Wallowa National Forest, Oregon
Last night we stopped at the Lostine Tavern for a local brew and dinner -- fabulous! -- including, of all things, homemade catsup. In an otherwise sleepy little town, the Lostine Tavern is a hotspot! It made me nostalgic for The Dog -- the local folks passing out hugs, sharing a birthday party, talking politics!
|Lostine Tavern *****|
With advice from a tavern patron, we wound our way up Lostine Creek Canyon to boondock for the night. The canyon forest was so dense we couldn't see through it, but we found a small clearing with both a table and a fire pit, beside a raging stream. We didn't see another soul but did pass a dozen or more elk, and too many deer to count. It's been raining and thundering here since we arrived, once with such force both Ed and I darn near jumped out of our shoes.
This morning, we had coffee at the Blue Banana in Lostine. Definitely not up to snuff. Then we explored the small towns of Enterprise and Joseph, along with miles of roads up into the Wallowa National Forest. This is a magical place, reminding us of Whidbey Island in it's isolation and small town charm. With rain pouring down, we hung out in a funky book store/coffee shop/gallery in Enterprise for a spell. Finally arriving at Joseph, between rain squalls, we played tourist, walking up one side of the street and then down the other.
There's bear hunting going on in these mountains right now. On our second night we camp way up near the snow, out of Joseph. It's raining, muddy, and we're feeling unsettled. Most of our fellow campers are hunters. Their guns are big. I find myself on the side of the bear.
"Hunting is not a sport. In a sport, both sides should know they're in the game."
- Paul Rodriguez