The photos below are what we saw.
had a quiet night, doing BBQ chicken for dinner. We did hear
trucks moving near daybreak, but heard no gunshots. Once we broke
camp to move on, we passed a fellow in a campsite close to ours that
managed to bag an antelope. He gutted the 'lope at the kill site
and brough the carcass back to camp for skinning and quartering.
antelope had odd horns that made it rather rare. The hunter
intended to get the hide and head processed by a taxidermist as a
blood stripes on the cheeks were an interesting touch. I hope he
would be showering soon as I expect that it will smell quickly, not to
mention drawing flies.
asymmetrical horns made this buck unique.
on our conversations with the hunters, we changed our travel
plans. They stated that the northern access path into the Steens
was open, but the loop connection to the south access was closed.
We could still go to the crest, we just had to backtrack to the north
entrance. So, off we went. 20 miles of dirt got us to the
highlands of the Steens where the trees started to appear. The
lower reaches were Juniper bushes and grasses.
long, we started seeing patches of snow left over from the
winter. Many wild flowers were in bloom right next to the snow.
were not a lot of trees at the higher reaches of the mountain.
scrub dominated the landscape.
the west we could see one of the many gorges on the mountain.
were yellow, purple and white flowers.
glaciated gorge was particularly striking.
below our position on the overlook point, I spotted this hawk working
trail went right up to the crest of the mountains.
stopped at another overlook at the crest and Kathleen got out to take a
crest provided a striking view of the Alvord desert to the east
including the "dry" lake.
path the previous day took us past both dry lakes above.
the north, we could see another lakebed as well as some irrigated areas.
is the Alvord Ranch, one of the oldest settlements in the area and it
was clearly visible from the overlook.
turned around at the crest and headed out. The light had changed
allowing a reasonable photo of one of the gorges on the western flanks
of the Steens.
you go, just when you were feeling studly, you are confronted by some
evidence that you are not even in the same ballpark. This fellow
seemingly ran the 20 miles from the lodge at the base of the mountain
to the top of the peak. In addition to the mileage, the elevation
delta was about 5,000 feet.
parting shot of the snow and flowers.
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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2010, all rights
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.