Friday, October 22, 2010

Umatilla National Forest

East we went, to the the southeast corner of Washington state, as far away from people as we could.

Our plan was to rent a U.S. Forest Service cabin in the Umatilla National Forest. For $50 a night, we'd get a little place, a kitchen, a propane-gas stove, and a place to sleep. It was a great deal. Our cabin sat atop a hill, overlooking the northern tip of the Blue Mountains.

We entered the forest through Pomeroy, a tiny town in the middle of the Palouse. It was rather cute and depressing at the same time. To reach our cabin we drove on 23 miles of gravel road.

As we entered, the obvious smell of a forest fire filled the car. Parts of the road were hazy. Thanks forest service, for the heads up. But things were fine.

We reached the cabin in the dead of night. There was a visitor's log. The last entry was by a woman named Yvonne. In it, she wrote that her family had stayed in the cabin. One night they were startled by a loud shaking of the front door. Afraid, her husband and her took out their guns. She described her girl screaming, and noise coming from outside. The next morning, she described going outside and finding nothing out of the ordinary. Thanks, lady, for the horrible story - especially arriving there at night. 

The next morning was beautiful. Granted we were awaken by the smell of propane gas. 

All around us, like old sentinels protecting the jagged hills, old pine trees stood, dotting the yellow, sunbathed hills.

Badger, badger, badger, badger, MUSHROOM MUSHROOM

Slow shutter speed and a wrist rotation to create this effect.

An abandoned house on the highway to Pomeroy.

Trusty Toyota - it slaughtered hundreds of bugs.

County courthouse in Pomeroy, Wash.

As a tiny town as they come here in Wash. -- Pomeroy, the gateway to the Umatilla National Forest.

The Palouse at twilight is spectacular.

The trusty Toyota's shadow cast as the sun rose.

Our cabin.

Bullet hole-riddle sign.

Privately-owned cows roaming on public land.

This is poop.

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