forest fires in the distance

The other day when I hiked to the nearby high points I noticed smoke in the distance to the east;  this appears to be the White River fire.  In this pic my spot is roughly in the center and you can see the White River fire in the next county to the east.:

Last night the wind turned easterly and picked up a bit;  I woke up about midnight smelling faint smoke from it.  I got up and made sure it wasn’t something closer (it wasn’t).

Today I can’t smell it anymore;  used to it I guess.  But the valleys to the east are hazy with smoke.   Compare today’s pic with the previous one:

The distances are great enough that I’m not worried about the fires themselves, but hiking in the smoke isn’t fun.  It’s also warmer than I like (86F right now) so I am thinking seriously about relocating to the cost again for a bit.  It’s the only reliably-cool place within a couple hours drive.

I’ll check back in later with a decision.


relocated to just south of seaside.  20F cooler.  Might get nuts;  didn’t realize it was a holiday weekend.

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”

Hood River, OR via Baker City

I knew the stay in the Blue Mountains would be relatively short since a delayed package would pull me back to Baker City USPS.

Temps dropped on that mountaintop into the low 30s;  this spurred my decision to head to Baker City.  I don’t mean the low temps chased me off;  I mean the low temps meant Baker City’s lower elevation would be bearable for my errands.

The drive off the mountain was epic.  I didn’t see another vehicle for an hour but did have to dodge a few cattle on the highway.  I didn’t see a power line for 1.5 hours.

I picked up my package in Baker City, a parcel of KIK locks for picking practice from a generous redditor.  I’ll pick them and attempt to convert one mortise lock into a practice lock.  This involves manual grinding and tapping for grub screws.  More on that later.

While in Baker City we stopped at The Ison House for a beer.  I think they are a B&B branching out into the pub market.

Muffin is watching over the tomato plants

Gassed up the van and headed toward Hood River.  Stopped in Island City (nearest Wally World) for provisions.  Two shoppers were dry coughing.  Both of these Mensa candidates were wearing their masks under their chin.  “Muh freedumb.”

Took a nap at a rest area about halfway.  Got to HR and found a spot in the NF outside town:

It’s on the  NF boundary but this fire ring suggests it’s a common camping spot.  Mt. Hood is the ghostly presence in the background (left third of the pic),  with snow still intact in mid-Summer.


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?”

morning hike

Muffin and I took off on a little jaunt this morning before it got too hot.  The ambient temps won’t be too bad (likely low-to-mid-80s) but the sun at altitude is  vicious.  Less atmosphere filtering out radiation

looking east

Between the trees you can see a much taller mountain in the distance:

looking SE


This camping spot is hidden from folks driving in (trees block the view) but on the drive out I am visible down in the hidey-hole:

looking south

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”