Nine intrepid vehicles, fifteen adventurous humans and four brave doggos, set off into the Eastern Oregon Owyhee Canyonlands to get a taste of some of Earth's amazing geology, Oregon's breathtaking topography and a mixed bag of what Mother Nature's PNW weather systems could throw at us.
This is The Owyhee Canyonlands...
Our group set out on Friday morning and started the long trek Southeast, over The Cascades and into the Inland Empire of South Central Washington. Our destination was Vale, OR. A sleepy little town that was reminiscent of a Steven King novel location; a little dark, few amenities and just enough eerie character that made it just interesting enough, but you didn't want to live there...
Below, The vibrant Starlight Cafe in downtown Vale, OR. Our setoff point into the unknown.
After a brief breakfast, the group set out for Snively Hot Springs, about ten miles South of Vale. As we entered the canyon on the Owyhee River, we were already awestruck with the topography.
Below, we enter The Owyhee Basin in route to Snively Hot Springs. The skies started to turn a dark gray. Definitely a Steven King added touch.
Once we hit Snively Hot Springs, some folks enjoyed a few minutes of warm, fresh hot spring water while others, modestly opted out. I took some pictures at Snively Hot Springs, but there was nothing really notable there to document. That and my Mac Book Air will not save images as jpg's, only HEIC file extensions. Which pisses me off. But, I digress.
Here's a cool image of us as we left the meandering road along the Owyhee River and found a place to put in and air down.
The day went from cool and hazy to cold and drizzly, then the rain picked up and quickly captured our attention, as we headed over the top of the ridge line, we were met with increasingly ugly weather and the road conditions began to deteriorate.
Below, as we hit the top of the ridge line, the minimal views we had became amazingly obvious.
We decided we had been driving long enough and that a short respite was in order. So we found a tall hill with some antennas on it and chose that spot to gather. Opening up a couple 270 degree awnings to create shelter.
Below, looking down on the Owyhee Reservoir. Breathtaking...
Here, Scott, Brandon and Kevin enjoy the torso slicing sideways rain and wind...
As we departed our lunch spot, the wind and the rain picked up a bit, so we decided to pick up the pace a little. Only to realize, the road conditions started to deteriorate. However, we did proceed with caution.
What else can you say? Slop, slop and more slop...
We called this "Rototiller Mode"
Here, Nathan's trailer's fender was actually pushed out of shape because of mud buildup.....Crazy!
So, this is just a little taster bite of what's more to come. Please stay with us for episode 2, coming soon!