Took the new Subaru out for its first long drive yesterday.  I love it.  Quiet – road noise is at a minimum – and comfortable.  Have to admit that there are a number of buttons and items on the various screens that I have yet to comprehend and that I am not sure I need.

Heading over Willamette Pass I took the Crescent cut-off to Highway 97 then north to LaPine where I hooked into the Fremont Highway, OR 31.  Out into the High Desert Outback of Central Oregon.

My first planned stop was at the Cowboy Dinner Tree.  I have heard about this restaurant for a number of years but never stopped.  It is located about 3 miles south of Silver Lake – got some good directions at the local store and thus it was easy to find.  Advice if you are going:  You need reservations. When you call they ask you if you want a 32 ounce steak or whole chicken – those are your choices (not a Vegan in sight),  comes with the full meal of bread and salad and dessert etc. and you cannot split one between guests – each person gets their own.  Be prepared to take home the leftovers.  I have heard of people eating for a couple of days on the leftovers.

I have a couple more images of this charming place yet to work up and I will share them if they have any merit.

Next planned stop was Picture Rock Pass about 10 miles south of Silver Lake.  I  stopped here last winter and wandered about looking for the promised petroglyphs with no success. Got some local guidance and found at least one set of them but am lead to believe that are others in the rocks above the highway.

Once over the top of the pass you enter the Great Basin and my initial idea was to shoot all the way along with my most southern stop being  Playa at Summer Lake.  The desert is still in bloom resulting in my stopping many times in the numerous pullouts along the highway.  Not much traffic and so quiet that tripping the shutter almost seemed like an invasion of that peace.

Following a quick nip into the Main Office at Playa and to once again take in a bit of the solitude and grace that pervade that location I headed back north.  It is so interesting to see compositions that you missed because you were looking the other way.

It has been repeatedly confirmed that I cannot draw even a dot and thus am so impressed with artist friends and their skill.  I have looked at a number of watercolor paintings this Spring – especially those of Sotoko Motouji who created the backdrops for the EBT presentation of Peer Gynt and those of Demetra Kalams.  Anyway I had the colors, textures and patterns from their work in mind and so with camera in hand I started looking for images that combined the playa, open lake water and reflections of the surrounding hills.  I think the one below is as close to what I was looking for – a natural abstract.  There are many more to work up.

Click on an image for a larger view and as always comments are more than welcome.