Kitty at the Sheep Rock overlook. Weather wasn't great, but it was still grand to see.
Kitty (my lovely wife) and I camped out at Mule Shoe on the John Day River last week. Five wonderful days. One day was a little rainy so we drove to Prairie City so she could get a sense for the scale of the basin. Along the way we stopped at the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center. It's a world class science center and if you haven't journied out to see it, you are missing a great treat.
The fishing was lively, from an action standpoint, but we were only able to fill the frying pan once. Lots and lots of tiny bass. The real highlight of the visit turned out to be the two hikes we took while we were there. The best of those was a two mile jaunt we made along an unamed trail in the Umatilla National Forest. We found the trail head on Nf 24, just about three miles west of CR3. The "trail" is actually just a remnant fire trail. Judging by the number and size of young Pondersa pine growing in the middle of it, the trail last saw action twenty years or more ago. There are dozens of such trails in the forest, and Kitty and I plan to walk a bunch of them in the future! What a great time we had.
We came across many small meadows that had been cleared by fire some time ago. The flowers were wonderful.
I'm still struggling with the identifiction of flowers. Any ideas, anyone?
Similar colors but an entirely different lovely. (Clarkia pullchella)
While I crouched or lay down to take photos, Kitty kept an eye out for cougars...
You could spend your life shooting close-ups on these mountain trails. Makes it hell for anyojne who hikes with you.
Always surprises, if you keep your eyes open.
This snow berry checker is pretty beat up. Hundreds of them fluttering around up there that day.
Finally, the best catch of thre trip - a Mariposa lily (found at a much lower elevation).
As I said, it was a great trip. I'll be headed back there very soon. Can't wait!