One of the things I love about Oregon is its topographic diversity. Known for its dense forests and rain, the state is actually mostly desert. The majority of Oregonians live in the damp Willamette Valley and then escape to the east for desert weather. Our family is no exception. This week, we spent a couple of days in the small town of Redmond in central Oregon. We swam, walked along the Deschutes River (where I gathered a sampling of wild flora), and enjoyed the company of friends.
On our way back home, we saw from the highway Smith Rock State Park- a famous mecca for rock climbers. I hear the sheer rock cliffs are stunning to photograph at sunrise. Another desert spectacle not too far from Smith Rock is the multicolored Painted Hills. Take a look at these amazing images on Google. The place looks more like Mars than green Oregon! I think I have our next family destination to the Oregon high desert already planned.
I've been a little sentimental this week about summer vacation coming to a close. Our family has had so much fun this summer hanging out together in some of the most beautiful, natural places in the Pacific Northwest. As I look through the photos from the past couple of months, I want the memories and images to stay with me. One of the ways I preserve my memories is by painting them. So my latest painting, Wy'east, is inspired by our trip to Trillium Lake.