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Confession: this is only my sixth fire. As a kid, we usually camped in areas with fire restrictions or rain-soaked wood, so we mostly didn't make fires.
I rarely bother when I'm camping alone, and in every group camping situation there's always a bevy of men eager to prove their caveman capability. (You Tarzan. Me Don't Care. 🙄) But it's been cold and damp here for the past few days, on top of my lingering sinus infection, and I've been making fires every night. The heat is so so nice, and it gives a little psychological boost of coziness. I even made a breakfast fire today and it was 🔥.
So, let's talk about trail failure. It's been about two weeks since I got a terrible sinus infection with a 5 day fever. I feel much better, and so decided to go on a hike. A quick 4 mile hike up Black Butte, with gorgeous views of the Cascades at the top. I haven't done a similar hike yet, and I wanted to do one before I leave.
But after 0.5 miles, I turned back. I was so, so tired, and I couldn't stop coughing. I could probably have dragged myself to the top, but why? No one was grading me or paying me, after all.
So instead I decided to focus on the glorious fall colors, and simply enjoy the short hike I was able to do. I may not have discovered the mythical spring of Black Butte Porter at the top, but it was a gorgeous walk nonetheless. (Two more thoughts:
- I think those ferns are dying from lack of water. So, pretty colors and a sad reason.
- If any of my botany friends can ID the fluffy green tree in the third picture I'd appreciate it!)
The North Fork of the John Day river is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. The river may be low, but it's still gorgeous.
Near here, we watched a curious little river otter who watched us back for several minutes. There were also many osprey, a bald eagle, and a great horned owl. Healthy rivers make great habitats!