I took the morning off.
I had found a little slice of paradise at the Refuge, and wasn’t in a hurry to go hiking quite yet. My night by the rushing creek was very peaceful, and when I woke in the middle of the night to go pee, i stared at the sky for a good long while. More stars than I had seen…probably ever. And the Milky Way glowed bright in the sky.
When nature called early, as it usually does, I went to the privy, and then over to the hotsprings for an early soak. Again I had it all to myself, and could feel the heat soaking into my bones. I went back to my camp, popped my latest round of blisters (I wanted to wait until after my soak so I would have any open wounds in the water) and then went back to sleep for a few hours. Bilss!
It was almost 9 when I woke up the second time, and heard Joan and Mark moving around, so I went over and returned their cup I had used for wine the night before. I also gave them an ODT sticker I had with me, my only real way of saying thanks at this point. Joan immediately offered me a muffin, some figs and a few gronola bars. They were headed out for a day of wildlife viewing, and i hope to see them in Bend sometime soon.
I returned to my tarp, made coffee, ate the muffin and the rest of the berries they gave me last night, and started to read my book. I had picked up “Child of the Steens Mountain” (a signed copy!) by Eileen O’Keeffe McVicker in the Frenchglen Mercantile. It was slim, and I wanted something to read about the area I’m hiking through. It’s a sweet tale of growing up in a shepherding family in the 20s and 30s near Fields and the Steens.
I lay about in the shade for the next few hours willing my blisters to dry out and toughen up before hiking out in the afternoon.
I love hiking in the refuge. Because is hasn’t been grazed or burned (at least in a while…) the plant and animal variety were incredible. It seemed lush, and there was very little cheat grass or invasive weeds.
I had a break at an old homestead, and thought I could easily live here. With a spring a mountain, and a meadow what more could you want?
I kept walking, Guano Creek was lovely and lined with aspen trees. The air smelled the sweet aspen smell and reminded me of Colorado.
I came to a stand of pines. Ponderosa I think. It was the first I had seen these trees! This was the site of camp Warner, I believe an old military camp. I need to read up on the spot. While I was there a white Fish and Wildlife pickup pulled up. I met Dave who works for Oregon F & W, he works out of Hines and was checking on fish in Guano Creek. We had a nice chat, then I sat down for a late lunch. Tomatoes, a kiwi, and figs, compliments of Joan! That’s all I really want to eat out here: fruits and veg, but that’s the hardest thing to find. There has been little to no produce in any on the towns/stores I’ve visited.
I walked a few more miles, noted a discrepancy between what’s on the ground and on the map…a minor change to make back in the office. I’ve been making lots of notes of things I want to add to the trail resources, for example today I passed 4 outhouses! All with toilet paper! It’s the white gold and can make a world of difference to know it’s there if you are in need.
I pulled up for the night in some trees at the base of a ridge. When the wind blows the mosquitos arn’t bad, but I may have to put up my netting tonight.