CLICK HERE if you are having trouble viewing these photos on a mobile device
We push our candy-red canoes into the southern tip of Hosmer Lake, a natural body of water in the Cascade Range of the Deschutes National Forest, about 20 miles west of Bend. It’s a crystal-clear late summer day, and save for a few puffy marshmallow-like clouds, the sky is bright, blue and open.
This pristine mountain lake is named after Bend naturalist Paul Hosmer, who penned stories about Central Oregon’s beauty when it was untouched and isolated, nearly 100 years ago. Were he alive today, Hosmer might be saddened by the disappearance of wildlife in the area. According to Jason Gollan, the Wanderlust Tours naturalist leading today’s guided canoe tour, the lake’s popularity has made river otter and blue heron sightings rare these days.
A biology graduate with a crooked smile and deep knowledge of the Cascade Lakes region, Gollan is also well-versed in fermentation, a Central Oregon tradition as beloved as canoeing, and talks about craft beer with the flair of a cicerone. Oh, didn’t I mention that? He’ll be spending a portion of the tour leading us in a beer tasting — several award-winning Bend micro craft brews, actually — in the bright Oregon sunshine. As we strap on our life jackets and paddle out, I can practically taste the crisp, refreshing suds.
At approximately 200 acres, Hosmer stands out among Sparks, Lava and the other lakes of this volcanic landscape for its plant life and spectacular views of nearby Mt. Bachelor, South Sister and Broken Top. We ply the water, paddling our way into fingers and coves created by ancient eruptions. As we enter the central channel, tall wands of bulrush narrow our path, and red-winged black birds flit from stalk to stalk.
Native peoples of …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle