Last night the temperatures here at the Smiling River Campground dropped down into the low 50s and we slept like newborn babies. The only sounds that we heard in the early morning hours when we awoke at the break of light around 5 am were the sounds of the rushing waters of the Metolius River and the occasional sounds of the wind in the tall evergreen trees surrounding our travel trailer. This is heaven. This is the only way to greet a new day. This photograph of the Metolius was taken in front of our campsite not long after I crawled out of bed to explore this morning.
Sisters is an interesting city. The forerunner of Sisters was a short-lived military camp in 1865 and after its departure it remained as only a very small settlement that served as a source of supplies to the local sheep ranchers and loggers. It was not until 1901 that the town of Sisters was formally established although as the local lumber industry declined by the mid-1900s, the population actually decreased to a population of under 500. Fortunately with the improvement of the roads, the area soon became a tourist destination and in the early 1970s the Sisters City Council passed an zoning ordinance requiring that all stores maintain a store front that replicated an old style Western appearance. While the appearance of the downtown area resembles somewhat of a Disneyworld western town (not totally real looking), the city is attractive and very popular. The population of Sisters has actually more than doubled in the past ten years. The annual quilt show has definitely helped with the city's popularity and growth and this year the show is celebrating its 40th anniversary.
Today Joan's plan for us is to hike a trail that runs along the bank of the Metolius River first to view one of the many springs that rush out of the mountain side feeding new water into the Metolius and then followed up with a visit to the very primary source of the Metolius River at the base of the nearby Black Butte Mountain. We are fascinated that a river of this magnitude would be created simply by water flowing out of the sides of mountains. We guess that all rivers must start somewhere but for us to actually visit the beginning is quite an experience.