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2 Weeks in Mt. Hood National Forest + Pics

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Just got home from two weeks in the Mt. Hood National Forest.  Went up for the duration of the Perseid Meteor Showers and stayed through the 20th.

It was great to get unplugged for awhile.  Dug a pit and sunk a chopping block for my axe, and went through piles of wood.  A white pine was downed just up the road, so I had a huge supply of 15" rounds to buck up and split.  My shoe busted less than halfway through the trip and I used some camo colored duct tape to keep them together for the rest of my vacation, and looking halfway decent, too.

I spent a bit of time floating in the eddies created by these two rivers joining at the Fan, the split one actually being one river, and you don't continue down river unless you really try to get into the flow.  It's a nice spot to swim, but due to it's cold temperature (50-55 deg. F), most people bring something to float on.  I took quite a few pictures with my old Nikon COOLPIX L30 on a tripod:

wQDnKQ4.jpg  AWezfMb.jpg

I was very simplified and didn't bother cooking at all, just things that need boiling water, cheese & crackers, or hotdogs over the fire, granola bars, and such.  And lots of coffee...

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I went shooting almost daily with my replica 1870's Henry Repeating Rifle.  It's a carbine in .45 Long Colt, 10 rounds tube fed.  The Henry was the first rifle that combined the bullet, gunpowder, and primer into a single shell, and while it was not standard issue in the Army, many soldiers saved their pay to buy one because they felt it could save their life.  I shoot at 80 feet, which about as far as I can generally find a flat and open area to shoot in the valley where I camp.  That's around 26 yards, or 24 meters, the distance over my shoulder in the pic to the target.

I shoot with iron sights and at that range the front sight is larger than the 10-point ring in the center of the target.  After one volley of 10 rounds, I circle my shots so I can count later.  Ran out of my NRA 100 yard rifle targets and had to buy these "sighting-in" sheets when I went to the nearest small town for ice and resupply mid-trip.

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These camp robbers are extremely bold birds, and will literally land on your chair, arm, shoulder, hat... We toss snacks around to bring them in like fruit and nuts.  Rather than follow the whole "don't feed the animals" idea, we just give in and see how close we can get them for pictures and such.

j76EXmS.jpg  3uYjGGS.jpg

The bats under the bridge are rather small, around 3 inches (or 8cm) long and they concentrate there at night to feed.  I brought a handheld torch bright enough to dwarf the flash on the camera, and put the camera on a tripod so I could get it up into the high spaces of the bridge.  I caught one in mid-flight trying to investigate my camera on a pole and even felt his wings smack the side of the pole when he came in close. 

Another one was completely oblivious or didn't care about my camera and I kept getting closer until I was in macro mode just a few inches from his face - it was hard to hold still enough to get a good shot, these are the two out of literally 20 pictures that turned out decent:

aoyPrHT.jpg  MLt7awb.jpg

(click photos for full size images)


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