Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Mountain Getaway, Road Trip!

The Long, Slow, Hot, Wind up the Blue Mountains out of Pendleton
 So we took a road trip out to Baker City Oregon last month. Dan was teaching at the Interpretive Center there. Old timey blacksmithing. In 98degree heat,with blast furnace breezes  it was fabulous, he assured me. They do pay him pretty well, and he loves teaching. Even in sweltering heat.
 At the Summit
The Ponderosa forest, it was so dry, but the forest smells green,and the air is clean.
Those whacky Pioneers had a way with words..I think the name says it all about the place.To be fair, the view is gorgeous, and the forest amazing, after the long, hot, dull expanse of Eastern Oregon sage/grasslands the sea of green is a relief.
While we did get to enjoy the hospitality of our freinds Devon and Rachel, however we did not get to enjoy them, well  I mean their company. They were down in Californy, visiting family at the time, but they graciously allowed us to crash/invade their groovy rancho. Here is one of the outbuilding, weathered and surrounded by aspen. 
Me Calling Mom So She Knows We Made It
The cabin is gorgeous,rustic, funky, lists to the left, infested with packrats and I would move in if I could.If you place a marble by the front door it will roll Easterly until it ends up in the kitchen. Rachael and Devon are blessed, hard working and lucky to have this amazing place. I admit Iam jealous.

 In the Morning I had a Visitor
After Dan took off for class, I went back inside to make the bed. Out the window I noticed a flash of red, Miss Fox was eating choke cherries off the dry grass. I know, even as I could hear the neighbors chickens clucking , I stood marveling at her beauty. Sorry hunter friends, she was cool.
 Don't tell anyone but there is a fox
She nibbled cherries for a while, until I came outside, and called " Hullo vixen!" We looked at one another, just for a second and then she dashed off. Good foxy, you should be afraid us humans. Now I hunt, and I understand the damage a fox can do to livestock, but this was special to me. Observing one so closely, and candidly. That was the theme for me this trip, wildlife. Plenty of wildlife.
 Off on my Hike
While Dan was working and slaving away for us, I went on a nature hike. Up into the woods, to see the elk, deer, and owls. All the while thinking, "Please Don't let a Mountian Lion eat me today.." This is cougar country, they are part of the land, and we share it with them, the problem arises when they lose fear of us, and or we look just too much like dinner. Which in the grand scheme of nature, we are, dinner I mean.
The land that surrounds our friends ranch is owned by some groovy people who allow folk like me to hike it. It borders public lands, so there are bridle trails that weave their way across it.Along with these are game trails galore.There are also basalt rock outcrops up on the hillsides, which make perfect paces to sit and eat your lunch from or  watch for your prey from. Especially if you are the resident male cougar. I was informed, after I returned from my  hike, that He had eaten the neighbors lammas.   I was told they hired a tracker to find it. The tracked it but did not shoot it, and so the "Big , no, HUGE male Mountian lion is roaming free." They tell me this after I found the big kitties fresh cache of a partially eaten elk stag, and after I realised I need to take a rifle with me from now on.
 Meadow on the Hillside, an oasis of cool
 The Sun rising over the Woods.
 The Trail, There is a muledeer doe hidden in all that.
I just couldn't snap her picture, it was a moment.

 Lunch on the Big rock

 Sigh. I want to be there Right Now.

 The View to the North

Entwined Branches, the Lovers Tree
 Back Home, Sunset..
We had a great visit, the bummer being Dev and Racheal were not home, but Iam hoping we can get over there asap and visit. Stop at Amy's in the Ochocos along the way, and spend some good times around a campfire together. It's a wonderful place, but unless you have money, or a way to make money here is no work in Baker. Iam lucky to know good folks who are willing to share their chunk of it.

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