ochocos

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So here’s a first for me: I got to send in a wolf sighting report to the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Department! I didn’t actually see the animal that laid down these tracks, but I was fortunate enough to find them while they were still quite fresh! The animal was moving actively about a campground in the Ochoco National Forest of Central Oregon, not far from areas of the Wallowa-Whitman wilderness, where wolves are frequently spotted. 

Note that the tracks are clearly from a large canid (3.5" long and 3" across) with clear claw marks, and a single-tracking pace. It’s possible that these are from a wolfdog, as Jude himself makes very similar tracks, but if that is the case, then the animal is running at large, as there was no recent human activity in the area aside from my own boot-prints, and those of my adventure buddy, Andrew. 

Coyote tracks were nearby, so the differences between the two animals’ spoor was very evident. 

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Traveling with dogs that eat a raw diet can be a little tricky. So when we stumbled upon a roadkill deer on our drive through the wilderness, I pulled over and cut the back strap out. The next morning, as we drove past the carcass again, I spotted several eagles feeding on the unfortunate deer. 

I only had a short amount of time to hit the brakes and shoot some drive-by shots with the 300mm lens. Here we see a sub-adult in flight, and a mature male on a distant tree. 

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I did not have enough free time for this, but after doing a layover of an Oregon map with a map from Gravity Falls (It fits pretty close; Corvallis is farther north and La Grande is obviously way farther north), I’d guess that the Bill statue, if true to the map, probably lies in the Deschutes National Forest (I doubt it’s in the Ochoco National Forest simply because there are no waterfalls in that area). I stretched the map to better fit La Grande, but that brought Gravity Falls over Madras, which is way more desert-y than forest-y. There is also a really gorgeous waterfall called the tumalo waterfall (pictured above) that kind of resembles the one in the cartoon (there aren’t many choices for waterfalls in Central Oregon). The clue we received of Bill’s statue (also above), while blurry, looks like it’s surrounded by Sword Fern, which is common to the area. It’s also possible that the statue isn’t anywhere near the mapped area, or is on private property somewhere. But if Bill’s location is remotely accurate on the map and findable via hike, I’d probably start around there.

tl;dr If the map is accurate, Bill Cipher’s statue is probably in the Deschutes National Forest. 

(I hope so; I grew up there.)