Driving down the long dusty Winnemucca Road

March 24, 2010 at 9:41 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

The NeverCanEvers lined up a gig at the Pine Room in Burns, Oregon this past weekend, and this was the only excuse I needed to plan another trip out of town. Tom joined me for an adventure that lead us all the way down to the Alvord Desert and the base of the Steens Moutain Range.

Roughly 100 miles SE of Burns, which breaks out to 72 miles East on Hwy 78 and another 34 miles south on East Steens Road (mostly gravely), you will find the Alvord Desert Hot Springs.

Ya all know, a well derserved soak isn’t earned until you complete a little hike before hand. About 3 miles north of the Hot Springs, you take a little unmarked dirt road to the west for a mile until you reach the “juniper tree growing out of a rock” as this is the trailhead for the Pine Creek Trail.

We chose this hike on this day in March, as I had read that this was the road to take for year round access to the Steens Mountains. That little unmarked dirt road you take 1 mile to get to the trailhead was rough enough to knock the U-joint loose in Tom’s Jeep. Here’s a picture of Tom knocknig the U-joint back into place under the Jeep with the Alvord Desert in the Background.

The afternoon sun was heading for the hills, or in this case the Steens Moutain Range, so we just completed a short section of the trail, we went high enough to reach snow and see a mining shaft. If you choose to do this hike, make sure you cross the creek, and go to the left from the trailhead parking area, don’t go to the right, unless you want to back track!

I have long dreamed of soaking in the Alvord Desert Hot Springs, and the time had finally arrived, it’s just so far from well, anywhere, that you really just have to make the time to get your butt out there! There are two pools, one is hidden behind metal siding that must act as a block against the wind on windy days, and a second cement tub that is exposed fully to the desert. This second tub was being drained by a couple of other soakers, and for good reason, as these tubs seem to grow quite a bit of algae.

We soaked up the evening, and then make a quick dinner over a propane camping stove along side of the road. And then it was back 100+ miles to Burns to dance the night away with the NeverCanEvers!


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“All things die at some point.”

March 24, 2010 at 9:09 am (Uncategorized)

I haven’t been blogging much, mostly do to the fact that my home computer died. I sent if off to the computer shop in Redmond, and was told that, “All things die at some point.” I guess the power supply failed and fried the motherboard? For now, I will sneak in a blog entry when I can, until I am able to find a cheap used laptop to get back to work on!

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getting the gang back together

March 2, 2010 at 9:42 am (Uncategorized)


(Ginger is pictured above, one of the gang)

There I am, leaning against a stock gate, with the afternoon sun just starting to dip behing the rim rock, as this big white van comes bumping along the dusty dirt road. As the van revs it way around a big corner, a flock of wild turkeys squabble across the road, and trot into the sagebrush. There in the passenger seat, is my hound dog. You can tell he’s smiling, as his head just bounces along with the  jittery ride.

Lucky got to spend another weekend at the local “doggy camp”, which is located a few miles from my door, but down a pretty hairy road, so the folks are kind enough to meet me half way, so I don’t have to take drag my lil’ car through the creek so many times.

As it turns out, he is becoming quite a favorite there, and seems to be quite the friendly guy.  They recently took in a few more strays,and Lucky was the best negotiator between the bunch, just an overall happy dude, who would rather play than fight. (Tom jokingly commented that he is most likely just the kid that nobody likes, so of course he globs on to the new guys.) The folks who run the rescue have actually requested Lucky come back in another week, to help with all the intermingling of the new dogs to the rescue.

Here is the sweetest part of the whole deal, see I bake all sorts of goodies for the dog rescue’s holiday bake sales, and in return, they take care of Lucky when I sneak away for a weekend here or there. And while it’s always great to get out of dodge once in a while, it’s also pretty sweet to return home to hang out with my lil’ gang!

