Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Getting flooded out? and a super disbursed area!!

Monday, May 14

We continued east into Oregon heading for the BLM Spring Recreation Site near Huntington. The campground is on the bank of the Snake River/Brownlee Reservoir. As we turned onto the Snake River Road which leads to the campground, we saw this sign:

The sign maker missed two salient points. (1) There is no guardrail and (2) parts of the road are simply calving off effectively making the road 1 ½ lanes in a few spots. Besides that, the road was not bad; we've driven worse. As we approached the Spring Recreation area, I noticed a truck camper and travel trailer camped right on the river bank. We went to the Spring campground to take a look. It was just OK, so we decided to see how one gets to the river bank. The path from the main road didn't look all that bad, so Gopher and I did what we usually do if in doubt and we walked the path from where we were down to the river. I look for tire tracks of other vehicles to see what sort of impression they make in the dirt. This was good and solid. The picture shows our campsite. 

Gopher gets a long overdue bath

It's right here: 44.36483 -117.22578 The river is 32' below full so we're not really parked in the water as it looks on Google Earth.

Ross's Goose

During the day, a “local” stopped by to fish and chat and said he heard that Idaho Power, they control the dam and water level, was going to release water to raise the river. He heard 18”. We were OK with 18” where we were camped. Later in the day, another “local” stopped by and said he heard it was 4'. We moved to a slightly higher area a little further away from the river. About 7:00 another “local”, and his buddy, drove up. (this is a very popular spot with the fisherman) Between the two of them, they had a decent number of front teeth. I take this as a sign of good local knowledge. First thing he said “I can't believe you drove that nice rig down here”. We get that sort of reaction quite often. We do drive to places a lot of others wouldn't. Then he asked if I knew they were going to raise the river by 8'. :-) OK, you've made your point “locals”.

I checked the Idaho Power website and it said there were no planned water releases for the next two days, but there was an asterisk saying “subject to change”. By this time, I just knew there would be no decent nights sleep wondering who was right. We moved up to the Spring Campground, paid our $2.50 fee and slept well.

In the morning we'll see who was right. Before we pulled out, I placed two sticks at rivers edge; they will be my reference points.

All of the Chicken Little’s were wrong. I could detect no increase in the water level.

We're meeting up with our camping friend, Jim, this weekend so we decided to move on anyway.
We headed to Baker City. I stopped in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest office to get current information on our camping options. My questions were clearly a disturbance to the women on duty, I was actually asking her to do her job, so I just picked up some literature and left.
She said, which turned out to be wrong, that the only opened campground in this ranger district was Union Creek. We went there and looked around. It was very unusual as USFS campgrounds go in that it had several full-hookup sites ($20) and, lots of sites with water and electric ($18). The campground is on the Phillips Reservoir but none of the campsites are. Union Creek would be just fine if hookups are very important; they mean nothing to us. We agree that we're just spoiled. A beautiful, private campsite is much more important to us so we decided to just move on and see what unfolded. We hadn't gone 3 miles when we came across Hudspeth Lane and decided to see where it went. We saw a 5th wheel parked near a marsh so we pulled in to take a look. It took us right here:
44.68769 -118.09142
It's a small, free disbursed camping area right on a beautiful marsh. Our view is the marsh, then a hill of pine trees then snow covered mountains. We'll note this as one of our favorites.
This will be home for the next few days. No one is home in the Fiver so, for now, it's just the three of us.

Our view


Russ Krecklow said...

You do manage to find the nicest views!! Glad to hear that "the locals" were wrong about the release of water at your other site. Good that you got a peaceful night's sleep, anyway. I would have been fitful all night under those circumstances. Glad to hear you're making progress on heading up to see Jimbo. He should be all settled in there by now. Enjoy the weather, and happy trails.

Jimbo said...

Getting ready to see you guys. Life is great up here in Ochoco Divide!