Friday, October 6, 2017

More from Eastern Oregon

Okay so it's turned into a bit of a theme week, but I really wanted to share all my photos from last week's road trip while I was still feeling strongly about them...

As I mentioned in Monday's post our first night was spent in Pendleton, Oregon. Once we saw the company store for Pendleton Wollen Mills we had to stop...

There were all sorts of wonderful wool blankets and assorted clothing items, as well as windows into the mill itself, which was closed at the hour we visited. This view made both Andrew and I laugh, as here we were in Oregon — yet that bin clearly says Nebraska City, Nebraska — which is where his people hail from.

The next day we drove south to Burns. We shared driving duties throughout the trip and once I realized we'd climbed to the top of a canyon, and yet as the driver I couldn't see anything, well, I pulled over. The view wasn't all that, but in taking this iPhone photo of trees sprouting from nothing but rocks I also got a pop-up Facebook messenger note and learned my nephew is getting married. Life in the 2000's is interesting...

Fast forward to the next day when we headed south from Burns with the intention of traveling around the bottom of Steens Mountain and up the eastern side. We stopped in Frenchglen for lunch.

This sign made me laugh...

The surrounding area was simply stunning...

No doubt the name will sound familiar to many of you after last year's occupation.

It was the furthest thing from our minds though as we looked out across the landscape.

Did I mention we brought Lila with us? I was worried it wasn't the right decision but I was wrong, she had a great time and was up for whatever we happened to do.

Hmm, can't quite identify this golden weed, but it's a looker.

We stopped to fill the gas tank in Fields, Oregon, population 120 (!!!) and that's where I discovered this fine patch of Opuntia....

Looking up the climate data on Fields, I see a record low of -20F, for the years 1973 through 2013. These are tough plants! Of course it's also very dry here.

The broken shovel seemed like an invitation to dig a clump to take home. I resisted the temptation.


There they are, my family...

Walking back to the car we noticed these weeds.

They're terribly attractive but I have no idea what they are, anyone?

After we left Fields we traveled several miles on a gravel road on the eastern side of Steens Mountain.

And the western side of the Alvord Desert, which just might have been the most remarkable thing I saw on this entire trip. The Desert is a 12 x 7-mile dry lake bed, which receives an average of 7" of rain per year...

I took a panoramic video of the spectacle, but it doesn't even come close to capturing how cool it was to see it in person...
video

Weather Diary, Oct 5: Hi 74, Low 43/ Precip 0

All material © 2009-2017 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

22 comments:

  1. Does that Nebraska bin mean that it is one of the places they get wool from? Opuntia grow in the wild in Wisconsin, usually on the top of dry hillsides. They withstand those kind of temps but I assume they survive because of the dry location. I remember my surprise the first time I stumbled upon them when I first moved to Wisconsin. If you have ever driven cross country you can tell where you are by the signs at the entrance to towns: date founded (east), population (midwest and plains), elevation (rockies etc). Really enjoying these travel posts.

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    1. I assumed that's what the bin meant. And yep, there are Opuntina native to almost all of the contiguous U.S. states, maybe all of them? I can't remember. Excellent point about the signs at the entrance to towns, now I'll be paying attention!

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    3. Jane! I wish I could remember what you said, I know you threw some names out there, I just hadn't had a chance to look them up yet...

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  3. I hope you get an ID on that plant with the cat flower spikes. One of the kajillion Verbascums?

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    1. I can definitely see why you would say Verbascum, with those flowers. Turns out it's Halogeton glomeratus.

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  4. Wow, Alvord Desert is very interesting! Lila looks adorable in the tall tan grass; glad she had a good time with you. Those flowers look a bit verbascum like but not quite.

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    1. I agree they do! And yes...there are hot springs out there on the desert, if you're into that kind of thing...

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  5. Lila looks very happy in among the weeds! I knew Oregon had desert areas but the reality of that is interesting to see.

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    1. There are many other high desert areas that aren't quite so flat and void of life forms. It's funny that both Oregon and Washington are thought of by many as being the climate of the west side of Cascade Mtns, when the larger portion of both states is not at all.

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  6. I love that area - been a few years since we went through. Lovely to see it again! Check out Halogeton glomeratus for that (agree terribly attractive) plant with the pink stems.

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  7. The gorgeous (and toxic to livestock) succulent plant with the white flowers is Halogeton glomeratus. The golden weed with the circular leaves is Lepidium perfoliatum.

    -M

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    1. Thanks M, and there was SO MUCH of that Halogeton out there...hopefully the livestock knows not to eat it...

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  8. Great view of the desert.
    You have a very wise group of followers. There is always someone who can identify just about anything! I'm impressed.

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    1. Amazing isn't it? (the desert and the group knowledge)

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  9. You have a lovely family. :) Looks like you had a great vacation, too.

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  10. We camped at Malheur Lake one summer, and it was fantastic. Eastern Oregon is way underappreciated--but maybe the folks who live there want it that way.

    Do you know what opuntia species that was?

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  11. The Steens is the one section of our state we have yet to explore. We've been hearing a lot about it lately so I guess we are being pointed in that direction.

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