Friday, March 1, 2019

She said Hawaii, I heard Owhyee

It was coming up to our 39th anniversary and I asked my wife where she'd like to go this year. She said Hawaii but I thought she said Owyhee. It made sense to me because the Owyhees are my new favorite place to go camping, mostly in the winter, and are close to home. I had just been in that area after Christmas and wanted to take her to some of those incredible places while the snow was still around. So while she was packing sunscreen and bathing suits I was packing snow shoes and long johns. You might wonder about now how marriage works around here. As I've said before we've learned to be fluid with plans, it was her turn to be fluid.

 The Owyhee River and surrounding areas were named after Hawaii in 1819 when 3 natives from Hawaii got lost during expedition in a tributary of the Snake River. Owyhee is supposedly an early spelling of...Hawaii, so the area was named in their honor. Of course we all know that Hawaii itself was named by Captain James Cook when he first waded ashore to meet the original inhabitants. His first words to those natives as he shook their hands were "How Ah Ye?" Later spelled as Hawaii. 
And I have some land to sell you in Jackass Flats Nevada, cheap.

Not feeling too swift the morning of departure I ran to urgent care to find I had the flu. No kidding and I looked the Dr. in the eye and said we were going anyway, she gave me some Tamiflu for my wife and off we went. Almost two weeks now and I still have no voice but something that sounds like death gargling into a bottle. My wife has not gotten sick. 

There was more snow than my last trip and we were glad to be the first to be driving the unbroken white stuff.

As smooth as it looked the snow did little to stop the washboard road underneath from rattling our teeth. It was a gorgeous drive during which Lynn said to look at those huge ravens coming towards us. One of them flipped upside down and hooked talons with the other bird as they flew. Holy Christmas they weren't ravens but two very large golden eagles canoodling as they flew. It was heart stopping for us that don't see that kind of thing often. After my jaw slammed shut I jumped out with the camera and took a parting shot, not great, but proof, as they flew away.

We stopped where I had spent one night on my last trip to let the dogs run. 

We dropped down into the canyon on that beautiful road.

Seeing hoof tracks in the snow as we drove made us keep our eyes focused on the hills. Coming around a corner there they were, 6 bighorns. Ok one small horn and some ewes I think, not being an expert I feel sheepish mentioning it. A total of six are in the not so great iPhone picture, six I say, count them...

Driving into the canyon we lost the snow, it's typically warmer in a canyon than up on the rim, and parked the truck with a good view of a small arm of Owyhee Reservoir. Of course I told my wife we were in Hawaii,Owyhee, time to hit the beach.

I wasn't feeling great with close to 102 temp, yet I took myriad pictures of the place anyway. Now I don't know what myriad means but I took a lot of pictures, just to let you know.

I was thinking of arrow feathers when I took this shot.

The cockleburs were everywhere making me clean Duke's ball before every throw. We won't talk about his butt every time he sat down. 

What a place to have a fire, my flu temporarily going up in flames.

Chilli dogs, the best ever. Food always tastes better when you're camping, its a fact.

Morning was no less glorious than the evening before.

All those red bushes, cockleburs. 

For a few moments that morning the breeze stopped, no ripples.

What a great place to feel like death warmed over. But while the body was miserable the spirit was in heady delight.

Ok that was too many pix of the same place, it was time to fly...
The bird took off as soon as I stopped, not giving me time to see if it was an eagle or vulture. Not knowing my birds too well unless they're being flipped, I prefer to think eagle. 

Heading across the desert of southern Oregon, again.

That day was our anniversary, so I bought Lynn a hot tub.

It was crazy, not just a hot spring but a hot stream, with perfect temps.

Meanwhile just across the road someone had lost the game of thrones.

Air temps were in the high twenties, nobody cared.

Our handsome boy...

Happy 39th Dear, can we do it all over again?!

All signs say yes, as a good omen in the shape of a white speckled sap sucker stopped off to wish us all the best.
And I have some land in Jackass Flats Nevada to sell, cheep, cheep.
Another beautiful morning stopped by, we appreciated it.

After breakfast we walked upstream, following the steam.

Bailey smiled, she was enjoying the warm surrounds as was I. 

Getting closer to the source, the water was getting hotter, no kidding Dave.

Going back to the camper it was time to fill up the hot water tank. Well...

From there we drove up to a dry, white, lake bed. I was also here my last trip but now there was more snow. It was still great but I wouldn't drive on it this time, you never know when there's mud under the snow. I can only imagine the cost of a tow out there.

Mountains around the lake bed...

Feeling worse and worse we drove by the hot springs I had found six weeks ago, I wanted my wife to see those incredible things. Of course as I felt worse my pictures looked worse and worse, I didn't really care. In the meantime my voice was totally gone reducing me to a horse whisper. Yes, I know.

Almost boiling and ready to make coffee.

Not snow but alkali leeched from the dirt by the now-dry pool in the middle.

Checking the ten day weather before we left, all was good with air temps to stay below freezing the whole week. That means frozen roads instead of mud. Well, what did the weatherman know, it warmed up after all.

Dry lakes were becoming slush along with the roads.

Not feeling like driving all the way home we found a two-track to drive down for the night. It wasn't the best but ok for the evening.

Pink contrails

It was quite the dead zone, like my head.

Came morning, off we went...

While this wasn't a great trip report, a few good pix happened. I'll hope you give it a good grade...
A good grade, a good, well thanks for reading,
Dave & Lynn


  1. Always love your reports. I can't believe 39 years, and they said it wouldn't last. Love you guys.

    1. If you hadn't found me an angel it would surely not have lasted, knowing full well what a PITA I am. We both love you too, always have, always will.

  2. Nice trip Dave. I'll have to get a few of your new locales from you sometime soon. We wil close escrow on our house in Star this coming Friday (3-8-19) and we'll be looking to move up after about 6-9 months. Albeit not with the Outfitter Apex 8 (traded in at Nelsons RV last August for a new Arctic Fox 811).

    Great pictures BTW - like Mark says, you're getting much, much better (you were already really good). I'd like to jump on that bandwagon as well - I've got some acceptable gear and have known to dabble in the photographic arts on and off for the last 45 years.

    Look forward to seeing more TR's from you soon. Keep up the fantastic work.

    Dan Michaels

    1. Hi Dan and thanks for the note. Moving to Star no kidding? I’ll hope you like it and your new AF, sounds like a great plan.

  3. Love your trip reports! What a great anniversary trip ♡ Happy Anniversary! So cool to see those eagles, what a unique sight!

    1. Thank you my Dear Anonymous Friend. I love your note and hope you have a great day, you've just made mine...

  4. Dave, even though were sick, it was a fantastic report! A+ and Happy Anniversary.

    1. Hey thanks Thom, glad to hear I made the grade. Can’t wait to see what you come up with in a few months...

  5. Wow, what fantastic beautiful photos.

    1. Hi SDR! Yes I do get lucky with pictures of stunning scenery now and then, I take no credit for them other than being there. I hope the spotted dogs, and yourself, are all doing really well. I always appreciate a note from you.