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Day 7


Pasayten 2000

Meeting an old friend

Whatever happened to George? Well, after his discouraging second morning, he headed back to the spot where we had camped the first night, took a long nap, and reported being greeted throughout the day by a steady stream of hikers who apparently had been notified that he was there, and who asked about his well being. After getting rested up, he headed back through Horseshoe Basin, and because the weather was so good that morning, was able to enjoy the scenery which he had missed a couple of days before. Here is one of his photos.

Because he could see that the weather was, as they say, going south, he opted not to spend a third night, but got back to the car in the afternoon, drove out to the town of Oroville, WA, and heard that they had much better motels across the border in Canada, so he headed north and reports having an exceptional dinner that night in a Continental restaurant in the town of Osoyoos, British Columbia. The next day, he returned to the Okanogan National Forest to car camp and day hike, and while he missed the rest of us, enjoyed not having to fight the weather with a big pack on.

One of the big treats of the remainder of the trip for Susie and me was to meet and have dinner with the woman who is famous to so many Internet readers of Pacific Northwest hiking and rafting adventures, Sarah Boomer. We have followed Sarah's adventures for years, starting with her grad school days and the GoboomSink web site. Based on our love for the area, we had struck up an email-based relationship with her, as she finally got her Ph.D and ultimately accepted a position as a young professor at Western Oregon University, and launched her own web site: Susie and I had decided to spend a bit of time looking at the area around Salem, Oregon as a potential retirement venue, and after studying the map, realized that Monmouth, the home of WOU, is practically a suburb of Salem. One thing lead to another, and it looked like Sarah would be back from one of her trips bacteria harvesting trips to Yellowstone by the time we would arrive in Salem.

Admittedly, meeting someone for the first time, when you have corresponded with them for several years, is a bit weird, but only a bit. Apparently, this has happened with Sarah many times, one imagines due to the magnetism of her writing style. We met at her home, and were immediately captivated by The Front Yard. It represents an enormous piece of work, and is a tribute to creativity, youthful energy, and muscle strain. The backyard is an equally impressive place. My father, who eschewed a conventional lawn as soon as he retired, is envious. Anyway, we had a great time that evening. Sarah took us to a little funky bar/steak house in Dallas, OR, where the exotic drinks are, well, exotic. Sarah is much more soft-spoken than her animated writing style would lead one to believe, which was the only surprise. Clearly, she is a joyful, funny, intelligent, articulate, and accomplished young woman. Obviously, her brain is going full bore 100% of the time. Western Oregon is lucky to have her, and she did not pay me to write that.

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Roger A. Jenkins and George G. Ritter, 2000