Naomi Sherer

Geology - study of the earth

Geology fascinates us Sherer's and we take every opportunity to study it close up - not that it doesn't practically hit us in the face every time we take a step off the tarmac or the out of the city anywhere in the world if we stop and think about it. The earth is a moving thing.

I met Tim at Mike and June's on July 29 in Grand Ronde and we packed up for a couple of nights in Newberry Crater in central Oregon. At 3:30 pm we selected our campsite and began to set up the grand tent.


There it is, front mud room to catch the dirt
and a spacious sleeping area to the rear.


First thing on Saturday morning, July 30, we woke to 49 degree temperature, somewhat of a shock after the 80 degrees we experienced at sea level in Grand Ronde, not to mention the 100 degrees I had been enjoying in Richland the day before. Nevertheless, we fortified ourselves with a cup of hot coffee, and set out on the Paulina Lake Loop trail in the counterclock direction at 8 am. The trail was close to the lake edge most of the time and we were surprised it frequently led through private properties - some elaborately modern and several quaintly old.

I happily wore my Millimillong sweat shirt that cool morning.

A modern cabin on a coveted lakeshore site above the trail.

A fisherman hoped for trout for breakfast.
Across the lake was the cliff we would climb to complete the trail loop.


The glimpses of the lake were spectacular but the views were mostly flora of species with which I was unfamiliar. Fauna finally appeared on the far side some distance from the camping areas we had crossed. Several deer came down to drink a few yards ahead of us, 3 does and a buck. One doe seemed to be anxiously watching her back trail leading us to believe she had left a fawn when she came down to drink. The herd was alert but not intimidated by our presence and we watched them for many minutes, progressing slowly towards them, snapping our cameras along the way. The water was clear and fish were visible, a 12 inch trout swam along the edge as well as a school of smaller ones. A family of ducks surprised us, adults and six ducklings. Paulina Peak was impressive from that direction. It had loomed over us in the campground. From here we left the lakeshore and climbed probably a hundred feet over the cliff above the lake edge.

One doe drinks while another watches anxiously.

Paulina peak mirrors itself in the same name lake.

Our destination was a mere hour away.

Well, that endeavor worked up some appetites, I can tell you. I cooked sausage and pancakes and eggs over easy until we were quite satisfied. Ready for a nap you would think. It was after noon and siesta time. The idea appealed to us but there were things to see and night time was the correct sleep time so we looked over the easy trails. The drive to Paulina peak seemed easy enough and up we went, I did sneak a lttle snooze on the way but old folks get away with that. The altitude was about 8,000 feet, several thousand above the campground. The 360 degree view was exhilarating. Paulina and East lakes mirrored the lovely summer clouds. The obsidian flow was amazing and lava cones were visible all around.

Paulina and East lakes were stream connected thousands of years ago.

Lava cones dotted this part of Oregon.

June Sell-Sherer was photographing the Sisters
from the highest vantage she could find.

Naomi, Mike and Tim relaxed
before going down the one lane road to camp.


Was that a day full of wonder, or what? Well there was too much left of the day to squander. We headed (by van) to the obsidian flow trail and hiked over the edge into an obsidian wonderland. Huge boulders of the rock tumbled and scrambled everywhere. Trails snaked around and always upward into the flow itself and well into the area we had seen from Paulina Peak just hours before. No scavenging allowed so I just salivated at the possibility of bringing a rock back to the McNary NWR Edcuation Center on which our resident knapper could ply his skill. Well he gets arrtificial glass from the Hanford site reactors so he doesn't lack for raw materials.

Steel stairs took visitors up the steepest area.

I am pleased with the safe stairs provided.

Mike and Naomi followed Tim to the rim.

Summer clouds gave perspective to the little lake
above the stairs.

Obsidian had been disturbed for many years
by illegal collectors before the trail finally developed.

Lava cones seemed to pop up in every direction.

The undisturbed obsidian was gray and glassy in the sunshine.

Ok so we had it for the day. A campfire and a beer and some bear tales before we headed to another night's slumber among the pines and purely mountain fresh air. The loose plan for the morrow was to rise at our pleasure, breakfast and break camp, not that our adventures were to end there. We left Paulina Campsite and headed for Paulina Falls - a mere half mile hike down to the base of the falls. Actually at the trail head you could see the falls, we were at the river level to begin with. The half mile consisted of hairpin turns that led down to the river and the walk was somehow easier going down than coming back to the van. It was a relief to ride the highways over the Paulina mountains through Sisters, Salem and Grand Ronde.

Cut offs had been taken across this sharp hairpin turn.

The half mile trail made hairpin turns but
the elevation was only about 80 feet.

Naomi and Timothy enjoy a handy rock bench at the falls base
to watch the stream flow on down.
My Hungarian friend in Lake Geneva, NY, asked me why we
called them falls, when there was only one.
My explanation was that water "falls" but she wasn't impressed.

Paulina Creek is the only surface outlet from Paulina Lake
and has been named a wild and scenic river.


July 29 - 31, 2005

Naomi Sherer

Return to Sherer Front Page