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a hike around the 750

February 15, 2010 at 9:58 am (Uncategorized)

There are 640 acres in a square mile, so when you walk the outlying fence line of the property I live on, you cover at least 4 miles. It’s a really neat hike, that consists of mostly following deer trails, climbing up steep embankments of rimrock, walking through meadows of cheat grass, and even doing a little of your own trailblazing.  You will come across at least 4 springs, a 40 foot seasonal waterfall, great views of two old neighboring homesteads and old barns, a large den that may have one time belonged to a cougar or possibly big foot, a few very steep rimrock cliff view points, and scores of deer, elk, cow, and coyotoe tracks & scat. You are also sure to see a couple dozen white butts that belong to mule deer hopping up and down the hillsides, a wide variety of birds, piles of animal bones left behind by old age or cougar kills, and maybe even a jack rabbit or two. If you do this hike in the summer months, well you will also see quite a few snakes, some that might even have a rattle. But one thing you won’t see, is any other people. Below are some photos I took on my most recent trek around the Rim Rock Ranch.

Lucky looking down off a steep cliff drop off

cliff near the west fence line

there really is life in the desert, a small forest of trees being take over by neon green lichen

gate to a neighboring ranch

old homestead that lies roughly one mile from my house, just over Starvation Ridge.

view of the 40 foot seasonal waterfall (more impressive in person)

a large den that I suspect belongs to a cougar, pack of coyotes, or maybe even bigfoot

Also, pictured at the very top is one of the freshwater springs trickling down the rocks. I invite you to take this hike! And I recommend doing it before the snakes wake up from hibernation this spring. All you need is a sturdy pair of boots, and I can even send Lucky along to be your guide dog!

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The Great Northeast Oregon Hot Springs Tour

January 17, 2010 at 6:16 pm (Uncategorized)

If you are thinking of going on a NE Oregon Hot Springs Tour this winter, please stop. You will be hard pressed to find a nice hot pool of water you can actually get at this time. But I will still highlight all of the hot springs you may be able to visit at some time in the future.

Hot Lake Springs near La Grande, Oregon is currently going under a huge remodel, and is scheduled to re-open March of 2010. We weren’t able to take a tour as we had hoped, but you might have better luck. From the sounds of it, they will soon have the soaking tubs open, a working bronze foundry, a hotel, restaurant, and spa. It’s also known as one of America’s most haunted places. The Old Hotel used to be Sanitarium. Below is a photo of me practicall getting blown away in the strong fierce winds infront of the hotel.  http://www.hotlakesprings.com/

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Cove Warm Springs Pool. This place is really cute, quaint, and would be an excellent pool to relax and soak in, in the summer. The water comes bubbling out of the earth, and keeps the pool heated to a nice 86*F, not quite hot enough to temp on out of their winter jacket and boots that are keeping them warm in the cool winter air. We got a chance to talk with the owner, a very nice gentlenman, who the place and lives next door. A soak will cost you a few dollars, and would provide quite the nice summer evening activity. Located in the town of Cove, Oregon, 17 miles from La Grande, off I-84.  http://www.covepool.com/

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Lehman Hot Springs would be a natural choice to stop and soak in on our way back home through the Blue Mountains. In the winter months, you would normally find a steaming hot oasis surrounded by snowcovered pines, but unfortuantely, Lehamn is temporarily closed at the moment. They are in a bit of hot water with the DEQ, and it looks like they have a battle on their hands, to read more check out their website (which is also were I found this great photo): http://www.lehmanhotsprings.com/

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Well, 3 down, 1 to go, or so we thought. I had heard good things about a hidden away hot springs near Lehman & the town of Ukiah, but when we stopped briefly to inquire on this icy January evening, we were told Hid-a-way Hot Springs was snowed in at the moment.

