Thursday: We left Cottage Grove at around 5am to meet grandpa Bay in La Pine, OR. We ate at the Gordy's Truck stop and truthfully, the name of the place says it all. A HUGE plate of greasy food. Alex ordered a Belgian waffle with bacon, he didn't eat the bacon, grandpa gave him a hard time, I chewed on some of the bacon, like chewing on leather straps. Well, the ole' Camry was giving me some fits, it had some struggles going up the passes, I thought not much of it though because the car is 18 years old.
We left Gordy's and headed straight for camp. Lunch on the go in Burns and we were on our way. We hit the BLM road a little after noon, I caught some cell phone service and made some final phone calls before moving forward on the road. Grandpa had his big truck towing a horse trailer with all the camping goods he got a mile or so ahead of us. As I was catching up, my car started to die, I fired it back up went a little further and died. We got grandpa stopped, he put us in tow behind the horse trailer. What a site we were, headed into camp, pretty sure we just needed a fuel filter and our problems would be solved. We set up camp in the rain that continued off and on for the night of the night.
Friday: We spent the whole day setting up camp, as we prepared for the arrival of Ryan, Dwayne, Cindy, grandpa Gesier, grandma bay and grandpa John. The rain began to pour down about the time that grandma Bay and grandpa Gesier arrived in camp. Grandpa John was leaving Boise about 4, 3 o'clock our time and he should be arriving at 8ish. Ryan pulled in at about 7pm and still no grandpa. At about 8:30 Dwayne and Cindy pulled in and described grandpa John's truck, stuck in the mud at mile 9 off the BLM road. Because of the rain, that hill and corner were a complete mess and only 4 wheel drive vehicles were able to make it. Stuck in the middle of the road, a couple hunters pushed him to the side of the road to get by.
We set out to rescue grandpa John, he had caught a ride from a nice couple and we ended up meeting him about 4miles from camp. We got him in safely and all had arrived. We set out for bed.
Saturday: Opening hunting day! We did a hunt not far from camp, it was a couple mile hike, only got lost twice or so, but no animals to speak of. By the way, the rain continued. Normally we would have seen quite a bit of hunters and even some campers, but we seemed to be by ourselves.
After the hunt, we put together a plan to rescue grandpa John's truck. What a mess, the hill he was stuck on was NASTY, no wonder we had no other campers, that road was impassable if you were towing anything. We got him out and unfortunately had to point him home, but we got a fuel filter from him, in hope that we could fix the Camry. I was bummed we were not able to spend more time with papa John, but I think he understood.
Sunday: Big hunt day, we hunted the BIG Canyon. Near the beginning of the hunt, grandpa Geiser saw the first buck and he was huge (so grandpa said) and the first shot rung through the canyon. The buck got way, hit or not, we found no sign of blood but tracked him as far as we could. We finished the trek through the canyon by about 3pm and went back to the original sighting of the big buck. Still no new sign, we followed another canyon in hopes of finding him but to no avail. We arrived back at camp at dark, not enough time to fix the Camry.
Monday: This was the day we were supposed to head back for the Grove. We still had hope that it was still possible, since we did have the fuel filter on hand. We did a couple hunts, in places that bucks had been shot in the past, but still, no sign, no bucks. We got back to camp at little afternoon and began working on the Camry. We got the fuel filter on, we even got the Camry running but at the end of dinner, the Camry died, never to be started again.
Grandpa Bay towed us out to the road, we stayed the night in Burns waiting for tow dolly to get us back to the Grove. The trip out did introduce us to a beautiful buck that jumped the truck. We hunted it for an hour, but no luck. I was able to arrange some help to get us home, a place to crash out in Bend and a buddy to pick us up from there to get us the rest of the way home. I tried calling a buddy of mine in Burns, to no avail, we spent the night in a hotel and waited for the rental store to open.
Tuesday: The rental place opened at 7am and by 7:30 we were headed to pick of the car. By 9am we were back in Burns and ate at the Apple Peddler for breakfast and ran into the friend I knew in Burns. Sure I was glad to see him, but it would have been nice to see him a few hours earlier. We chewed the fat, bacon again, and headed to Bend.
In Bend I met up with my buddy Mike who treated us all to the best burgers I have ever had, Powell Butte burgers, YUM! We chilled in Bend for about 4 hours waiting for Butch to come rescue us. After freezing our bums off at Mike's sons football practice Butch picked us up and we arrived in the Grove around 11pm Tuesday night. Glad to be home, glad to be back in our beds, with Camry in tow.
What a trip. What an adventure.