South Sister from Sparks Lake · Deschutes National Forest · Bend · Oregon · USA
A frock of aquatic grasses looms like a threatening bear claw in the quiet and calm waters of Sparks Lake--quiet and calm, that is, before a fleet of four rafts packed with Chatty Cathies took to the waters as the evening light faded. By the looks and sounds of it, a select few were wearing headlamps, and these apparently were the tour guides. Buddy Jeff Chen and I regarded each other quizzically between swear words, wondering what on Earth could make twilight a logical time to go rafting on a placid lake en masse with only a handful of the rafters equipped with lights. Needless to say, the tiny flicker of photo opportunities pretty much fully extinguished at that point, so on some level getting skunked by clear skies blessedly made the strange intrusion tolerable.
Of note, we had the great fortune of running into the dynamic duo of Tom Kirkendall and Vicky Spring on Sparks Lake's shores, and they were equally perplexed by the scene that had just unfolded before our eyes. It was my second chance encounter with Tom, whom I ran into the morning "Strange Days" was taken. In the grand schema of things, then, it wouldn't at all have been unfitting to christen this one "Strange Days II".