USGS GPS Survey--September, 2006


Sunday, 2006-09-24: Joseph, OR

Yum! Eggs Florentine for breakfast. Except that because of the recent E. Coli scare, fresh greens substituted for the spinach.

I was gathering data at the airport when Lisa, Syd, Deborah, and Steve drove up to Steve's plane. Next thing I knew I was upside down at 500 feet! This was all business, of course, since I needed to shoot a picture of the approach to the mark from the air. Just in case. Steve worked hard so that I could get good shots. He tried barrel rolls, S-turns, and other maneuvers to inflict forces on my body that it is not accustomed to.

I am sorry to say that I was a dismal failure when it came to photographing during the barrel roll. I couldn't even get my hands out of my lap, let alone shoot a properly aimed photo.

Business concluded, Steve set me back down, and he and Deborah headed back to Portland.

A nearby barn with the Wallowa Mountains in the background

A nearby barn with the Wallowa Mountains in the background

Ummm...

Ummm...

Later that evening, I joined Lisa and Syd for dinner at The Hydrant (since Embers, fittingly enough, had suffered a small fire that day). Afterward, we shared a single malt and some good whale stories back at the B&B.

Monday, 2006-09-25: Joseph, OR to Wagontire, OR

I enjoyed another delightful breakfast (omelet with vegetables, homemade muffins, yogurt, fruit, granola, toast, OJ and coffee). Lisa is out of Marmite, so if you're going, please bring some. I don't think Vegemite is an acceptable alternative.

Did you hear the one about the last thing that goes through a bug's mind when he hits the windshield?

Did you hear the one about the last thing that goes through a bug's mind when he hits the windshield?

After saying our goodbyes, I then hit the road for seven hours. I found out shortly that they still have this silly rule in Oregon where you're not allowed to pump your own gas. Unbelievable.

Similar to and different from the Australian Outback at the same time

Similar to and different from the Australian Outback at the same time

After circumventing the north of Wallowa Mountains, I left the grasslands surrounded by high, pine-covered mountains, and returned to the high desert with brown grass and sagebrush with low mountains and interesting rock outcroppings.


Burns suburb

Burns suburb

I joined 395 at Burns where I recognized the motel where Lynn and I stayed four years ago on our US tour. Across the street, I also recognized Ye Olde Steakhouse where we ate.

Then it got even flatter and the roads got even straighter.


Welcome to Wagontire!

Welcome to Wagontire!

Finally, I arrived at the Wagontire Motel with cafe, gas, RV park, and airstrip. Reference the news article about it--Riley tribune?--and the history link. I had been looking for some lodging around the mark at Alkali Lake but that's difficult to do for a mark that's in the middle of nowhere. But after a bit of Googling, I found the Wagontire Motel and soon found some pictures. So I sent Bill some email and he wrote back saying I should go for the end unit #7.

And that's precisely where I am.

Hoss

Hoss

Kayla and Dancer

Kayla and Dancer

The motel was purchased this year by Hoss and Joanna. They said the motel had been neglected for years, but you wouldn't know it looking at the rooms--they did a great job renovating the place. They live on the property with their 10-year-old daughter Kayla who did her homework while I had supper at the bar. Hoss is a retired rodeo pro and Vietnam vet and is quite the character.

Moonset

Moonset

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