Since our last encounter, myself and the other intern have camped in the Trout Creek Mountains in southeastern Oregon near the Nevada border. Our first night camping was the summer solstice, June 20th. The sun set around 10:30 PM that night. Within the next hour, it was light again…but from the moon. The moon was the brightest I have ever seen in my entire 24 and half years of life. Camping couldn’t be any better…well maybe with s’mores, but fires aren’t allowed due to the fire band this year since it is so dry!
I really love the nights that we camp. I enjoy looking out into space, seeing so many stars, shooting stars, and satellites orbiting earth. Some weeks I’ve stay and slept at a BLM station. I’ve stayed in McDermitt, NV, Jordan Valley (Heart of the Owyhee’s), OR, and Rome, OR. These stations allow us to stay in the field and not have to commute every day from home – which would be 4 hours one way and it also allows us to not have to camp. There is this really great coffee place in Jordan Valley, called the Rock House. I have the frequent customer stamp card and yes I have gotten my free 11th coffee. I get the lattes though, so good. I mean, I’m supporting the local business. According to Google, the population of Jordan Valley in 2013 was 175. Near Jordan Valley is Jordan Craters. McDermitt, NV is unincorporated. Google tells me the population of McDermitt in 2010 was 513. Rome, OR is also unincorporated. In Rome, you can visit the Pillars of Rome and the Owyhee Canyonlands. I have yet to do so.
To get to the field sites, we drive, A LOT! I’ve driven on gravel roads and on two-track roads, used 4-wheel drive, and have driven over large rocks. I haven’t hit the oil pan yet – and definitely plan not to. The idea is to drive over the rocks with your tires. Sometimes, you can’t even see the roads, since they aren’t used very often.
There are times when on the road, the two-track roads, are barely visible. This one time, myself and the other intern led the truck for a few miles, over very large rock and boulders hidden in the sea of large shrubs and thriving forbs.
Driving on public lands that allow cattle grazing have given myself the pleasure of seeing so. many. cows. So many.
Photos I have taken in the field to show you what we do in the field.
Field work views, sites, and experiences.
I don’t know who’s idea it was to plant Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass), but it was definitely a bad idea. We had to hike through seas of cheatgrass and if you don’t wear the correct attire, like I didn’t this day, they will get all into your pants, socks, and boots. The seeds are so sharp, they are painful when they start to rub against your ankles and boot while hiking. My roommate told me how one day she had to hike through a sea of cheatgrass and I did not understand what she meant. This day, I understood. I UNDERSTOOD!
Well, that is all for now! I look forward to next time and sharing my Oregon adventures with you!