Wednesday, October 1, 2008

...peeing on the Oregon Trail

I actually wrote this on September 10th, before I even was officially blogging. Chasse and I went back out there today and I remembered to take my camera this time. It wasn't as beautiful a day as the first time, but still pretty nice to be out. And, the fall colors are starting to show a bit. Who knew sage brush and desert prickly-thingy bushes were so beautiful? Here's what I wrote on the 10th:

So today is one of those absolutely gorgeous, I'm-so-lucky-I-live-in-NE-Oregon days. Lots of sun, no clouds, NO WIND!, and warm enough to run around in a sleeveless top and shorts. I got home from school a little after 4:00, dinked around on the computer and thought, "Why am I not outside???" It's not a biking day, so what to do, what to do. I remembered seeing an historical marker for the Oregon Trail on our last bike ride out past Echo. So, I loaded up my ancient dog (who seems intent on living forever), and went for a drive. We stopped at some blackberry bushes but they seemed to be pretty well picked over. I tried to get the dog to run with me in a nearby, newly mown field, but the stubble hurt her feet. So back in the truck and a little further on down the road we went. We got to the Oregon Trail marker and I read the informational sign while Chasse sniffed around. Then we set off, following the wagon wheel ruts that were formed in the late 1880s. Then it hit me. The water and coffee I had had earlier hit bottom. I had to pee. Now I'm not normally your 'dropyourdrawersandpeeanywhere' kind of gal, but I really had to pee. And there was no one around, except my old dog. (She IS the dropyourdrawersandpeeanywhere kind of gal and frankly, it's getting to be a pain.) So, taking one more look around just to be sure, I got rid of all that water and coffee. Ah, relief! The walk was so much more fun after that. The canyon was quiet and secluded and quite dry this time of year. I got to wondering what those pioneer women were thinking as they jostled their way up the hill (Lord, Lord, what have I gotten myself into?--not so different from what I was thinking 19 years ago when I rolled into Umatilla for my first teaching job!). So there you have it. I peed on the Oregon Trail today.

I wonder what critter lives down this hole? There were plenty of holes like it, but never saw the critters.

Cat scat. Big cat scat. Never did see the big cat. Am glad of that.

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