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Joyous Early Summer

7-14-17, Valley Falls OR

Summers are always a busy and fun time here in Central Oregon. After returning from the job in Michigan in April, I set my sights on having a little fun.  As soon the snow started coming off the ground, the critters and I were out enjoying it as much as possible.  With the trout hungry from a long winter, I spent much of the month of May with a fishing rod in my hand.

For the first half of the summer, Sparky was only a few months old, so he had to stay on the leash during our summer outings.

Early in June, some friends and I went on a two day horse-packing trip up the Crooked Creek drainage.  This was a very nice trip with some spectacular scenery as the raging creek flowed over rocks, down through some old growth forest. The second day of the trip, we left most of the gear out of Bobís pannier bags and just packed the chain saw and some gas to the top of the rim, cutting out the old deadfalls that has fallen across the trail.  On our way back to our campsite from the previous night, we scared off a black bear about 50 yards before she had a chance to dig into our food cooler.

The first of many crossing of Crooked Creek.

One of the nice things about horse packing is that with the horse to carry the supplies, you donít have to eat freeze dried food!

Much of the summer I spend helping my friends, Geren and Candace with their ranches. Winter ran late last year, causing a shortage of hay, so most of the cattle were turned out early on the high desert, south of Burns, OR. When it was time to pickup a few hundred head and truck them south to the Valley Falls Ranch and the adjoining National Forest lease, we had to go out and find them on the 600 square mile piece of desert and driving them back to the ranch. It took a couple of days of hard horseback riding to find enough to ship south.

Gathering cows in the desert south of the Burns, OR ranch.

Although nothing like the huge 3 acres of garden I had in New Hampshire, I still like to plant enough veggies for Jacquie and I and a few friends.

Once the cows gathered in Burns were at the ranch in Valley Falls, we had to brand the calves before they were turned out on the National Forest.  With the youngsters giving me a few pointers, I managed to rope a few.

We spent a nice weekend on the Oregon coast, clamming and crabbing.  Thereís nothing like fresh seafood at the end of the day.

During the latter half of July, I planned a trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, in Northern Minnesota with my son and grandson.  But this is the subject of another blog.

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