Hole in the Ground Ranch-Jordan Craters, Eastern Oregon
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Thread: Hole in the Ground Ranch-Jordan Craters, Eastern Oregon

  1. #1
    Senior Member admiral's Avatar
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    Hole in the Ground Ranch-Jordan Craters, Eastern Oregon

    Introduction: Sometimes you see things which make you speechless. I did squeak out the word "Wow" at some point!


    Jackson Hole, Owyhee River, Eastern Oregon
    Hidden Content A ride in the woods helps me relax and release tension. The fact I'm dragging a body should be entirely irrelevant?

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    Senior Member admiral's Avatar
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    Our plan for the day is to ride and see Coffee Pot Crater at Jordan Craters, Hole in the Ground Ranch along the Owyhee River, and a stone corral somewhere near Jordan Craters on our return. We would see much more in-between!

    Our rides


    Google of Jordan Craters Lava flow. About 26-27 square miles according to the www


    Some of the flow below Coffee Pot Crater


    Coffee Pot Crater. Hard to see but there is a path leading to the bottom.


    The riders at the crater


    Collapsed air pocket. Pictures make things look small






    More lava flow away from the crater


    We then bomb across some rolling desert sagebrush towards our next destination.

    Starting our descent into Hole in the Ground Ranch. About a 1,500 foot descent from the canyon rim to the ranch.


    Owyhee River


    Rest stop next to the river




    Petroglyphs. The reason we stopped.


    While rather remote, Hole in the Ground area see's it's fair share of recreationalists, hunters, M/C & ATV riders, and rafters. I hope they appreciate the ancient artwork and don't vandalize things.


    We make up our own story from some of the petroglyphs. I'm sure we're not right on all of it!


    We proceed to the Hole in the Ground Ranch.


    We're the only one's here today and it's very peaceful at the ranch along the Owyhee River. BLM now owns the place.


    What we see are two houses. One older than the other. (Courtesy Bill Crowell website:Ranching began in 1901 when Riley Horn was granted a homestead patent for 160 acres;)


    (Courtesy Bill Crowell: The Hole in the Ground Ranch was acquired in 1917 by John Kiernan of Portland for $51,000 and then by Frank Davis of Ontario in 1919 for $26,000.Davis and his second wife Leroa Blanton Davis resided there in a board and batten house into the 1930s, when he sold the ranch to son, S(cott). Conley Davis and his wife, Stacia Hall Davis for $10,000.)

    Frank Davis




    Well, we weren't all alone!


    to be continued
    Last edited by admiral; 10-25-2016 at 11:55 AM.
    Hidden Content A ride in the woods helps me relax and release tension. The fact I'm dragging a body should be entirely irrelevant?

  3. #3
    Senior Member admiral's Avatar
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    In 1944, the Davises sold the ranch to H.T. Morcom, who later sold/gave to his son in 1962 Jean Morcom.


    (Courtesy Bill Crowell: The Morcom family kept the ranch until 1972. Subsequent owners were the Cutler brothers, who raised cattle, and Marty Rust, who bought the place in 1980, planning to convert it into a dude ranch. In 1985, a large fire destroyed most of the ranch buildings. The remaining buildings give little sense of the size of the original complex, and the cottonwood trees shown behind Conley in the above picture are completely gone. The BLM bought the ranch in 1993, and it is now part of the Lower Owyhee Canyon WSA.)


    Most of the ranches had water wheels to lift water out of the river to irrigate the land. This ranch had a canal system from a rock dam upstream.


    According to research listed on Bill Crowells website, almost all of the ranches along the Owyhee River were moonshiners during prohibition, including this ranch.

    The "new house" had sidewalks, couple nice fireplaces, and apparently electricity. There was a light bulb in the bathroom and a hot water heater. I'm guessing all run by a generator but could have been a propane hot water heater.


    Root Cellar? It's a long road down here though and they didn't make many trips to town. In the early 1900's ranchers would only go to down in their wagons once or twice a year.


    Wood bridge across what used to be the canal on the old main entrance to the ranch


    This was a nice place once upon a time. When the Morcom's sold the place they moved to California and had a citrus ranch.


    New house left, old house right.


    Great view




    We then ride upstream a ways. Some of the trail we now ride was in the old canal


    We encounter minor turbulence


    Mrs. Admiral stops for some photography


    Across the river is Rinehart Falls. Rinehart Ranch is above the canyon rim


    The road dead ends at the irrigation head gate. This is where the rock dam was located. The old dam serves as a rapids for rafters now days.


