Owyhee 2016, Part 3 – Chalk Basin

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After departing Jordan Craters we had enough daylight left to grab some fuel and bounce our way out to find a camp near Chalk Basin for the night.  Just getting out to the Chalk Basin area is no small feat but was made much easier through the description of William L. Sullivan who happens to pen, in my opinion, the best hiking books about Oregon.  Luckily we knew that we were driving on a public road even though through the first stretch it feels like you are driving through a private ranch yard (you are).  And then of course the rancher chasing you down on his four-wheeler to ask what you are up to doesn’t boost your confidence you are in the right spot either, but we got thorough his property with him telling us to ‘go enjoy yourselves’ so it all turned out fine.  After getting through the ranch […]

Owyhee 2016, Part 2 – Birch Creek and Jordan Craters

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After departing Leslie Gulch we made our way across the sagebrush sea to Birch Creek.  Not having been there I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was hoping to find a place to spend the night. The Owyhee Country is a vast expanse.  Considering the area drained by the Owyhee River you are looking at portions of 3 states.  A four-day weekend is enough to just scratch the surface.  Travelling across a lot of this country you are driving through vast areas of sagebrush and cheatgrass punctuated by a ranch here and there, but there are a lot of hidden gems.  You get to the edge of some rimrock and all the sudden it is like you are in another world.  I suspected as much from Birch Creek after the sights of Succor Creek and Leslie Gulch, but after 20 miles of rough dirt road and dry cheatgrass you start […]

Owyhee 2016, Part 1 – Succor Creek and Leslie Gulch

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You think you have a plan, then something changes.  We were going to be floating the Deschutes, then just like that we found ourselves in the Owyhee country of southeast Oregon instead.  Plans for the Deschutes fell through so we took a look at the list of possibilities.  There was a break in the rain, which is absolutely required if you want to even think of travelling the roads around the Owyhee.  With that we were off across the high desert.