Thursday, May 14, 2015

South Side of the Steens #adventure #backroads

Mother's Day morning hubby asked me what my plans were for the day.  I said the usual, writing, research, taking a walk.  He said, "I thought we'd make the trip around the south side of the Steens we've been talking about."

South side of the Steens Mountains
So we made sure Blueberry, my volkswagon, was full of fuel, tossed in some snacks and drinks in case the restaurant in Fields wasn't open, and headed south on Hwy 78. We've been down 78 before on our many trips to Nampa, ID.  But after thirty miles we turned onto a road with a sign that pointed to Fields.

A ways down the road it turned to gravel and we kept on going. The hills were shades of light green, tan, and spattered with gray, white and pink rocks. Wild flowers were scattered and in large bunches. We passed a solid yellow field. The flowers, I think, were goldenweed.

One of the Valleys I'd like to explore.
I loved the the canyons heading back from the valley into the Steens Mountains. I kept telling hubby we need to spend a day and hike into one or two of them. The photo above had a building at the bottom of the wide section of vegetation. I came up with so many story ideas for that. Some had shear rock walls and others had springs and trees.

Alvord Desert
We came upon the dry lake bed called Alvord Desert. Hubby couldn't resist driving the car out onto the bed and messing around like a race car driver.

Moseying on, we came to Fields and had a yummy lunch of cheeseburgers and hand made shakes. With our bellies full we headed into Catlow Valley. There are large meadows of grass and small clumps of willows.  The valley is watered by natural springs that trickled down the sides of the hills,most likely coming from the melting snow on the Steens Mountains.

Krumbo Reservoir
Following the road through Catlow Valley we snaked our way down to merge onto hwy 205 near French Glen. Down the road from small community of French Glen we took a road back to Krumbo Reservoir. The small reservoir is hidden behind a knoll but had a quiet solitude that appealed to me. On the road into the reservoir we saw two Sandhill cranes in a field.

After viewing the reservoir we returned to 205 and a short distance turned east onto the Diamond loop road, turning before Diamond, we headed north past the Peter French Round Barn and on home.

It was a delightful day of discovering more of the country where we now live.

No comments: