July 29 – Geology

Diane woke early to the smells of bacon and coffee – thank you, Steve! There is a chill in the air we have not experienced in a couple weeks. We will wait for the sun to clear the cliffs above us.

Steve had given the French couple some of his smoked salmon the night before (“the best we have ever tasted!) and this morning shared some fruit. “Louis, would you like some cantelope?” “Cantalup? What is cantalup?” Steve holds it up. “Ah, we call that melen!” Vive la France!

We enjoy breakfast, then pack up camp. Such a beautiful morning. On the way out of this very rustic place we stop for a photo of the “store” and run into the caretakers. Lovely couple raising their family much off the grid, taking their home with them as they move to new places to take seasonal positions. After their time here, Chance thinks maybe Colorado or Montana. Young and very sincere they are very mindfully doing what is best for their family. Chance, Heidi, Lila, Yance. Congrats!

Out of camp we detour to the Ritter Springs cemetary. We like small, remote cemetaries…they’re interesting. Really.

From 395 south, we take another detour on 26 to get meat sticks. You know those sticks that come in pepperoni, balony, etc. We also picked up some real good jerkey.

Head west toward Dayville and take South Fork John Day River Road. This canyon is quite narrow, and follows the river as it twists and turns, sparkles and sings. The walls of this canyon are basalt. Towers, swirls, small bricks…so many different formations. I wanted to bring a chunk home, but Steve said it would give us a flat. I did search and find a small section, so I’m satisfied for now.

Slid into Prineville after following the Crooked River in the Crooked Valley. Dinner of Chinese meat and vegis, laundry, and get ready for a new day.

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