I pulled over early this morning to look for some pictographs I knew were in the area and found some faint images. I’ve heard people were living in the Owyhee region from 11,000 to 12,000 years ago. Makes our modern age feel like a blip on that scale. I also passed an abandoned ranch. I’m sure life must have been hard out here but I could totally see the appeal.
When I got to Greely Bar I went in search of the hotsprings that are supposed to be there, but they were quite shallow and with the heat of the day already coming on I just didn’t feel like getting in. The rocks were amazing. All the way to Birch Creek they were towering and magistic.
I thought I might see people at the Birch Creek takout, but there was only one group there, and they didn’t act real curious. Most river trips take out here as the Lesley Gulch takeout another 19 miles ahead can be half slack water when the Owyhee reservoir is full.
I had on and off current until the end, and enjoyed a nice mellow float while listening to some podcasts like All Songs Considered, Reply All, Invisibila and Tim Ferris.
Kirk told me about some more hotsprings about 5 miles from the takeout, and while I didn’t think I would make it that far today, I found myself there by 5pm. There wasn’t much to find, and the area had been trampled by cows. To top it off there were dead fish everywhere. The water levels were low, and must have fallen fast because rotting fish were beached everywhere. Yuck. I shouldn’t have come so far because now I’m left camping in this mess. I had entered the low reservoir and there is no paddling up stream!
I went around the corner and tried somewhere less offensive to camp. Ugg.
Only about 4 miles to Lesley Gulch where I will transition back to hiking for the final 30 miles to the end of the Oregon Desert Trail and my second section of the trail!