Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Reprovisioning in Baker City or Mr. Nose Does it Again!

Every now and then things come together in a way that makes me think I must not have been all THAT bad. I mean, as a devout agnostic, karma sort of hovers on the edge of my grab-bag, but when I find myself in a place like this, with an excellent reisling to boot, I occasionally ponder the whys and wherefores. Fortunately, Mr. Stomach usually comes to my aid. I then give up on the imponderables and ask: What's for supper?

It was early evening when the usual nick-o'-time Forest Access Road appeared. Up through barren hills we went; up, up until finally...forest. I kept going.

The map showed a campground and given the remoteness of the area I figured there had to be a flat, dispersed spot too. Compelled by In-say-shuh-bull Curtiosity (nod to Kipling), I cruised the 'burb-in-duh-woodz campgound. I was surprised to see how many (Yikes!) people there were. I looked out the back door (a smaller Forest Rd) where a guy on an ATV went by three feet away engrossed in scrutinizing the woods. I ignored him.

Back on the main drag, I soon came to The Spot. Included in the deal was a cute li'l babblin' brook. The vague odeur of cow occasionally wafted but there were few flies or mosquitoes.

In the morning I took my time. (A purely  relative concept here.) After coffee, breakfast, bath and katas, at around 3:00 p.m., I found myself commandeering The Egg. The road climbed a while then descended...WAY descended. I almost turned back. Mr. Nose said, "Keep going."

After many miles I came to a tight switchback with a view. It was here I looked down onto one of the sweetest trout streams I'd seen in weeks. After descending, a bridge hove into the lane and signage indicated the road might parallel it for a while. At the junction with its little brother, an even SWEETER stream, Mr. Nose said go East. I made the turn.

We climbed again. At times a bit above the stream, but always coming back. As I came to the edge of a sunlit meadow straight outta Nat'l Geographic I saw the sign.

2008 - A fine year
Near the end of the road I made camp.

Now to the point...

Knowing I was headed into the Eagle Cap Wilderness I had stopped in Baker City (E of Bend) for supplies.

One of the fun things about traveling is local wines. It's an excuse (as if we need one) to keep the cellar well-stocked.

The large supermarket was bit overwhelming so I sought an  advisor. Nearby was a woman stocking the dairy section. Upon inquiring as to her knowledge of the wine section, she launched into a discourse on merlots.

Concerned about giving offense, I hinted at my predilection for reisling. She shifted gears so smoothly I immediately abandoned myself to her guidance.

She allowed as how she and her sister-in-law, a Muscat fan, occasionally compromised with a reisling.  After I selected the Covey Run I asked her opinion. She assured me it was good.

And so it is. But all this is about an aspect of the lifestyle I want to discuss. I've been accused of having a high tolerance for inconvenience. While this may be true, I'm hardly a masochist. I mitigate the hardships, such as they are, when I can.

For instance, getting water is often a bit of an endeavor. In today's case I'm forced to hike down a hill, across a wide expanse of unshaded, burning-hot streambed to the trickle of pure, mountain stream.

The View From Camp
Having arrived at the water's edge after maybe 2.5 minutes and stooped to fill the 3 1/2 gallon bathtub, I am in need of fortification.

Now here's the "high tolerance" part....I've taken to keeping an open bottle in the stream. Today's selection is the Covey Run (2008) mentioned above. I fill a glass, then, with the fruit of the vine coursing through my veins I can now face the arduous haul up the hill.

And nothing goes better with a fine reisling than sitting on the bank of a cirque-fed stream watching the trout gaily water-walk (like Flipper...or Michael Jackson),  while  the sun sets over the Eagle Cap Wilderness.

Survived Another Water-Haul
Ever since I was a youth I've followed Mr. Nose. He has yet to let me down.

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