We said goodbye to the RV park and it's pastoral setting ...
... and headed up the mountain toward Hells Canyon. On the way we passed a beautiful creek...
...with fast moving waters.
The Musemobile looked happy in the cool green of the mountain.
We finally reached the overlook of Hells Canyon.
Hells Canyon is a ten-mile wide canyon located along the border of eastern Oregon and western Idaho in the United States. It is North America's deepest river gorge at 7,993 feet and the most important feature of Hells Canyon National Recreation Area.
The canyon was carved by the waters of the Snake River, which plunges more than a mile below the canyon's west rim on the Oregon side and 8,000 feet below the peaks of Idaho's Seven Devils Mountains range to the east. The area is inaccessible by road.
I had to climb down a little to get this shot of survivor foliage growing from the side of a rock cliff but it was worth the shot after almost sliding down a 500 yard rock slope.
About a mile farther up the road we reached the official overlook of Hells Canyon.
The earliest known settlers in Hells Canyon were the Nez Percé tribe. Others tribes visiting the area were the Shoshone-Bannock, northern Paiute and Cayuse Indians. The mild winters, and ample plant and wildlife attracted human habitation. Pictographs and petroglyphs on the walls of the canyon are a record of the Indian settlements.
In 1806, three members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition entered Hells Canyon along the Salmon River. They turned back without seeing the canyon. It was not until 1811 that the Wilson Price Hunt expedition explored Hells Canyon while seeking a shortcut to the Columbia River. Hunger and cold forced them to turn back, as did many explorers who were defeated by the canyon's inaccessibility. There remains no evidence in the canyon of their attempts; their expedition journals are the only documentation.
In the distance is the Seven Devils Mountains of Idaho.
The Seven Devils are notable peaks in west central Idaho in the Hells Canyon Wilderness. They are above the east bank of the the Snake River, which forms the Idaho-Oregon border. The mountains are part of the Rocky Mountains, and the tallest peaks are 7900 vertical feet above the adjacent Snake River, with few trees in between.
The view is unsurpassed for the vastness of the gorge.
...as you can see the drive is worth it for the views.
Much of the heritage of this valley is based on ranching. The Pine Valley Ranch stretches from the Snake River to Richland, Oregon on approximately 27,000 deeded acres and over 100,000 acres of leased lands.
We are a commercial Angus Ranch and run 1200 cows with an expected calf crop of over 1100 per year.
I like barbed wire and fence posts so this shot was a foregone conclusion.
...as loggers "Daylighted" the large stands of yellow pine nearby.
I just love the shots possible in ghost towns...
... and wonder how these houses are still standing after all these years.
The swallows must love building nests under the eaves of this old house.
What a beautiful cow, it reminded Sharyn of Elsie the cow from the old commercials.
As we approached the town of John Day we had a great view of the Strawberry Mountain Range.
There was a rest area/information kiosk in the form of a Conestoga Wagon so I got a shot of the old and new style wagons together.
This is part of the Mascall Formation.
These deposits were subsequently covered by successive falls of ash from volcanoes to the west and from the much closer Strawberry volcanics to the east. Alternating between the tuffs – consolidated volcanic ash – are layers of ancient soils and stream deposits that provide evidence of a dynamic floodplain. Many of the vertebrate fossils from the Mascall are found in close association with a prominent layer, the 15 million-year-old “Mascall Tuff.”
The deposits of the Mascall strata began when the flows of lava, known as the Picture Gorge Basalts, ceased.
The John Day river flows through the gorge and is a fast moving river.
Sharyn sat in the Musemobile as I walked around taking pictures in picture gorge.
I loved the layers of color marking time and events forever.
Quote of the Day ~
“I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth.” ~ Steve McQueen quotes (American Actor, 1930-1980)