Thursday, May 12, 2016

Travel Log Catch-Up: Finale

After being phone and internet deprived for almost 3 days, I decided against heading into even more remote areas of southeastern Oregon.  I headed back the way I came, and north towards Baker City, Oregon.  I was bouncing back and forth between Hell's Canyon area to the east or Phillips Lake to the west.  At almost the last minute, I decided on Phillips Lake, since that took me in the direction I was thinking of going for the rest of my travels.  There are 3 Forest Service campgrounds around Phillips Lake and I chose Miller Lane on the south side.  It was smaller and less expensive.  Boy, did I choose the right one!  The view is simply breathtaking here.  The quintessential alpine lake picture.

I found a site that had sun exposure through the tall pines so I could keep my solar panels happy and battery charged.  I walked down towards the lake, but the water level was low and the Canadian Geese and friends were none too happy about me invading their space, so I kept to higher ground and let them scold me from below.

The first night I had an owl serenade me along with the cacophony from the Canadian Honkers on the lake. I don't think those birds ever sleep!  They sure throw some wild parties - would put most frat parties to shame!

After going to bed having enjoyed the above views, I woke up to this view:

It was as flat as flat can be.  I was just so grateful it happened while here at this campground where I had cell service and a decent size town close by.  I jacked up the car and got the spare out (that was interesting!  It's stored under the car between the front seats and you have to lower it down and drag it out from under the car), but for the life of me, I couldn't get the darn lug nuts off!  Knowing how to change a tire is pretty useless if you can't get the tire off to change.  Unfortunately, my emergency roadside assistance company, Good Sam, totally let me down.  They said they couldn't find any services around to send out.  That was not true.  I called the Forest Service office figuring they might know who I could call, and they gave me the names and numbers of 2 tire shops in Baker City.  I called Les Schwab and they sent someone out to help me get the spare on, then took care of me when I drove down to have it fixed.  They were great.  Turned out I caught a nail.  I could have had the hole plugged, but I thought the tires were starting to look pretty worn and noticed some cracking along the side and I didn't want to take any chances having a blowout while driving, so I bought 2 new tires.  Not good on the quickly dwindling budget, but a necessity.  When I have some money coming in, I'll go ahead and get the other 2 tires replaced.

That pretty much consumed my day and it was too late to move, so I stayed another night.

Common Camas
I don't see anything common about it, I think it is quite beautiful.

Last night while walking up to the vault toilet by moonlight, I thought I saw a large pinecone in the road - then it moved!  So I surmised it was either a very rare, walking pinecone or something a bit more alive.  Good thing I had a flashlight with me and it revealed that it was unfortunately not a walking pinecone but rather a very large Western Toad!  Not at all what I expected the object to be, but a very pleasant surprise.  We had a nice little chat in the moonlight.

You have finally caught up with me!

Today, I had to decide where I was going to go next and when.  Hard decisions.  Watching the weather forecast, I knew the rain was moving in starting Friday night in parts of the state and sticking around the Pacific NW through at least middle of next week along with a drop in temperatures.  Originally I had planned to head further west into Oregon and spend several days checking out John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, but I go where I can find the best weather, so I decided to head north into SE Washington instead.  It looks like the rain will hold off there until Saturday and the temps will stay decent until I have to head to the mountains.  It's gonna be wet and COLD when I get up there, and stay that way for a while.  Bummer.  But for the next few days, I will be hanging out along the Snake River northeast of Kennewick trying to stay warm and as dry as possible.  It doesn't look good for cell service in that area, but I guess I'll find out when I get there.  So, I may not be posting again for several days.
Haven't been able to identify this flower yet.  Anyone know what it is?

Monday I will head to the eastern Cascades and my home for the summer.  I am looking forward to getting there and starting my new job, though I don't know my official start day yet.  I think I will have a few days to get acquainted with the area and learn my way around before I start work, which would be really nice.  

So, that has you not only caught up, but reading ahead into the next chapter.  Let me know what happens!  Well, whatever it is, it will be an adventure as always.

Have you noticed a theme to my campsites during this travel log?  I didn't plan it that way, it just happened.  I have always been drawn to water.  Maybe I was a Divining Rod in a previous life?


  1. Your pictures are amazing. I enjoy reading every story. Good luck my friend and safe travels with the last leg of your journey.

    1. Love having you along for the ride my friend!!

  2. If I were on the road like you were, I totally would have picked out the same kinds of campsites! Water, water, water!! From where I sit on my patio, I can just barely see a sliver of water of Lake Powell and Lone Rock, so I know the draw that it has. (maybe you and I knew each other in a past life? lol)

    Beautiful pictures, and I love the quintessential one you have at the top. And the way you talk to animals, it's just beautiful. They know a respectful, good person when they see one.

    1. As it turned out, ALL my campsites heading west with the exception of the park in IL & at Egon's were on water! I hadn't planned that, but that's how it turned out. I am a water girl & am re-energized by it - especially the ocean. Can't wait to get there this fall & hang out again. Yes, we water people are definitely connected thru past & future lives!

      Glad you get to see & be close to some water there in the desert. Really helps! Don't know what the toad thought of me, since she hopped away from me, must have been something i said! ;O)