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Steve Birdsall

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A day of tests

Events from day three of journey

After two days rest it was time to hit the road. Loaded with love from good friends, I headed off to Anthony Lakes in Northeast Oregon. Simple trip, about 4 or 5 hours from Karen and Gordon’s home in Richland. After a few hours on main highways, I turned up Anthony Lakes highway, which after a while turned up the hill towards the lakes. Upwards is a little bit of an understatement, with a 3,200-foot elevation gain in about 10 miles. Worried about it getting dark before setting up camp, I was pushing the truck up the mountain road hard. Remember, I have almost three months of gear plus the proverbial kitchen sink in my truck. Almost to the top of mountain, my transmission shut down and left me in neutral or park. I got out to feel how hot the transmission was and wow, was it hot! Not only that, but when I stepped out of the truck I realized how steep the road was. I felt stupid at this point. I knew how overloaded my truck was, so I should have gone SLOW up the hill. Fortunately, I also knew that the first thing to do was let it cool down, and 30 minutes later I started it back up, tested out the transmission and it worked, but not smoothly. Not even one hundred yards later I was in the campground, picked out a spot and set about setting up my camp. Honestly, though, I was really worried about my transmission.

I got up next morning and went fishing for first time in 25 years. Caught my first fish in 25 years too! It was a nice fat rainbow trout about 1 ½ pounds, Janie was with me in the bow of the kayak and the look on her face was hilarious she looked like any second she was going to jump out and go get it!

I also got a chance to talk with two men about PCA. Short conversation, as I could tell this was not a story of interest for them. So, I gave it a second shot later when I had to borrow some salt and pepper for cooking my fish. Still a no go, even with wives there. I had to remind myself that not everyone will be ready to hear it.

More tomorrow,

Luv ya,

Steve

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