August 10, Burns OR to Mt. Home Idaho

Today we planned to do the Steens Mountain Loop on our way to Idaho. When we went out to Steens Mountain in June the loop was closed due to snow so we settled for staying in a nice campground on the mountain. This time we made it around and the drive was great. It is about a 50 mile gravel loop where you climb from about 3500 feet to 9800 feet at the summit. It is the highest road in Oregon. Steens is a fault block mountain which makes it different than most of the mountains in Oregon which are volcanic. One side of the mountain is pretty wet by Eastern Oregon standards, resulting in Malheur Lake and the wildlife reguge there. The other in the rain shadow is the driest in Oregon with only 6” of rain per year. The dry side is called the Alvord Playa and is reminiscent of the Bonneville Salt Flats.

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After leaving Steens we bit off a long drive to Mountain Home Idaho. This is what happens when you let the destination drive your day. As a result of forgetting about the time change we didn’t arrive at the campground until after 7pm, a ten hour day. We are going to try to slow down a little for the rest of the trip and limit the driving hours per day to something a little more comfortable.

ducksksr@gmail.com travelin tiger 2013