Middle of Nowhere – Center of the Universe

Happy September y’all. It’s about time we enter fall and enjoy some cooler temperatures. With the official vacation season being over and kids are back in school the country belongs to the non-working people again.

housemouseIt is ironic that on one hand we are living with two cats and on the other hand we had mice living amongst us. Since the cats were unable to catch the intruders we declared total war on the little rodents and we were not taking any prisoners. Just kidding, we are sissies and bought a no-kill mouse trap. As of today we have caught and released four of these little buggers. At the moment there are no signs of additional rodents.

_BDS0963We observed the 21 Aug. 2017 solar eclipse right outside of the motorhome in Wallowa, OR on a meadow under a cloud-free sky. Using a very strong neutral density filter on a 400 mm lens we observed the moon as a black disk moving over the disk of the sun until there was only a slight slice of the sun’s disk uncovered. 97% of totality. The small amount of the sun’s disk peaking out provided enough light to illuminate the landscape, it was not entirely dark. The light was very dim, the temperature dropped instantly. The landscape appeared in bizarrely false and eerie colors.

_BDS1126-Pano

The Wallowa Mountains provide a beautiful playground in a very remote location. The dogs and I hiked the Eagle Cap Wilderness entering from several trailheads. We hiked the Bear Creek Trail and the Huckleberry Trail near Wallowa. After those trails we explored the Lostine Corridor and starting at the Two Pan Trailhead we explored the East & West Fork of the Lostine River Trails. Finally we hiked the West Fork of the Wallowa River Trail starting at the Wallowa Lake Trailhead. All of these trails are long distance trails that require in/out hiking. They all can be characterized by rather steep approaches to the higher regions of the Wallowa Mountains.

Unfortunately, during our stay there were no opportunities for landscape photography due to the persistent smoke from burns in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana. The western USA is on fire.

The Mutiny Brewery in Joseph has been closed permanently. However, not all was lost since the Terminal Gravity Brewery in Enterprise is still operational. They have a really nice and dog-friendly beer-garden attached to the brewery building that offers decent food and good beer. I liked their Apolitical Stout and the Eagle Cap IPA. The tastiest beer in my opinion however was the Tap-out, a American Strong Ale that carries a punch at 10% ABV.

In the meantime we moved back east a few hundred miles to Ketchum, ID into the Sawtooth National Forest. The constant change of time zones is getting annoying.

Stay tuned.

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