Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The drive to Steens Mountains

Driving across Oregon on our way to the Steens Mountains, Cyndi and I saw lots of birds. This soaring Golden Eagle was magnificent.

And, the Loggerhead Shrike were out in force. We saw quite a few of them and this one even stayed put while we stopped to take a photo.

To get to the Steens Mountains, we had to drive past the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, where I had spent a wonderful vacation in the early spring. It was interesting to see how the seasonal changes had progressed.

The Buena Vista overlook, as it was when I first visited in the spring ...

and, last weekend.

Looking toward the Steens Mountains in the spring ...

and, last weekend.

When I visited in the spring the road up to the alpine areas was still closed by snow. It often is closed until July, and we were headed for the top. The ridge is close to 9,500 feet above sea level and easily a mile above the surrounding plateau, and we were going to seek a camping spot near the top. It's getting late in the day, as you can see from the beautiful sunset light. And, at the gas station we were asked where we were headed ... and their one word reply was, "mosquitoes."


Bill S. said...

Great photos and comments. I used to live in Hazelton and spent a lot of time in the South Hills.

Brings back many memories.

Anonymous said...

I've never seen a Loggerhead Shrike...they're pretty. The last two photos though...sagebrush! *shudder*