Steens Day 3: The well oiled barbed wire removing machine

The sleep of the just — just freaking wiped out. We wake to break down camp and chomp oatmeal, hurrying to beat the heat to get back to the work site. We manage to break camp and be on the hill an hour earlier than the day before.

Steens OHV obstacle test

Mike and I talk TU while Karl and Laura discuss the WOPR — the hike goes fast and we make good time to the work site. We have no need for training, we all know our role. Nobody switches to try something else. The day is cooler and the work goes fast. In just two days, with four people, we rip out a quarter mile of barbed wire.

Steens Mountain Loop

After we return, Karl and I separate from Mike and Laura after another grueling 60 minute drive out to the Steens Loop. I have no idea what Karl was feeling, dragging his truck through this disaster. I’m just glad it’s not my vehicle.

Steens Mountain Loop

We take the South Steens loop all the way around to Frenchglen. I know I can’t do this drive in my Civic, and Karl and I both want to see the views. This road is like driving on top of the world, literally. It’s the highest road in Oregon and you can tell. We do snapshots at every major overlook. I scope out the best place to propose to my girlfriend (fiancée) on the drive.

Steens Mountain Loop

I’m supposed to stay in Frenchglen, camping solo at Page Springs, but I opt to ride to Bend, OR with Karl on the promise of good Mexican food. I’m sold, after 3 days of soup in a cup and jerky. I call KP from Burns and she plans to meet me in Bend, late that night.

On a side note, Karl and I spotted a fat rattlesnake crossing Rte. 205 as we were leaving Frenchglen — an anticlimactic realization of my Steens nightmare.


About mstansberry

Matt Stansberry currently lives in Eugene, Oregon with his wife and son.
This entry was posted in Conservation, Eastern Oregon, Steens. Bookmark the permalink.

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