Waiting out the Holiday Weekend

5420_PhilipsLake1The Union Creek campground turned out to be a great choice for the 4 days we stayed. We picked 2 sties across from each other so Don & Dorothy and us could be near each other. This made our nightly cocktail hours/dinners much more convenient. While we never got much in the way of rain, it was mostly cloudy and quite cold whenever the sun didn’t shine (most of the time).

5441_PhilipsLake3After getting set up and settled, Mary and I took a walk along Phillips Lake. This was late afternoon and the light was getting quite low and very nice. The trail around the lake starts right at the campground and is very easy to walk. It runs just up into the tree-line and occasionally breaks out into the open nearer the lake. We could hear various birds near the shore, though it was tough to pick them out. But the sound of canadian geese and sandhill cranes are pretty distinctive so we knew what was out there even if we couldn’t see them well. We walked along for about a mile before heading back. There were nice views of the lake and water reflections and I played around with some blurring techniques on the trees. It was a good leg stretcher if nothing else.5444_PhilipsLake4


5453_PhilipsLake6On Friday we decided to try a scenic drive. Our goal was to find and check out Whitney Ghost Town that was supposed to be right next to Highway 7. Then we would continue on for a  loop drive through the mountains. We managed to miss the ghost town – probably because it didn’t really look like a town from the road. More like just a few nearly abandoned buildings. It was still pretty cloudy and we ran into an occasional light rain shower, but the drive was pretty mundane by our standards. Yes, lots of trees, some nice ranch land and more trees. We found almost no views of the area so it made for a lackluster drive. We did stop at another State Park we found along the way at Unity Lake. There were a number of camp sites that were quite open, but really, unless you are a fisherman, there isn’t much reason to want to be here. Around the picnic area, though, the elegant trees and really nice green grass made for some nice images, especially with the cloudy skies over the stormy lake. A ranger we talked to said we could find Whitney if we took a gravel road he pointed out. We decided to do this instead of continuing on the boring loop. It wasn’t much better, but it did get us to Whitney and back to the Highway which led back to camp. We finished the evening with cocktails and dinner with D & D.



Instsgramed version.

Instagrammed version.

Saturday we motored up to Sumpter Flea Market with Don & Dorothy. It is not an understatement to say the market takes over the town on this weekend. Various booths were wedged into every conceivable nook and cranny along main street, but it really didn’t differ much from any other flea market you’ve been to – just much larger. There was a distinctively larger collection of ammo available, and I did find a $2.00 dentist’s mirror I’ve been wanting so I could more easily check the water level of my house batteries, but other than that, not much more to speak of. There was a much larger area dedicated to more stuff behind the town and we strolled around there for a while before finding lunch at still another booth. After walking around town a bit more, we headed back to camp for the day.5479_flea1Our Sunday started out cold and cloudy again. We had a leisurely breakfast and decided that if the weather didn’t improve we would go back into Baker City to check out the Baker Heritage Museum. We thought we’d also try to find an interpretive loop trail that was supposed to be nearby. The weather didn’t improve, so off we went. I’m not sure we actually found the correct trail, but we did find a nice one on the Powder River that we took. We found some nice river and forest scenes but after about a mile, we turned back. It was feeling more like rain and by the time we got back to the car, it did indeed begin to rain.5505_PowderRiver1


5515_PowderRiver3We sat for a while and enjoyed coffee and cookies before heading into town. About a mile down the road, it began pouring rain. Lightning and thunder were next. We were just on the edge of a thunder storm and the closer we got to town, the harder it rained. We got a nice car wash out of it. As we got into town, the rain began to let up and was just a nice light rain by the time we hit the museum.5523_PowderRiver4

5529_PowderRiver5The museum was really nice. There was a great collection of rocks and minerals as well as history of the area to peruse. Some of the rock specimens were very impressive and the black light room was fun. One very cool item was a snake and horned toad fossil covered in Calcite and Iron Oxide. Mamie Cavin, matriarch of the collection, said it all I think. She said, “You get a bag of marbles and every time you pick up a rock to keep, you throw away a marble. When you’ve lost all your marbles, you’re a real rock hound”.  I understand Mary much better now…1130_Mami


1137_mami3Also in view here was a scale model of the town of “No Name”. This is a model of the town the movie boys constructed for the film Paint Your Wagon which was filmed in the area. Who could forget the dulcet tones of Clint and Lee as they attempted to lullaby the girls of the town. Well, the model was interesting to look at anyway.

5553_fog1We woke around 5:45 AM on Monday, looked out the window and saw a fog shrouded campground. We had to get up to photograph. But like fog often does, it began dissipating very quickly. By the time we got out the door, not more than 10 minutes, it had already burned away from much of the campground. Undaunted, we walked out to the lake nearby. The fog was still quite heavy here and we had a good time watching and photographing it lift and fall.5555_fog2



5617_fog7Soon after returning to camp, we set out for Walla Walla for chores and restocking. We will be there for only the evening before moving on to various locations along the Snake River and then on to the Palouse, our main destination for this trip.

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3 Responses to Waiting out the Holiday Weekend

  1. Jim says:

    OK, so who else besides me sees the Weimaraner face in the second photo? Two eyes, nose and left ear.


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