relocated to High Rock Spring area outside Estacada, OR

My 14d at that popular (crowded, trashy) spot was almost up, and I was ready to move on.    I made a run through the day use / camping area I’d been hiking to and dropped off trash and filled the water tank.

I actually wanted to do a stretch of stealthing to  reprovision and find some open wifi, but a heat wave in the area had temps in the 80s-90s in every nearby town of any size.  I decided Continue reading “relocated to High Rock Spring area outside Estacada, OR”

Found the water @ Trillium

The Trillium Bike Trail led off the south end of this general area, and had signs saying the Trillium campground was 1.5 miles away.  I made a couple assumptions:

  1.  the distance referred to distance by the nearby road (it did)
  2. that the Trillium campground was the place where the water and dumpster was supposed to be (it was)

The walk was quite nice through the forest:

Way more hikers than bicyclists.  Muffin made some dog friends along the way.

There was indeed a Trillium lake visible Continue reading “Found the water @ Trillium”

misc: community laundry, big antler

Did laundry the other day in seaside.  Looks like the laundromat donates services after hours 1x/month — very cool:

I was in a thrift shop and saw a big single scimitar-shaped antler, about 2′ long.  Looked like a deer antler only with no branches on it.  Young elk antler?  It was $15 (would have preferred $10), but still a lot cheaper than retail for a piece that size.

I bought it and cut it into 4x 6″ pcs with the jigsaw.   The 400w inverter didn’t like a fast pull to start the motor going, so I had to ease into it.

Muffin is enjoying one of the pieces in the parking lot of the Seaside welcome center:


portland heat

There’s a bit of a heatwave in the Portland area (100F) that was supposed to be my next stop.   Not a big deal for Texas but Oregonians don’t have A/C to cope with such things.

It was about 10F cooler on the coast so I headed toward Seaside.  On the way there was a sign that said “DRINKING WATER .25 MILE” which caught my full boondocking attention.  Water came right off the mountain and into a concrete structure with a pipe:

tasty and cold enough to hurt

Didn’t time it, but I’m guessing 2-3gpm.   I put ~10gal in the tank and refilled the bladder since it was free and easy.

Free-flowing water is a hallmark of the Portland area, in my mind at least.  Reminds me of the downtown “bubblers”.   That and wild blackberry brambles as long as a city block.

Made it to Seaside around noon, and experienced my first traffic jam in a long time.  I guess people are trying to cool off at the beach. It was 90F when we arrived and has since dropped to 86F.

Muffin and I tried to make it to water but the sand was too hot to walk on.  I was surprised since it was a light buff color:

We went to a city park about a mile away to open up, reorganize, and let the dog sleep in the shade.  Coming up/down forest roads shakes everything loose and it’s a game up pick-up.

I need to do some laundry while in town.  I’ll look for a place after it cools down a bit.     My eventual goal is to re-visit Portland once the temps stabilize a bit.


daily cardio: what is that hilltop building?

When I first got here I noticed there was some kind of building on the highest point of this hill to the north:

I thought it might be a fire lookout but I’d never seen one built on the ground rather than on an elevated  platform.

I originally planned to to camp at the base of that hill but:

  1. there was no verizon signal at all
  2. there was already a camper there in a white SUV

So I found a place a couple miles away with spotty Verizon and took a pic through field glasses: Continue reading “daily cardio: what is that hilltop building?”

Relo: near Susanville, OR

Up at just under 7,000′ it’s  20deg F cooler than in La Grande where I reprovisioned.  It rained off/on lightly, good for settling dust.   The same smelly little plants are here although they smell a little different, less creosote.  There is 4G in areas, but does not coincide with camping spots.  I have pretty solid 3G here;  good enough to get text out.

There are a couple firepits in here.  They are quite large, with interior diameters of about 5′:

Bonus dog hiding behind shrub


The other one is about 50yds away.  There’s what appears to be Continue reading “Relo: near Susanville, OR”

songs I sing to my dog


Used on walks mainly.

Muffin the daw-w-w-w–w-wg /
Muffin she goes with me when I explor-r-r-r-r-rr-r-e /
I put on her leash /
we go for a walk /
she’s MY dog, for sur-r-r-r-rr-r-r-re

Pretty sure this one is a mis-remembering of the Digger the Dog commercial from the 70s.


When she comes over

Hey-y-y therr-r-r-r-re muffintop /
muffintop tennessee-e-e-e-e-e-e

Rocky Top-derived, one would think, with a weird nod to muffin tops of Urban Dictionary fame.  I am not proud of my behavior.


General purpose, more a chant than a song

muffin puffin /
muffin puffin /
muffin puffin

It goes on like that with slight variations.  You can probably pick out the pattern.


WTF is that smell

Immediately after arriving in this NF I started smelling a weird, pungent odor.  it wasn’t entirely unpleasant, but rather sharp and not ignorable.  The closest analogs sound terrible but overall it’s really not that bad.  From major to minor components:

  1. creosote, like 80%
  2. small animal urine, maybe gerbil or hamster
  3. ripe/piercing body odor from someone who hasn’t washed in weeks
  4. tiny animal decay, like a fieldmouse

It seemed to come from under the van.  Did I hit something?  Did the fieldmouse from Idaho I trapped leave behind a nest of babies?

It turns out the smell comes from Continue reading “WTF is that smell”