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Oh, and a NE Hot Spring Tour wouldn’t be complete without mentioning my favorite one of all (which is closed in the winters, but lovely in the summers) Ritter Hot Springs.  http://www.ritterhotsprings.com/ 

past blog article I wrote all about ritter: https://galwith750acres.wordpress.com/2009/07/31/getting-away-from-everything-at-ritter-hot-springs/

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The Elk Expert

January 16, 2010 at 7:17 pm (Uncategorized)

I so totally wanted to be the “Elk Expert” on this little expedition. I even wore this great vintage Camo Elk Hat. I dreamed of being the know it all on the back of the cart, shouting out elk facts that seemed too odd to be believable. But unfortunately, I didn’t know a whole lot about elk before taking this little horse drawn elk tour, so I had to sit there and be quiet and talk it all in.

Located about 1/2 drive from La Grande, Oregon, and down a little icey road, you will find the parking lot for T&T Wildlife Tours. For $7 you can hop on a horse drawn cart and get pulled within feet of a giant elk herd chowing down on grass.  This herd of Rocky Mountain Elk ranges from 100 to 250 elk, and they are fed here in the winter to prevent them from over grazing on neighboring farms.

It’s a really great little trip to take if you are in the area. Hop off interstate I-84 at North Powder and follow the signs for 8 miles. It’s on the way to Anthony Lakes Ski Area.

The tours run every half hour from 10:30 to 2:00 on Weekends December through February.  T & T Wildlife Tours at (541) 856-3356; http://www.tnthorsemanship.com/tours.htm

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hApPy NeW yEaR!

January 12, 2010 at 7:18 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Champange Chadelier in the Geiser Grand Hotel

If you look closely, you should be able to spot a couple of corks that flew up and landed in this here Chandelier in Room 314 of the Geiser Grand Hotel in Big Ol’ Ba-ker Ci-ty, Orygun.  (I can only take credit for one of ’em, but will carry this tradition to many a hotel from here on out!)

The Geiser Grand Hotel offers the perfect mix of Old School and Swanky for a traveler on the Eastside of Oregon. The rooms start at about $80, and go a ways up from there. The restaurant offers great speicals, heck the New Years Eve Steak Special was only $14 a plate, pretty nice when you’ve got a cute date!  From there we stumbled one block over to the Stockman Bar. It’s got a slight Fushion thing going on, a thing that happens when you mix a Country Western Bar with a bit of Chinese Food Flair. This is where my most favorite band ever, The NeverCanEvers played on New Years Eve.  http://www.geisergrand.com/


Here is a photo of me out in front of the Stockman, the night of their show…. would you expect anything less from a #1 Fan?

 And here is a picture of my favorite band, The NeverCanEvers.

As soon as their #1 Fan gets her copy of their latest demo CD, she will put a link to their Ranch Rockin’ Songs. http://www.thenevercanevers.com

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MeRrY cHrIsTmAs!

December 25, 2009 at 5:49 pm (Uncategorized)

A truly lovely white [icy frosty freezing fog] Christmas! I am convinced I live in the most gorgeous place on earth. I certainly couldn’t imagine myself living anywhere else. And I couldn’t ask to be surrounded by better people. A huge thank you to one of my most favorite familys who had me over to enjoy Christmas Dinner with them today!

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looking down on my lil’ life

December 23, 2009 at 8:39 pm (Uncategorized)

Here I sit atop a rocky cliff, looking down at my lil’ ol rental house tucked away in the Rim Rock, sitting pretty under Starvation Ridge. A handsome friend and I hiked up to look down this past weekend. This is what we saw:

From where up here on a Rim Rock Mountain Top, you can’t see the big ol’ sea of firewood that needs stacking in my front yard (thank you handsome friend for later stacking), nor can you see the little whole under my chicken coop that some critter has been digging, nope, you can’t even see a kitchen that might need cleaning, or a floor that might need a little mopping. Um, is it possible to tow my little trailer up here, so I can stay a lil’ bit longer….

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Christmas is Coming…

December 14, 2009 at 9:16 pm (Uncategorized)


It’s one thing to get a Holiday Card from a Friend, but it’s a whole other thing to get a box with 100’s of Vintage Holiday, Cards from a Friend!!! I have been haning up the cute 60’s Christmas Cards all over the house, stringing them along ribbon for a decorative garland. Thank you Heather!

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