the night at a Forest Service camp called "Grande Ronde" in the
Blue Mountains near the lake of the same name. We found
out later the next day when we stopped at a local cafe that the
locals called it "ground round" like the cut of beef.
The photos below are what we saw.
campsite next to us at "ground round" was a father-son group
that brought their German Shorthair Pointer bitch. She was
only 2, but they claimed that she was a great hunter and they
had taken her camping many times. She was quite small for
the breed, but had a very good shape and nice coloring.
Back in the day, I used to have a GSP as well, but mine was a
large male with a "liver and ticking" coat. He was rather
thick-headed due to having canine parvovirus when he was a
pup. He only survived because I threw a lot of money at
the problem and I think the virus fried his neurons. He
eventually developed a taste for little children and I had him
put down. In contrast, this GSP had a great disposition.
Grande Ronde and headed toward Ukiah, OR and we saw large swaths
of forest that had suffered fires.
section of burn damaged forest had been re-seeded.
traveling in the backcountry, you can expect livestock on the
roadways. And you can expect cattle to do stupid
things. This calf was perhaps 30 meters away from the
highway watching our approach. When we got close, the calf
ran TOWARD us rather than away. His path took him right across
the road in front of us. We were going slow enough to
avoid hitting him, but the take-away was that caution is always
indicated when in rural areas. Over the years we have had
cattle, deer, elk, squirrels, possums, armadillos and even a
bear jump into our path.
traveled to the small, very redneck town of Ukiah, OR and stopped
in the only cafe in town. Turns out that the cafe is also the
local bar. Thor was a hit with the locals and it was the
topic of conversation from the time we arrived until we left after
finishing our shared burger. We went down the street to
get fuel and saw this interesting work of art next to their
water spigot. The statue near the intersection had a wind
vane which powered the waving arm.
Ukiah we traveled due west on FS-53 to Heppner, OR where we got
a view of the dam at Willow Creek Reservoir. Like most of
the reservoirs in the west, the water level is well below the
high water mark and the state of the brush on the hillside shows
the local rainfall situation.
the night at Bull Prairie in a FS campground. In the
morning, west of Spray, OR we passed big areas that were
impacted by a recent burn. The only thing that prevented a
bigger fire was the sparsity of the brush which hindered the advance
of the fire.
route passed large areas that were covered with Columbia River
basalt. Note the columns in the cliff walls. The
basalt resulted from large volcanic eruptions and lava flows
that covered most of the Pacific Northwest.
the lava flows happened at the same time resulting in a
layer-cake of rock. Note the dark volcanic cap rock and
the lower layer of lava below it.
traveled to Sisters, OR to visit our Unimog friends Ben and
Krista. Ben and his family had recently moved to the
Sisters area and as a result of some trades he did, he ended up
with a gaggle of cars that were essentially scrap. Some he
sold, this one is going to get the recycle treatment.
to the scrap yard and got the truck/trailer combo weighed.
Then we towed the trailer to the rear of the yard to get the
vehicle unloaded by these two fine fellows and their equipment.
device is a hydraulic car crusher. Sadly, since it was
Saturday, they were not running it but when I saw it all I could
think of was "The Sopranos" and making dead bodies go away in
crusher takes a blob of scrap and turns it into a block that
goes into a distant smelter. Note the piles of blocks in
the background of the photo above.
loader was very fast; the arm moved at a high rate and could
literally fling cars onto the heap.
loader grabbed the car off the trailer and dropped it on the
ground. Then, the claw pulled open the trunk to inspect
for dead bodies or whatever. Then it tossed the car onto
the heap. Mission accomplished. The car with some
odd car parts in the trunk was worth about $90 as scrap.
back to Ben's ranch and started doing cap rails on his
fence. Above is his 50hp Kubota tractor with forklift
attachment. Thor had both things needed to assist us in
our efforts: a generator and an air compressor. We pulled
Thor next to the fence and used the generator to power our saw
and then used my air drill and impact wrench to set the lag
I got about 25% of the caps done on the first afternoon.
The balance of the fence took a whole 9 hour day. Between
the two days, we installed a bit over 300 feet of caps.
Each post was cut to match the terrain and each cap was notched
to get the cap level. Of course, each log was unique in
terms of length, diameter and straightness. Note the
warped log in the middle of the run of caps which gives the job
labor laws are somewhat lax; these children were pressed into
service hauling timber for our fence. These are Ben's
sons, Nick and Nathan.
Krista purchased a substantial parcel of undeveloped land and
had shell structures built to their specification. All of
the internal work is being done by them as part of the "sweat
equity" program. This is the house which is still some
months from being able to be occupied.
included a 4-bay garage and has guest housing on the second
level. The garage is essentially complete and is serving
as the temporary living quarters until the house is completed.
property has a nice view of the Cascade Range to the west.
When the photo above was taken, a thunderstorm was brewing over
the small town of Sisters, OR in the distance.
end of the house has plenty of glass to capitalize on the great
view of the mountains.
to admit it, but I am not 25 anymore. The fencing activity
got its pound of flesh. After sleeping-in the following
morning, we headed west over the Cascade Range to Salem, OR
where we headed to an expedition outfitter to purchase some
Hydro Flask insulated containers. The owner of the store,
Salem Summit Co., came running out of the store when he saw Thor
and later asked us to take a photo of Thor at the store.
Thor at the store; a rhyme just in time.
Salem, OR we passed this interesting railroad bridge over the
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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2014, all rights
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