I am standing on top of a promontory, high above Leslie Gulch in the Southeastern Oregon's Owyhee region with my younger brother, Hans. By car, we are almost 12 hours from Portland.
We have stumbled on a small Native American site, a hunting perch that includes a handful of stone tools and a mortar.
The stone tools that Hans and I hold in our hands have small etched teeth. There is a comfortable cut in the rock, so that it fits snugly into the left hand. On other parts of the rock, there are deliberate cuts for functions we can only guess at. Hans knows that the primary function of these tools is to scrape the hide off freshly killed animal. But what did they hunt?
Hans suggests we look around for dung and answer that question ourselves. Almost immediately, we find whole big piles of the stuff - elk dung, coyote dung, rabbit pellets. He pokes around at the sun-whitened clumps, showing me the animal fur in the coyote dung, the big loose elk piles.