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Fall: In Love With No Place In Particular

This story is not optimized to rank high in search results for “backpacking in Eastern Oregon”. It doesn’t include a list of the must-see places, outdoor spaces, or gear guides for making the adventure more comfortable, convenient, or #authentic. It’s hashtag-free. It doesn’t want to be another like in a social media feed. And it can’t be reviewed under a 5 star system. Because the stars … well, there are simply so many of them!

Part I: The day we drove and drove and plans changed because the Earth thinks it’s silly that we try to predict weather in the first place.
Today we set out in someone else’s van, adjusting to the throttle and grind of an unfamiliar clutch, infinitely baffled by the simplicity of the 1970s thermostat but romanced by the vehicle’s Sherpa-like confidence. There was something magnetic about this journey. It wasn’t that the place was pulling us toward it, but rather we were drifting to a place on the map where we hadn’t yet drifted, like skittering curves of early…

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