“It is August 15th as I write this. It seems we have survived the record-breaking heat wave and it is finally giving way to more reasonable temperatures. We’re only six days away from a rare total solar eclipse and 5 weeks from the first day of fall. I drove over Chinook Pass between 1:00 and 2:00AM this morning and the temperature near the summit was 39 degrees, so it sure felt like fall weather up there. I couldn’t help thinking that the elk must be entering the early stages of the rut and I felt that primordial stirring that comes with thoughts of the hunt. I saw eight deer, one of which darted out from the shoulder and then turned and trotted down the highway about six feet in front of my bumper. Had I been driving distracted on a cell phone, or in a daze from the hypnotic night driving, there would have been a dead deer and damaged vehicle to contend with on a deserted road and possibly personal injury. I only met one vehicle on Highway 410 between Greenwater and Naches! By the way, one of the eight deer I saw was a really nice buck with gnarly, non-typical antlers.”