The trip to SE Portland is nearly 400 miles, out of the mountains, across the flatland "desert" between the mountains and the Columbia Gorge. The Gorge itself is always beautiful, but the high point for my husband and me is always the search for views of the Bighorn sheep between Blalock and Philippi Canyons and the John Day River. Several summers ago, groups of rams were almost always right next to the freeway and easy to photograph. Then that seemed to change, but we didn't give up looking. Two weeks ago, we were able to stop three times--three times where there was enough space to pull off the highway. I was within 50 yards of the animals. The rams are ratty looking because they still have winter coats, and it was a rough winter in the Columbia Gorge. Hopefully, they will be down low again in a month or so.