Day 2 of Our 2018 Bend & Lincoln City, Oregon Vacation

Thankfully some rain during the first night we stayed in Bend cleared up the smoke. Our second day was much more picturesque with gorgeous blue skies and crisp air.

Please, click the Continue Reading link below to see the photos from Day 2 of our 2018 Bend & Lincoln City, Oregon Vacation!

Tumalo Falls

On the second day of our vacation, after an amazing breakfast at Cafe Sintra, we started our day at Tumalo Falls. The last time my partner and I visited Tumalo Falls it was in October. It was cold, raining, and the waterfall was muddy. This time we had much better weather. The sky was gorgeous. It wasn’t too hot or cold. Since the trail up to the waterfall overlook wasn’t muddy we also walked all the way up to the overlook this time. I was very thankful we got that opportunity because the view from the top was truly spectacular!

Smith Rock

After Tumalo Falls and some lunch we drove over to Smith Rock State Park. I was very glad we got to go back to Smith Rock this year because the photos I took last year were absolutely awful! So awful I didn’t post a single photo from that visit. While I am not super pleased with how my photos of Smith Rock turned out this year, they are amazing compared to the ones I took last year. Last year’s were made awful by me because I had the bright idea of using a wide angle lens adapter. I had decent luck with these in the past with point and shoot cameras, but, it just didn’t work so well with my dSLR. I just need to save up for a much wider angle lens than my 18-55mm. Anyway. I digress!

It was a lot of fun watching people climb the boulders at Smith Rock. People who are a lot braver than I am that is for sure!

McKenzie-Santiam Scenic Byway

After Smith Rock we took a drive on the McKenzie-Santiam Scenic Byway. It is a truly beautiful drive. It is the scenic byway where I captured a photo of a forest that my partner always tells everyone “It looks like a painting.”

Along the way we stopped to take a look at Mount Washington. We also stopped at the Dee Wright Observatory. This was one of my absolute favorite stops. If you stop, be prepared to take a winding walk up to the observatory. Be prepared for the wind! Also, if it’s later in the year like it was when we visited (September), be prepared for that wind to be very cold! The observatory is a little above 5,325 feet above sea level! Don’t be like the hitchhikers who were there trying to get a ride in skimpy little shorts and a tank top! Make sure to wear warm clothes! I am very thankful I had on long pants and a jacket with a hood!

Once inside the observatory you will have a 360 degree view of lava fields (65 miles of lava fields). Per the USDA website the lava rock here looks so much like a moonscape that in 1964 NASA conducted drills with astronauts in these fields. One of my favorite features of the observatory was the cutouts that focused your view on the mountains and buttes. Unfortunately, because the observatory is quite old (completed in 1935), a lot of the markings have faded. So in many cases I wasn’t sure of the name of what I was looking at. There is a “peak finder” that points you to the same peaks and provides their names.


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I tried to do more panoramas on this vacation. I did a few with my phone. Many more with my dSLR camera. The ones below I took using Google Cardboard Camera. It was FREEZING and I was in a hurry. So unfortunately these have a lot of blur in them.

Panorama I took from atop the Dee Wright Observatory.

Panorama I took from inside of the Dee Wright Observatory.


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