On an intellectual level, I remembered the grandeur of the central Cascades area but, after 6 months of desert... I had forgotten. I drove between 3 Fingers Jack and Mt Washington on a cloudy, rainy day. I could see the snow at the sides of the road but I had no view at all of either nearby peak. The next day, the clouds began to clear. North Sister was peeking through clouds that surrounded it. The day after, I finally had blue sky.
West of Bend, the Three Sisters dominate the skyline. In this photo I am 15 or 20 miles away from them, with a smaller ridge between me and them. To the south (left), the crags atop Broken Top are barely visible, while the Three Sisters show nicely.
To the north, Mt Washington looks like a Prussian Officer's helmet, with a rounded base topped by a spike.
Further to the north, a basin is formed by Black Butte to the south, Mt Washington to the southwest, 3 Finger Jack to the west and Mt Jefferson to the north. From this basin arises the Metolius River, formed nearly complete in a meadow and flowing toward a gorge several miles to the northeast. It reminded me of Alley Spring in Missouri (see my November 22, 2008 post for more on Alley Spring), with a rocky semicircle surrounding the emergence of the river. What captured my eye, though, was Mt. Jefferson, clad in blindingly white snow, to the north of the river. Wonderful!