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McKenzie Pass 2012 — Album Description
Photos in Album: 36 Album Created: 24 Aug 2012 Last Updated: 27 Aug 2012
To begin viewing the photos, you can browse the album — or view the contact sheet.
In mid-August I headed up to a nearby part of the Cascades to which I had never been before: McKenzie Pass. It is reached by Oregon Route 242, which is generally closed between November 1 and July 1 due to the heavy snow which blocks the unplowed road.

The map I consulted indicated that the Dee Wright Observatory is situated at the top of the pass. I had imaged that it was an astronomical observatory, similar to the ones I had seen on Pine Mountain. But when I arrived after a three-hour drive (including my usual breakfast at McDonalds), I was surprised to find it was a circular lava-stone structure built on top of a huge pile of more lava stones. It for sure didn't seem like it was housing a telescope!

After following the path to the building, I took the stairs to the rooftop, where I was treated to a wonderful 360-degree vista of the surrounding peaks of the high Cascades: Going back down the stairs to the ground level, I was amazed by the incredible views from inside the observatory. A number of openings had been made in the wall, giving gorgeous glimpses of the landscape, framed by the volcanic rock "windows." In addition, there were a handful of smaller openings — less than one foot square — which were positioned in such a way as to give an isolated view of each of the major surrounding peaks.

I was quite enthralled, never having seen anything like it. I was so delighted that I ended up taking 90 pictures from here, even though it was just a stop on the way to my final destination! After 70 minutes of shutter-pressing, I finally pulled myself away so I could eventually start my hike. I wasn't planning on making two separate albums from this day's outing, but I got so many nice pictures at the observatory that I decided to put the resulting 36 images into their own McKenzie Pass 2012 photo album.
The photos in this album were taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera.
To begin viewing the photos, you can browse the album — or view the contact sheet.