100 Days of National Parks: Day 53 – Moonshine Jug, John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

Moonshine Jug

Moonshine Jug

Moonshine Jug
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A lot of times when I wander through the remnants of old homesteads or buildings, like this broken-down barn in John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, I like to come up with stories for the people that used to live and work the land.  I imagine what the buildings looked like before they were abandoned, imagined the lives of the people who built them.  In some cases, I seize on small pieces of left-behind scrap, a book left to rot, a chair that’s been claimed as a nest for squirrels, or a lone green glass jug, glittering in the fading light of the afternoon sun.

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Taking a John-Day in John Day

Sometimes you just need to take a day for yourself, get in the car, and drive until you can’t drive anymore. After a week filled with a lot of emotional and personal frustrations, I headed down to the Portland Saturday Market excited to get out and sell some more photos, only to find all the vendor spots taken and myself left out of the Market for the day. It was a beautiful morning though, the sun casting beautiful morning light along the waterfront in downtown Portland, and I seized the opportunity to head out and look for some areas of Oregon I’d never taken the chance to explore before. I loaded up with all the essentials; half a dozen Blue Star Donuts and enough candy and snack food to last me a week, and set off eastward.

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Sometimes you just need to take a day for yourself, get in the car, and drive until you can’t drive anymore.  After a week filled with a lot of emotional and personal frustrations, I headed down to the Portland Saturday Market excited to get out and sell some more photos, only to find all the vendor spots taken and myself left out of the Market for the day.  It was a beautiful morning though, the sun casting beautiful morning light along the waterfront in downtown Portland, and I seized the opportunity to head out and look for some areas of Oregon I’d never taken the chance to explore before.  I loaded up with all the essentials; half a dozen Blue Star Donuts and enough candy and snack food to last me a week, and set off eastward.

Continue reading “Taking a John-Day in John Day”

Bordeaux Ghost Town

I find that it’s often the greatest explorations that happen on the spur of the moment, without preplanning or research. Simply getting into the car or stepping out onto the trail without knowing what you’re going to find can be one of the most rewarding experiences you can have. Often, I forget the simple joy of these unplanned wanderings, the emotional high that I can get just from setting out and driving through the woods, looking for something interesting.


I find that it’s often the greatest explorations that happen on the spur of the moment, without preplanning or research.  Simply getting into the car or stepping out onto the trail without knowing what you’re going to find can be one of the most rewarding experiences you can have.  Often, I forget the simple joy of these unplanned wanderings, the emotional high that I can get just from setting out and driving through the woods, looking for something interesting.

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A Taste of the Trinity Alps

At 10 hours from my previous home in Los Angeles, and tucked far enough away from I-5 to not even pass my radar, the Trinity Alps were a place I knew absolutely nothing about going into my hike on the PCT this past summer. When my thru-hike got derailed and I started looking at places I wanted to pick up before the summer ended, this section of Northern California wasn’t one I really looked too hard at, which turned out to be a huge mistake.

Trinity Alps

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In recently relocating to the Pacific Northwest, I find myself looking at new places for future explorations and wanderings.  I’ve spent a lot of time hiking the Olympics and Cascades in Washington and love them, have an insatiable desire to really explore the Columbia Gorge and Mt. Hood area, and know for a fact I need to spend like a week around Mt. Jefferson.  Above all of these places however, is the intrigue of the Trinity Alps in Northern California.

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Donner Pass Tunnel – Truckee, CA

Donner Pass Train Tunnels

Just a short distance away from the Pacific Crest Trail at Donner Pass, near Truckee, California, extends a massive abandoned train tunnel. Dating from the time of the gold rush in the late 1800’s, the tunnels now stand completely empty, extending for several miles from Truckee up to the summit of Donner Pass.

Donner Pass Train Tunnels

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Just a short distance away from the Pacific Crest Trail at Donner Pass, near Truckee, California, extends a massive abandoned train tunnel.  Dating from the time of the gold rush in the late 1800’s, the tunnels now stand completely empty, extending for several miles from Truckee up to the summit of Donner Pass.

Continue reading “Donner Pass Tunnel – Truckee, CA”