Last weekend, we explored an interesting region of Oregon that lies in the Great Basin, the largest desert in the United States. Located in Bend, the High Desert Museum was the perfect place for learning about central Oregon’s natural environment and cultural history. It was a beautiful, sunny day in the high desert as we walked on a path surrounded by desert foliage and ponderosa pines. Along the trail, we were greeted by golden-mantled ground squirrels and yellow-pine chipmunks, who were confident enough to offer tiny handshakes. During the wildlife exhibits, we met a handsome Western screech-owl, a prickly porcupine, a fearless badger, and a playful river otter. We also studied other great raptors, including bald eagles and red-tailed hawks. Before we headed inside, we visited Mrs. Blair at her 1880 living history homestead, where we watched timber slicing on an old Lazinka sawmill. Inside the museum, we learned about the lives of fur traders, miners, buckaroos, pioneers, and Native Americans on the Western Frontier. As the day ended, we left with an appreciation of the High Desert Museum’s passion in helping us to understand the heritage of North America’s high desert country.
Tips: Before you go, be sure to check out the schedule of daily programs at the High Desert Museum to plan your trip. We arrived in time to grab a bite to eat at the Rimrock Cafe located inside the museum before the first of the outdoor exhibits began. Plan on visiting for a full day, or at least a few hours. There are many interesting things to see!
Did you know?
Contrary to the popular myth, porcupines can not shoot their quills. When a predator approaches, the porcupine will turn its back, raise the quills and lash out at the threat with its tail.
Special Thanks To: Laurel Michael