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Steens Mountain And Hart Mountain Antelope Refuge July 2009


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#11 DirtyDog

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 01:51 AM

The Guano Creek road is mostly desert but has many spring-fed valleys full of aspens. It's really an amazing drive:

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#12 DirtyDog

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 01:53 AM

Skyline trail:

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#13 DirtyDog

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 01:55 AM

Old gravestones from soldiers that died in the area in the 1860's:

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Mysterious Order of the Antelope (hopefully more about this one day):

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#14 DirtyDog

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 02:00 AM

Finally heading West out of the refuge:

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Steens and Hart Mountains are the best of the "Oregon Outback". Anyone looking for some late summer exploring off the beaten path should definitely try to put Eastern Oregon on the schedule.
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#15 zonker

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 05:58 AM

Great stuff DD! Definitely one of my favorite areas in this state.. but as you say it is a long way from anywhere. Burns is a long way and when you get there.. it is even a long trip from there. Of course you can go in through Lakeview and Plush.. but the trip is not any shorter. Seems like I make it over that way about once every three years or so. We came through there in the first part of May this year.. lower elevation that is and vowed that we would come back several times this year. Sad.. we have not pulled it off once yet! But after reading your report it is seriously back on the table for maybe late September or early October.

MANY years ago we rode mountain bikes around the whole loop. It was a definite hoot and a lung cleaning exercise.. with the first day spent in the pain locker all the way up. Spent the first night at Fish Lake and then finished it up the next day. To bad the state of my body these days would never allow it again.. as I would do it in a heartbeat.. what a trip!

I realize this is a little off base since it does not have anything to do with a camper.. but it does have to do with exploring the Steens. I was going to attach some photos from my last trip there when we had our Range Rover. But I need to resize them and I don't have access to my other computer right now. So for anyone who is interested I will offer a link to my website. I am in NO WAY trying to sell myself or my services.. I just TRULY want to share what the Steens, Alvord and local area look like in early winter, late fall.

www.emeraldlight.com

The home page is the on the surface of the Alvord during this trip.

Under "Walkabout" then "Winter View" .. frames 3,4,5 & 6 is on the road to the top of the Steens in mid November. We made it to the top but could not see a thing and were driving in about a foot of snow by the time we decided to head down.. sort of got carried and forgot to get back in the Rover and leave. We could hardly find our way back down even following our tracks since it was borderline whiteout conditions. I can can attach that photo. Sort of reminds me of what you were up to in New Mexico DD during your trip earlier this year!

DirtyDog.. thanks for making the trip and then consequently motivating me vicariously to get focused and make the trip before this year is out!

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#16 SunMan

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 04:49 PM

The Dog hits another home run...great pics.
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#17 DirtyDog

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 05:17 PM

Hey Zonker - yeah I rode that loop too about 10 years ago. It snowed on us at the top I don't think I've ever been so cold. I checked your photos there - very nice. That looks about like the conditions on our bike ride :)
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#18 Alaskan Snowbirds

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 06:23 PM

The Dog hits another home run...great pics.


Amen.

Great to see that Alex out wandering again!

'birds
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#19 davinski

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 06:31 AM

Dirty Dog:

Thems some nice photos and great place to visit. Was up there last fall. Cold, windy, rainy with lots of sheep all over. I did the loop and liked the other half of the steens. Didn't make it to Hart Refuge, but did like the Alvord desert. Really cool to see both extremes from both sides!

Hurray. Now, to plan a trip to the refuge.....

Dave in Seattle
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#20 zonker

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 06:33 PM

So DD.. you know of what the summit is like when the weather gets nasty! We had a pretty treacherous trip down as we literally could not see the road unless I hung my eyeballs out the window and looked about 5 feet in front of the bumper. I hope your trip down on mountain bikes was not quite that bad.. as you would have already been frozen to death and then dealing with decending! Did you ride the complete loop in one day? If you did.. remind me to never ride bikes with you as you would turn my lungs inside out and it would that I buy the beer when we meet up sometime!

Great trip report and definitely great photos! I apologize if it appeared that I was trying to hijack your thread.. definitely was not the intent.
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