A Stunning Highway To Unseen Facade Of The United States

At only 538 miles long, US Highway 97, from 7 miles east of Leavenworth, Washington to the  terminus at Weed, California can be driven in a day. But don’t rush this surprising scenic sojourn through America’s Pacific Northwest’s mountain ranges and canyons, across desert, prairie, rolling farmland, the Columbia River, over lava fields and gorges, past ghost towns, crossing the 45th parallel, into small towns of a bygone America and down into huge valleys with the Cascades looming overhead. This is my journey expressed through these images, that say a thousand words!

1. Leavenworth, Washington  

A great jumping off point in this surprisingly authentic Bavarian Village theme town, located just 7 miles west of the northern end of US Highway 97. Difficult to believe it is in the US!

2. Selah Creek Bridge, Washington

Ranking #20 of the highest bridges in the United States, the Selah Creek Bridge north of Yakima, in Eastern Washington’s high desert, was the longest span concrete arch bridge in the US at the time of it’s construction in 1971.

3. Mount Hood

Mount Hood, large on the horizon, offers a stunning view when crossing the Columbia River from Washington into Oregon at Biggs Junction.

4. Shaniko Ghost Town, Oregon 

At the turn of the 20th century Shaniko, the hub of Central Oregon’s cattle and sheep ranches, was the terminus for the Columbian Southern Railroad and known as “The Wool Capitol Of The World”. Today, it is regarded as “Oregon’s Best Known Ghost Town”. Driving by this place definitely gives you spooks!

5. The 45th Parallel

A lone road sign in the middle of the Central Oregon plains marks the 45th parallel, noting it’s location at the halfway point between the North Pole and the Equator.

6. Lava Lands

The Lava Butte cinder cone rises 507 feet out of the black lava fields at Newberry National Volcanic Monument in Central Oregon.

7 Detour: Crater Lake Lodge

Winter arrives overnight at the historic lodge, with a sudden snowstorm at Crater Lake National Park, located only 15 miles off Highway 97.

8. Winter Arrives Early

The first winter storm of the season blows hard on the rim of the caldera at Crater Lake. To say the least....it was stunning!

9. Crater Lake, Oregon

A break in the storm as clouds momentarily part, revealing the caldera and Wizard Island in their snowy winter coats.

10. Back to Hwy 97

The snow dusted forests of lower elevations of the Cascades Mountains and Upper Klamath Lake, with Oregon in the distance.

11. Weed, California

The end of the road at the base of Mt. Shasta - the cherry on top of an incredible roadtrip down the surprisingly diverse landscapes of the scenic US Hwy 97.

And this is how we at Bohotraveller welcomed winters this year....thanks to Mark. This photo feature opened our eyes to yet another facet of the US beyond its dazzling city lights. We say bye to this feature by giving our readers a introducing the guy who shared it all with us......Mark Vogler

Mark Vogler graduated from the prestigious UCLA film school and is a published travel writer, photographer & founder of Out In The Vineyard, a luxury LGBT wine event & travel company in Sonoma, California. His travel adventures began at the age of 5, in the back of his parent’s 1969 Buicke has lived in Bavaria as an exchange student, traveled through 51 countries, across all 7 continents and has fallen in love with Antarctica.

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