Hart Mountain Day 2: Petroglyphs and Borax Lakes

Hart Mountain Day 2: We started day two with a soak in the hot springs, then headed out for Petroglyph Lake. We did a short hike down a jeep trail from a main road to the tiny lake, ringed by a 20-foot basalt cliff with animal figures and geometric shapes chipped into the rocks. No much is known about the culture that made these drawings.

Hart Mountain, 08

On this hike we saw our first antelope of the trip. Pronghorns are the fastest land animal in North America, and their speed evolved thousands of years ago to avoid the two cheetah species that used to roam these plains. Watching them run almost makes me want to side with the Pleistocene re-wilding nutballs (but I’m pretty sure we’d mess it up).

Hart Mountain, 08

Hart Mountain, 08

Following a very hot and dusty hike back, we spent the heat of the day traveling further south and east. We drove to Fields, OR for milkshakes and burgers and soaked in the Alvord hot spring! I should say “I” soaked in the hot spring. This is as good a time as any to mention that KP is pregnant — and therefore is being careful to avoid boiling the baby. “30-plus junior” is on its way — more on that later. Anyway, we had to do it for nostalgia’s sake, since we soaked in this tub almost a year ago exactly the day we got engaged.

After that, we set out around sunset to hike to Borax Lake in search of the rare Borax Chub! You can follow my bizarre fetish with fish stranded in the desert on our Death Valley Series. The Borax chub evolved to survive in warm, alkali, arsenic tainted water, but eluded us.

Luckily, the lizards didn’t. I got a cool shot of what I think is a Long-nosed Leopard Lizard and saw a fat horned toad, but couldn’t get a shot of it before it snuck into a sage root-ball.

Hart Mountain, 08

Hart Mountain, 08

Hart Mountain, 08

Hart Mountain, 08

Hart Mountain, 08


About mstansberry

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

2 Responses to Hart Mountain Day 2: Petroglyphs and Borax Lakes

  1. Bpaul says:

    That’s a very handsome herp you photographed there!

    I can see we are in need of a quick beer and visit to catch up, time is slippin by and there are stories to tell. I’ll be in touch.


  2. Bpaul says:

    PS: I am in favor of all rewilding, so count me in with the nutballs, I’d love to see megafauna and ginormous predators in North America — rah rah!

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