Sunday, December 30, 2007

Ochocos-Lookout Mountain

Winter backpacking is really the best. Animal tracks are abundant. Solitude is easy to find as is water.
On this trip I headed out for an overnight to the Ochoco Mountains above Prineville. My goal was to complete a 17 mile loop from the Ochoco Ranger Station circling thru' Lookout Mountain and passing by some abandon mining camps and mines.
About a foot of snow was on the ground so I strapped on the snowshoes only to realize that the going was easier without them. In this video, I have discovered some tracks I believed to be Bobcat in the video. In hindsight, I pretty sure they were fox or coyote. I did later see a bunch of mountain lion tracks which were very distinctive-about the size of your hand!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Cascades-Street Creek

Taking the boys out for a winter overnight near Lake Billy Chinook. We hiked up the little known Street Creek, a tributary to the Metolius River.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Dry River Canyon

An ancient river cut the canyon in which now "flows" the Dry River. Once draining ancient Lake Millican, the Dry River's course can now be traced through the Oregon Badlands Wilderness north to the Crooked River. The drainage area of Dry River extends eastward to Hampton Butte and southward to the east flank of Newberry Volcano and all of Pine Mountain. During ice ages, Newberry Volcano hosted large glaciers. Runoff from these glaciers contributed to the flow of Dry River.

A hike up the Dry River Canyon trail reveals hints of the energetic river which once flowed here. Rounded boulders, or grounded holes in bedrock caused by churning rock and water, and gravel at the bottom of the canyon show evidence of its watery past. Geological evidence is not the only clue to the canyon's past environment: several large Ponderosa pine trees linger on the canyon bottom, relics of a past ecosystem which prevailed during cooler times. (BLM website)

Dry River? That's like a quiet hurricane. Well, it exists and it's about 20 minutes east of Bend, Oregon in the Badlands Wilderness area. Makes a great hike with the kids in late fall (area closed in winter to protect habitat).