All posts by krazycross

Moving On Up To The East Side

As the Jefferson’s would say: “We are moving on up….To the East side…”

Okay… now that I have you (older) folks singing the tune to the old 80’s sitcom, The Jefferson’s… If you have forgotten it this will help: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L09qnRfZY-k

Heather, Dizzy and Dave are on the road to Cottonwood Canyon State Park. What will they expect to do there? They will work on trails with a trail crew, catch more Bass out of the John Day river and when not busy with those two main “chores” do some paddle boarding down the John Day.

Of course evenings will be with friends around the fire pit burning heaps and oodles of wood… while taking turns with the telescope to look at moons of Jupiter, the rings of Saturn, as well as the glow of Mars. We don’t look at Uranus too much though…. Just saying.

So off to the “East Side” we go….

OH…we have no Internet there. No phone. No newspaper. No television. No cell phone reception.

We DO have lots of rattlesnakes and S-I-L-E-N-C-E………………………………….

YEA!!!

We will be there for a month. See you all when we get back.

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Cascade Locks Ness Monsterz

Ok…. Not for real. No monsters here in the Cascade Locks of Oregon but there IS a lot of history and a lot of stories.

http://www.cascadelocks.net/

We just spent the last two days participating in the Pacific Crest Trails Trail Skills College. Here is a link to their web page: http://www.pcta.org/volunteer/trail-skills-college/

We gained some valuable skills while helping to restore some trails in the Cascade Locks area. Now we will take our new skillset and improve more trails as we continue to volunteer as trail Ninjas…

But now it is time for some rest and relaxation – before we meander into Cottonwood Canyon to play with the real rattle snake population… And of course work on trails there too. Along with a little fishing.

Suppin at Sumpter

Americana… Only found in “small town” America.

We made our way through Eastern Oregon to the town of Sumpter. There we met some folks who kindly invited us into their home. We met their friends, rode their four-wheel quads on a tour of local gold mines and ended up breaking fresh home-made bread with our spaghetti dinner the host prepared…

Sigh… Such hospitality. Genuine American hospitality.

OH..Did I mention they put us up on their RV pad (with full hook-up) in the driveway?

Today we will help cut firewood for some folks in town that can’t do it on their own.

Our reward? Getting to be a part of the genuine Americana we found in this lovely town…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sumpter_Valley_Gold_Dredge

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a……. Iridium Flare?

What is an iridium flare? Well…..if you were with us at the “Star Party” at Stub Stewart last night about 10ish then you would be able to see one. Here is some background:

http://www.space.com/6898-reflections-space-spot-iridium-flares.html

We also got to see the rings of Saturn with some awesome detail.

http://www.space.com/3135-saturn-data-sheet.html

Fun, fun and more fun!!

The walk home (about 2 miles) was through the woods with (mostly) no flashlights because the moon was about 99% illuminated – bright!!!

Fire Bug Finally Fortunate

You know the feeling…Your REALLY need to do something. Not just anything but THAT thing. Well for Dave that would be a fire. Not just any fire but a camp fire… We were recently in Eastern Oregon and most of the area is under a fire ban. Massive wheat crops and dry desert grasses do not mix well with camp fires.

But now: S H A Z A M ! ! ! We are in fire central. We are surrounded by thousands of acres of woods and we have access to mega mucho old trees and tree limbs. I also have access to the campground wood stash but that is NO fun. Gotta go out there and pick up your own!!! I suppose in one of my previous lives I gathered wood for the communal fire ring. Or better yet I was the dude who gathered the wood (and lit it) as we burned the witches in Salem Mass back in the day… Who knows.

Anyway: This is a picture of my most current creation as we sit outside the RV, watch the most excellent hardwood burn (no pine here) and listen to the distant rumble of the race cars making the turns at the local speedway in Banks Oregon.

FinallyFire

Who needs TV when you can watch that?

Mo Mole

In town for a pizza…  We are eating at Spooky’s …   http://spookyspizza.com/

We have been working hard to get things done at the state park. Here is Heather up to her neck in her work of the day…

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She gets WAY into her work…

After Heather hand dug the 4 foot wide 3 feet deep hole Dave and Dave (Not kidding there) double check the plans. A minor “crap” was uttered but the four posts were somewhere close to where they were supposed to be…

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Hey… YOU looking at me?

If a snake could talk then THIS snake would be saying that…

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Here in Cottonwood Canyon State Park we have lots of snakes. Big ones, small ones, and some that crawl on rocks. Some are poisonous and some are not. But all are  S C A R Y  (to me that is). But not to Heather. She “ain’t skeered” at all…

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As you can tell in the photo above…. NOPE. Not skeered at all..

Most of you know that I am retired Army. Jump out of airplanes and blow stuff up. No fear there… But snakes.

NOPE.   S K E E R E D…. That’s me. Not happy around snakes. But I am getting better. I think I actually touched the snake she has on the limb she is holding. A couple of guys were in the park studying the snakes in the area. They took the time to show us how to collect blood samples and scale samples from the resident snake population. Watching them take blood samples from rattlers was “interesting” to say the least… We got to help a bit.

Eventually we introduced this Gopher snake (named Spring by a young visiting camper) to a group of mice we had in the park. Notice I said “had” as in they became lunch for Spring the next day.. Spring ate at least three or four mice in a very short time. The snake dudes and Spring were all happy.

We took Spring around the campground a couple of days after he/she/it ate the mice and showed Spring off to the campers. They loved it!!

0430042202 Here is Heather holding the head of a small Gopher snake while it checks out the tail of a rattler… If only snakes could talk. Notice the pink on the rattler’s tail? The herpetologists that were collecting samples paint the snakes tail with a pink paint (it washes off) so they know a sample has been taken. Soooooooooooooo while in Cottonwood Canyon you can look for “pink tail rattlers” for real without making up the story. Sounds like a story I would make up…

Heather pointed out that ALL the girls in the campground wanted to see the snake and MOST of the men declined.

Go figure.

Typical male that I am…

Cottonwood Canyon is an awesome place..

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Snake included.