The Grande Ronde was the last in the string of spring and early summer overnight floats on the calendar. Located in far northeastern Oregon it’s a bit of a drive to get to but well worth if for the scenery and great floating. The flows had been running high all spring and they didn’t come down enough to provide for any good fishing for this trip, but that was the overall theme for most of the trips this year. With high flows the trip was short each day on the water, with 2 to 3 hours being enough to get you to the next camp. As always the scenery was spectacular. The most plentiful wildlife seemed to be swallowtail butterflies which were out in droves.
After a pretty steady run of rivers it was time to stay ashore for the weekend and head to Steens Mountain. Steens Mountain is a huge fault block mountain in southeastern Oregon. From the west it’s a steady incline, from the east a steep dramatic drop off. The western side is also riddled with dramatic glacial canyons you can only appreciate with a good hike. We arrived for the weekend just before dark on Friday night at South Steens campground. There were about four other camps, not bad for a Friday night. Just as we set up and had the fire started the rain set in and we spent the rest of the night in the camper. Next morning we were off to hike up the Big Indian Gorge. I’d only been here once before quite a while back. It wasn’t a wilderness then, but it was probably […]
Spring has been a bit short on flowers and green to date with cold weather through most of April in the high desert. If spring won’t come to you, you go to it. So with that in mind we headed west, stopping in Corvallis for some fresh veggies at the farmers market and then on to the coast. It seems like we’re still watching the snow melt and the farmers market in the valley was in full swing. We arrived at the coast by mid afternoon, enough time for a hike to the end of the Cape.