Friday, July 27, 2012

If you go east...

Look, I don't want to be all doom and gloom. Washington has some kick-ass geography. Earlier last month, we decided to head east, away from the Cascade mountain range and into the Blue Mountains. We picked out a route in the Umatilla National Forest, packed some supplies and headed out.

After about 90 minutes of driving on your standard issue paved highways, we turned off onto this.

Unsealed goodness.

We passed a few farmhouses. I wondered how many people they saw drive by in a day. I'd guess 0-2 would be average.

Plenty of farmland.

OK, getting into some forest now.

We went for about 30 miles on dirt roads. There's something perversely satisfying about the crunch of gravel and dirt underneath the car tires (or is that just me?).

Sammy donned a safety vest so that no one would mistake him for a wild animal.

Every time we ran across some snow, he felt the need to rub himself around on it. Who knows...

The crux of the trail was a fire lookout on 'Oregon Butte' (located in Washington, for those of you at home keeping score). It was unmanned--must not be a fire hazard time of year, or maybe the rangers were the victims of budget cutbacks. I think manning a fire lookout sounds like such a fantastic job, but it's probably one of those that seems awesome for about the first week until you realize you're bored out of your mind. But man, that one fire that happens every couple years or so would be the highlight of your career.

But you can't argue with the view!


  1. But think of the knitting you could get done being a fire look out. ;-)

    It's very beautiful there. :-)

  2. Beautiful views!

    There was a tv program I watched as a kid that starred a fire ranger who was kind of crazy from spending all his time up in a fire tower...

  3. Ok, I thought the same thing as Kathryn - yikes a moley!

    I haven't yet been to the Umatilla, but the terrain is very familiar. *Very* Pacific Northwest/West.

  4. Yup, I thought the same as Kathryn and Voie de Vie- Ah the peaceful knitting time with a gorgeous view :)

  5. What is it with dogs and snow? My dog hates water, but loves snow. Go figure,

  6. OMG! Thanks for the link to Mark Valez's blog. I did not know about it. I can see me spending a whole lot of time there. :-)

    Yes, the CD's in the trees seem to scare the birds away.