dude”

We just stopped in for breakfast. As we walked up to the building we noticed that it was also a yarn store. I started drooling. A combination restaurant and yarn shop! What a great idea! We wandered into the yarn shop to quickly look around before going to order breakfast. As my husband rounded a pile of yarn, he stopped dead in his tracks, with his mouth open and he said, “I expected to see a pretty gal here, not some gnarly old dude.” Now, to be fair, the gentleman behind the counter does not look like the “Big ugly man doll” from Toy Story.

Gary Smith is a gray-haired, bearded gentleman, but yes, not what a person expects to see in a yarn store.

At breakfast (of course we had to eat there!) the waitress told us she calls him The Yarn Dude.

So how did Gary get started knitting? Yarn hasn’t always been his life. Until 12 years ago he worked in construction and installed sprinkler systems in new buildings. He learned to knit when he married his wife, Colleen, who owns the restaurant/yarn shop. His wife runs the restaurant and Gary “mans” the yarn store. And he loves it. He says it’s very relaxing and fun.

And Gary knows his stuff. While we were talking he received a phone call and went right over to some yarn and gave the caller the information they needed.

Gary helping a customer on the phone.

Ask Gary about felting and he can explain every step to you. Ask to see what projects he has knitted and he can show you several beautiful items around the store. What needles or hooks do you need? He can tell you.

When asked if he was involved in any men’s knitting groups, Gary said no, he doesn’t want to be separated by gender. The store, Tapestry Rose, has open classes where anyone can bring in whatever project they’re working on and he encourages men to bring their projects there. “When a guy has a problem with a project, there are three women there helping him figure it out. It’s great!” He also said that men have egos. By the time they have showed you a beautiful project they have knitted or crocheted, they have torn it out and restarted two or three times because they want it perfect. But then of course, so do women!

Gary and his wife, Colleen, have two more restaurant/yarn store combos in Tillamook, Oregon and spend some time in those locations as well. So next time you’re on the Long Beach peninsula, head north to Ocean Park, take a left on Bay Avenue, go about two blocks, just over a hump in the road to where you see The Full Circle Café and Tapestry Rose yarn shop on your right. Go in, enjoy a hearty breakfast, pick up some Russian Tea Cakes for dessert then head back to the yarn shop and pet the soft yarns. Then ask Gary about the bear problem in the area. He knows as much about that as he does about yarn!

360-665-5385 or 866-923-5385, 1024 Bay Avenue, Ocean Park WA 98640

       Some of Gary’s creations!

Categories: People, Washington | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: