01-Jan-2000 -- My first project of the new
millennium was to photograph the confluence of 44N and 121W.
January in Central Oregon is usually cold and snowy, but today was an
exception with temps in the low 30s and the ground free of snow. After
checking out the topo maps, I left my house at 8:00 am for the 20-minute
drive to the point where I would be leaving the paved road. The topo
maps of this area are not great, and because the area is in a wilderness
study area I wasn’t sure how close to the destination I could get in my
trusty Toyota pickup.
Driving the jeep trails in my 2-wheel drive truck went smoothly for
the most part. An occasional rock outcropping called for careful
maneuvering to avoid bottoming out. Bypassing a couple of trails that
appeared to head the right direction was necessary because of closure
inside the wilderness study area. Eventually I was able to drive to
within a mile of my destination.
Parking the truck under an old juniper tree, I grabbed my daypack and
was off. Walking in this area is easy enough, the terrain being loose
volcanic soil, sagebrush, juniper trees, and basaltic lava rock. Along
the way I frightened up a coyote and a couple of rabbits. This area is
very quiet and secluded.
I often fly over this area in my ultralight aircraft
and regularly observe elk, deer, pronghorn, coyote, and many
species of bird. Chances of seeing the large mammals while walking on
the ground are quite low. I think about how far I would have to walk if
I ever had to make an emergency landing in this area.
The GPS indicates I have arrived at 44N 121W so I remove my daypack
and pull out the camera. The camera is a Olympus 450 Zoom (digital) that
I bought recently when my trusty 35mm Canon started having problems. A
quick photo of the GPS, a photo of me, then a series of hand held shots
for a panorama. Not much more to look at here so I start back.
At home I download the route from the GPS and overlay it onto a
scanned map using OziExplorer. I’ve been using OziExplorer for several
months now to keep track of my flight paths and as a kind of logbook.
Amazing and useful program.
I guess that’s about it. When the weather improves this coming
spring, I’ll get some aerial shots of this location and upload them to