Monday, March 29, 2021

Looking for the Horizon Event...


 Looking for our Horizon Event, not to be confused with the Event Horizon which is associated with black holes. It was clear that to find the Horizon Event we'd have to head back to a place I camped for a few days on my last solo trip out.  

A weather check showed the possibility of rotten weather with a small chance of a couple of partly cloudy days. We've learned many years ago when going camping in Anza Borrego from our home in Fullerton California that if it was raining at the time of departure...to keep going. Most friends would drop out and not go but we always went after so much work to get ready, and were always rewarded with gorgeous skies and a great time. This was no different as we drove through Jordan Valley, Oregon while it intermintenly snowed and rained. I was a bit upset since this was our only chance to go camping any time soon and I almost did the unthinkable, turned around to go home. Truly, I almost forgot a valuable lesson and gave up. Since we were about 30 miles from the turn-off I went on, knowing just knowing we were about to hit muddy roads and a rotten time.


Just like my lessons of the past, the clouds broke right before turning down the dirt road and there was no mud, it had not rained or snowed a drop, totally miraculous after what we had just driven through. 

It was the exact same place I camped after Christmas at the very end of a dirt road, but now I've gone back to take my wife. It works one of two ways at times. Either we go to a place and she doesn't want to make a tough climb or extensive hike so I go back later alone, or I go alone to begin with and find neat places I'd like her to see. Walla. 


So this is home for now and the skies were beautiful and the ground had no snow or mud, crazy.


Looking out over the basin where last time there was fog and some snow. This time I could hear the chukar calling just over the ridge. I wonder if they'll be there this fall?


In fact all the little grassland birds were out chirping loudly, spreading their joy of an early spring day. It is a very happy sound to hear after winter.

It was mid-afternoon so we went rock hounding. I was on the look for some Owyhee blue opal but not sure it could be found in this area. Look, it's just another excuse to go camping right? As if we need another excuse. At least if we don't find the rocks we found the hounds.


It's white not blue. Until I cut into it I'm not sure because I am certainly no expert, it's just a fun thing to do.



I did find a gem, ok three gems, all priceless.


Our horizon event was there too, like I knew it was. Funny how we so like to camp with the longest view possible. Sometimes the right canyon bottom can be good too but we really prefer the long view, and this one was 360Âș





Maybe not a great picture to show but fascinating just the same. Called pellets, it is the indigestible parts of animals eaten then hacked up through the mouth of birds of prey. I guess we can say birds have it coming and going. Anywho, yes I did pick it up and examine to see the intact spine of a small mammal that was eaten and later thrown up, vertebrae still intact.


Evening came on strong, along with the wind, the very cold wind. No fires that night as we camped at the end of the road.



The God lights were really kicking in too. And I thanked God for that awesome evening.


Ah but we didn't let the wind bother us much, we have a nice little pop-up camper with a new roof from the manufacturer, Outfitter in Denver. I drove 13 hours one way to drop it off and 13 hours home the next day the first week of February. Then repeated the drive the week before this camp to pick it up. And with the new roof comes a carpeted ceiling, making it a bit more cozy. You like? Plus the little catalytic heater that glows like a small fire, oh yeah, cozy.

And all this in the six and a half foot bed of a pick-up.


Next morning we had a walk to take. I wanted to show Lynn the countryside on foot. With the wind still blowing the clouds came and went giving great atmospherics. Another month and these grasses will green up nicely and desert flowers will bloom. 



The wind made Dave wear his trapper hat to keep the ears and neck at a comfortable temperature. An old guy needs his comfort when he can get it.



A not-so-great picture but it shows an animal trail going down the steep loose dirt incline to a water hole not shown in the pic. I'll try walking down that trail later, key word try.

Little Bailey is now blind, yet somehow she gets around. It was amazing to watch her follow Lynn's footsteps and at times get stymied by a sagebrush in the tight brush and work her way around it. I sat down on a rock outcropping in a picture above, she ran up to me, falling ass over teakettle and me too as I jumped to grab her. My wife ended up putting leashes on us both...no pictures.







                                                                      I call the two hoodoos the red-headed stepchildren. 



Part of the lava flow from ancient volcanos.






Heading back to the truck, in between gusts of wind we could hear...frogs. Their sounds were coming from this small pond that must annually leave enough water for them to mate and hatch tadpoles year after year before drying up making the desert toads burrow until the next rain.



We also found this earth baby out for a walk. Surprising since they mainly burrow also. As a kid I tried raising a few of them together in a dirt aquarium. They ate each other with only one remaining, nasty little buggers. Their defensive posture is on their back protecting with those big ol pinchers.


While walking this seldom used two-track back to the camper I had a thought that tomorrow morning we'd make a move.


Yes Dear, it looks like rain over by the truck, rats.


In fact we had some precip misting us a bit as we walked, a bit of hail and some spray of rain.


Almost to the camper it seems the moisture had missed us after all, good luck still holding, while storms dropped all around us. Put on your good glasses to see the camper over the sage, picture right.







A bit-o-sun came through so Lynn gave Duke a shadow scratch on his chin. 


As it got closer to sunset the clouds thinned out, another beautiful but windy evening at the Casa De Owyhee.






Too windy again for a fire we had to settle for chili dogs and a movie, we rough it big time. The wind did a fantastic job of rocking and singing us to sleep. Wake-up was 9am...every morning.

Morning in the Garden of Owyhee



Having found the 2 track that leads to a cliff overlook we packed up and moved camp. In doing so I discovered a skull and crossbones. Maybe my camper needs a pirate flag.




That's what I'm talking about.

I wanted to park closer to the edge but with a little blind dog that runs off ledges, and an owner that dives after her, we decided to stay back a bit.



We brought our horizon event with us.





Coyote Corner, the marking spot of territory.


Gem stones and chukar feathers


The camper and frog hole, both visible in this amazing place. We noticed that the frogs don't start singing until close to noon and went until dusk, then the coyotes started up.


Duke and I started down that very loose animal trail to the frog pond.
Key word "started." The trail had some areas that loose sand had covered and with gravity wanted to take me down the fast way. Believe me it was a real chore for old knees to get back to the top.




After lunch we shot some clays. Battered and fried I doubt they taste like chicken.


Lynn shot her limit of pigeons while I got a margarita bird.


Then back to the truck to enjoy the windless afternoon.




We saw some deer too, a nice buck.


The margarita bird made us do silly things like shadow figures. Lynn's coyote was eating my chicken by the looks of it while her right hand made a perfect little dogs head.


We don't know how long little Bailey will last with us. We give her the insulin of a dog twice her weight and still can't get her blood sugar straightened out. I read an article the other day about people who got Covid also getting diabetes. Bailey came down with it at exactly the same time Lynn got the virus. It makes a guy wonder.







Dinner...


Some evening shots, are we bored yet?







My barometer was on the way up...


so I was surprised to see blanket clouds coming in.


At least the wind was down so we did burgers on the grill. A little later the coyotes queued up pretty close to camp so we put the dogs inside. Bailey could get picked up by a coyote and Duke would give chase, with me chasing him and Lynn chasing me. We won't go there...


Tired of buying both hot dog and hamburger buns and tossing the unused, Lynn thought we'd try hamburgers on hot dog buns, we call em ham dogs. 





Come morning I checked the weather using the small signal that came and went. It wasn't looking good at home as far as unloading went, but it is the Northwest and weather does change every 5 minutes.


Our window of good weather was evaporating so we packed up and left.

On the drive out my sharp-eyed wife spotted them...


then it was eyes to the road


Thanks for reading. Should you decide to stop by, we'll leave the lights on for you.