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Vacation with Friends

Saturday, February 29, 2020

I spent a few days with friends on vacation at a mountain cabin. We rented a former ranger cabin in the Ochoco national forest. The cabin was rustic and charming.

We walked daily from the cabin to a lovely little meadow.

Our original plan, when we rented the cabin, was to go snowshoeing. Unfortunately the snow conditions were poor. We spent one day attempting to walk on YakTrax around Walton Lake on what appeared to be thin crusty snow.

Unfortunately, we hit deep snow when we got to the lake trail. We post holed our way back; and I strained my leg muscle getting out of the deep snow. By evening, my leg was so sore and weak that I literally crawled up the stairs to the bedrooms. I am still taking it easy! And if my leg does not improve by Monday, I will see my doctor.

Since the snow was so sparse and we had treacherous terrain, we gave up on snowshoes and instead traveled to the Painted Hills unit of the John Day fossil beds. We enjoyed several short easy hikes in this beautiful area. The various colors of the soil are from different minerals from various volcanic eruptions.. The little visitor center was open; the young man staffing the visitor center told us we were the only four visitors in the entire day. Only a few of the fossils were on display at the visitor center; most fossils are at the paleontology museum at a different unit of the John Day fossil beds.

On the final day of our mini vacation, we hiked a long dirt road through the forest. And we also went to the viewpoint of Steen’s pillar.

I really enjoyed my mini vacation with my friends Hanne, Linda, and Barbara. We are all older and suffering from various degrees of physical ailments, but we all love the outdoors and being active.

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