Q: Im looking to pick up a daypack that is not too heavy and will not be too warm against my body.
I seem to remember about a year ago you discussed in your column a pack that might fit my needs.
Does that ring a bell at all with you?
CHRISTINE LODGE, via email
A: Yup, because I love my Deuter Futura Pro 42 daypack and use it constantly.
If anything, its a little big and I overload it with stuff. If I were in the market for another daypack, Id get the Deuter Futura 32, which is slightly smaller.
Anyway, Deuter also offers a womens daypack the Futura 24 SL pack. Its billed as a daypack for women who like to travel light and fast.
It has a slim-fitting womens-specific design with narrow and short shoulder straps and a short torso length to fit women up to 5 feet 7 inches tall.
The thing that really makes the pack comfortable is the packs aircomfort suspension, which allows warm air to escape and fresh air to circulate between the pack and your back.
It weighs 3 pounds, 6 ounces. Expect to pay about $130.
The shoulder strap and hip belt construction is important. I like the shoulder-strap systems that provide air flow between the pack and your back. A stout hip belt is also important.
My wife loves her Gregory Z35 daypack, which has a similar shoulder strap and hip belt system.
Expect to spend the same amount of money for this pack.
Q: I was wondering if you have ever camped with a camp trailer in the Baker City, Ore., area? If so, do you know the names of good campgrounds to spend a few days in the late fall?
If there is nothing around the Baker City area, do you have another place to recommend in the Oregon area thats not too far from the Treasure Valley?
SHEILA EISMANN, via email
A: My wife and I stumbled upon a really cool scenic drive one fall coming back from the coast.
We stopped to camp at Hilgard Junction State Park, about 7 miles north of La Grande off Interstate 84.
We noticed that a road was leading southwest along the Grande Ronde River, and since we had floated the middle and lower Grande Ronde, we wanted to see the rivers headwaters.
So we headed out on Oregon 244 and found that we were driving parts of the Elkhorn Scenic Byway.
By the way, Hilgard Junction State Park is pretty and an OK place to camp. The problem is the freeway noise.
The road took us along the upper parts of the Grande Ronde through meadows and up into the Elkhorn Mountains.
We passed the trailhead for the North Fork of the John Day River Wilderness Area, which had a campground. Were going to go back and hike into the wilderness area.
The road continues to the towns of Granite and Sumpter and out to Baker City and is paved all the way.
This is a good route to get a feel for Oregon's Elkhorn Mountain Range, historic gold mining towns and lots of creek and river meadows. We had elk cross the road in front of us.
Its about a 100-mile drive. You can also cut off on another road and head toward Anthony Lakes Ski Area, which some consider even more of a scenic drive. There are campgrounds along this route.
Back on the main road, youll find undeveloped campsites, an RV park in Sumpter and a campground at Phillips Reservoir.
Q: Do you know of a good website that will tell me when the salmon reach Dagger Falls? I want to go see them jump.
JOHN TUCKER, via email
A: Its an impressive sight if you can hit it right.
Unfortunately, I wasnt able to find anything like a website or hotline announcing salmon jumping at Dagger Falls.
Its pretty much word of mouth. Folks at the Sawtooth Hatchery near Stanley and river outfitters and shops in the valley hear about it and pass it on to salmon watchers.
This would be an excellent thing for the Stanley Chamber of Commerce to put on its website at stanleycc.org. Hint, hint, hint.
GRANDE RONDE FLOAT
I took my family down the Grande Ronde (Idaho Outdoors, June 14).
We did the Minam State Park to Powwatka Bridge float. We put in on Saturday with temps at 44 degrees with a solid breeze and rain.
Sunday and Monday were beautiful. On launch day, my wife was not happy with the cold, wet weather, and the kids had every layer on that we brought.
The Wallowa was certainly the more challenging part of the float. Red Rock and Blind Falls rapids were a bit much for my wife. We managed the waves well enough.
I had borrowed a friends 16-foot NRS, so we stayed mostly dry. No open Lavro drift boat for this trip.
My kids are 3 and 6, so we were pushing it a bit. The other family had an AIRE 143D and two young kids. We all had a great time.
In all, it was a great float with a miserable, long shuttle at the end. We had intended to use the gravel shortcut on the way back, but the trailer would not have done well. The road was rough.
Great story on the float. Keep em coming.
RYAN MCGILL, via email
I took the short hike to Halverson Lake on Fathers Day.
Its a great place to experience the outdoors close to home. We saw hawks, lizards, toads, myriad dragonflies, one large very cranky bull snake, and of course, we caught a few bluegills.
There were a few people there, but all made an effort not to intrude on others.
However, on the hike in I picked up a beer can and a candy wrapper that someone had discarded in the middle of the trail, and at the lakes found more trash than I could carry out.
Some trash was in a large pile about 3 feet across in an old fire pit, and more was floating in the lake.
It is upsetting that people are so inconsiderate of others and of nature as well. This is a beautiful little oasis and should be preserved.
Perhaps a cleanup could be organized by users, and I encourage all who go there to carry out their own trash and perhaps a little of someone elses.
MAC BEACH, via email
Pete Zimowsky: 377-6445, Twitter: @Zimosoutdoors