Day 698 – Steens Mountain Visit
The urge to travel got the better of me this week. I elected to do a commando raid on Steens Mountain… a large ridge in south central Oregon. Steens rises over 9,000 feet above the Alvord Dessert and is notoriously difficult to visit at many points during the year. The ridge is a cloud-catcher bringing feet of rain/snow especially in spring. The weather up the slope of Steens can vary mile by mile: mist, rain, snow. The copious warnings about lightening ground strikes is particularly worrisome.
While Steens benefits from this moisture with over five distinct ecosystems, the Alvord Dessert receives less than 6 inches of rainfall per year and is amongst the driest areas of Oregon.
October is definitely not the time to visit in “light and fast” mode with electronics. Already cold upon my arrival, the temp dropped to about 15 before morning. The GoPro camera battery failed within minutes of sundown. My Nikon batteries were a bit more robust, but handling the camera was akin to handling a block of ice. Gloves you ask? Why yes, i should have brought some beyond the ones i use to handle firewood.
A slide show and video await you after the jump.
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