Home > Uncategorized > Down from the mountain top

Down from the mountain top

August 15/Day 29. I’m up in time to empty the waste tanks, top off the fresh water, and roll out of camp by 6:00 a.m. It’s 750 miles to Beverly Beach on the coast of Oregon, the first 1/3 of it slow-going mountain travel; nevertheless I hope make at least 400 miles by the end of the day.

While still coasting down from the high country, I notice a bald eagle sitting atop a telephone pole. Somehow the majesty of the bird seems incompatible with his prosaic choice of perch. But he’s the only bald eagle I’ve ever seen in the wild, so I guess I’m stuck with that image forever.

Half an hour later I spot a large bowl-shaped pile of sticks balanced precariously on top of a telephone pole; a golden eagle is standing on its edge, apparently feeding her chicks.

Still later, I see something that even with all my years around horses I’ve never noticed before: four or five horses are quietly grazing in a meadow, each with several small birds wandering around on their backs. Strange….

Mule deer near Highline Trail

I neglected to mention that in Glacier I saw, quite close, a group of male bighorn sheep, a lone mountain goat, and a cinnamon-colored black bear cub rooting for grubs by the side of the road. This caused what the locals call a “bear jam,” which is when the tourists stop their cars in the traffic lane to take pictures. Several people got out of their cars and approached to within ten feet of the cub, who seemed oblivious to their presence. Mama bear, however, was sure to be somewhere nearby, a volatile situation. In each case I was without my camera. I did get a nice shot of a mule deer though.

After passing through Spokane and entering central Washington, the scenery changes drastically. Instead of mountains and idyllic lakes, the land turns into mile after mile of mind-numbing low rolling hills covered by brown grass. Not a tree, not a shrub is in sight for hours. I finally reach Umatilla, OR, where by chance I see a small municipally run RV park with full hookups. I just plug in the electric, not even bothering to unhitch the trailer since I expect to leave early in the morning.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. CaroleM
    August 16, 2011 at 10:47 am

    Brian,
    First day that I have seen your posts. What an amazing trip. Rocky and our boys have been up between Helena and Great Falls fishing this week. Wish I had known you guys were so close.
    Trip of a life time…I am sooo jealous. Enjoy….maybe Jane, Rocky and I can join you on the next adventure.

    Carole

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