    Heading back along the river from the head gate towards the ranch




    End of Part I




    To be continued
    Last edited by admiral; 10-25-2016 at 12:26 PM.
    Hidden Content A ride in the woods helps me relax and release tension. The fact I'm dragging a body should be entirely irrelevant?

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    Senior Member wrench-puller's Avatar
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    Well all I can say is "Wow" too.... what a great ride report. That terrain is so different from here but would love to explore places like that. Thanks so much for taking the time to snap and post those pictures. We are having a rain / wind storm here on the north coast so our bike rides are over for a few months sad as it is. Rain, wind, cold is here till end of March now so its always good to see where other TW owners take thier bikes!
    2009 TW200, Jimbo shield, 47&55T rear with DID chain, Maxxis Ceros Rear, Kendra 270 front, extended swing arm, 1"Risers, Rear rack, Raised front fender, XOG GPS.

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    Senior Member upnovr's Avatar
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    The Pacific Northwest. Best riding on the planet, and you two know how to use it. Many thanks.

  7. #6
    Senior Member admiral's Avatar
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    Once out of the Hole in the Ground Canyon we head south to just take in some views. We have no other planned places to see outside of the stone corral close to the truck.

    Owyhee River Canyon Rim can be seen in the distance. From here we turn right just following a 2 track.


    And what a surprise we had in store for us. Jackson Hole which I found off the map when we returned.


    Told you I was speechless


    Are to top this place but we try. Again, didn't plan on it, but the road I was taking to the stone corral brought us on the edge of the lava flow from Coffee Pot Crater


    Pretty Awesome


    After riding around the edge of the lava flow we find the stone corral I'd been looking for (BTW-I hit a rock very hard with my left Footpeg jolting my back, elbow, and shoulder. Thought it was the skid plate until I tried to put my foot back onto the peg.)


    A lot more work went into building these stone walls (thinking manual labor here-yuck) but they did a pretty good job


    And that pretty much wraps up our trip.


    We depart Hole in the Ground and ride over to an overlook above Jackson Hole. Gotta get here now as the bunny huggers may get their way and the area possibly becoming off limits and seldom ever seen from this vantage. We then head back east and ride around the Jordan Crater Lava flow. Cool!

    As a bonus about 6 Antelope run across the road in front of me as we head back. Awesome eh?


    You are now free to ride about the country. Carry on!
    littletommy, Fred, elime and 9 others like this.
    Hidden Content A ride in the woods helps me relax and release tension. The fact I'm dragging a body should be entirely irrelevant?

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    Senior Member Mrs. Admiral's Avatar
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    It was an absolutely beautiful day to ride AND we made it back to the truck before dark! (This is not always the case)

    The Admiral gets to pick the places we ride (I've only veto'd his ideas a couple times). Normally I'm just there to make sure he either comes home alive or in a coffin (depending on my mood), luckily for him he hasn't pissed me off enough to want him in a coffin.....yet. giggle

    The info on Jordan Craters was interesting with the lava flow estimated to be between 4,000 and 9,000 years old, but there is an 18 acre flow within the field that is thought to be less than 100 years old.. that's crazy to think my Grandpa was alive when there was active lava flow in the area.

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    Senior Member admiral's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrench-puller View Post
    Well all I can say is "Wow" too.... what a great ride report. That terrain is so different from here but would love to explore places like that. Thanks so much for taking the time to snap and post those pictures. We are having a rain / wind storm here on the north coast so our bike rides are over for a few months sad as it is. Rain, wind, cold is here till end of March now so its always good to see where other TW owners take thier bikes!
    When I lived down the coast in Tacoma, Wa, I hated the winter rains. Not sure if the same as where you live but it seems yucky from September to April. Kind of lucky with a much longer riding season here. Rides like Hole in the Ground Ranch are wonderful in spring and fall so we took advantage of it. Glad you enjoy Mrs. Admirals picture taking!
    littletommy, grewen, Mel and 4 others like this.
    Hidden Content A ride in the woods helps me relax and release tension. The fact I'm dragging a body should be entirely irrelevant?

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    I sure am proud of that little miss Lori!!
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    Senior Member admiral's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by upnovr View Post
    The Pacific Northwest. Best riding on the planet, and you two know how to use it. Many thanks.

    Yes, we are so very fortunate up here. We hope to ride over on that side of the state one day...in the summer!
    Hidden Content A ride in the woods helps me relax and release tension. The fact I'm dragging a body should be entirely irrelevant?

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