Ride to Hattie Harrell Ranch, Oregon
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Thread: Ride to Hattie Harrell Ranch, Oregon

  1. #1
    Senior Member admiral's Avatar
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    Ride to Hattie Harrell Ranch, Oregon

    Well, this is my third and by no means last venture into this general area. When I first started exploring this area, my idea was to find and ride around Lake Owyhee in eastern Oregon in one day. After my first foray, I discovered I didn't have nearly enough time, and I had one obstacle to cross...the Owyhee River. On my second foray, I traveled to Birch Creek/Morrison Ranches, in hopes of finding a way across the river. On this trip, I found a way across. However, the area is so large with so much history, making a dash around the lake in 1 day would be an injustice.

    So, here is my chapter: Ride to Hattie Harrell Ranch.

    My route. Just for bearing sake, in the bottom left near the river you'll see the Henry and George Ranches. These are actually the Birch Creek and Morrison Ranches I previously rode too a few weeks back. I've found conflicting names on different maps and generally have defaulted to what the BLM calls them.


    To save time, I truck in my TW since I've traveled most of the gravel roads in the area. Here is my starting point. I'll call it
    "Lone Tree Ranch". Abandoned by some measure long ago.


    On the way to Blue Canyon to start my descent, I ran across these wild horses. Wasn't sure they were actually wild horses at the time, but I've read
    other accounts of people mentioning wild horses in the area.


    Down below is Blue Canyon and the Owyhee River in the Watson area. I'll be heading that way first.


    Head'in down






    Now I'm down near Lake Owyhee. What you see here is under water when the lake is full. There is a dam on the other end.


    more to come
    Last edited by admiral; 09-03-2013 at 06:15 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?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Wingnut's Avatar
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    Looks great! Can't wait for the rest of the story.....

  3. #3
    Senior Member admiral's Avatar
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    After I arrive down by the river/lake, I go to check out my first destination for the day, the Watson Post Office ruins and geocache. Since the creation of the dam, this is now under water much of the time. Here's some info I pulled from the geocaching website of the area: "The original Watson Post Office was established on July 15, 1898. It was located at the Robert J. Ivers ranch at the lower end of the Black Rocks area on the Owyhee River in southeastern Oregon. The Post Office served the isolated ranches up and down the river. The Post Office remained in this location until 1906. All that remains today are the scattered hand-cut stones of the original building."






    Georgie and I at the cache site above the post office


    After visiting the post office and cache, I head west through some hills to do more 'splorin


    After a brief water break I check my gps for any nearby geocaches. Turns out there is one only a couple hundred feet away. I hike over and find it


    Turns out, this cache was just above another old homestead ruins.






    Still in the Watson area, I head north of this cache and take in the views of the Owyhee River




    On to Hattie Harrell Ranch soon
    lizrdbrth, B-dub and 66roadkill66 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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  5. #4
    Senior Member admiral's Avatar
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    Turn south, I head upstream towards the ranch.








    Interesting wallpaper inside the house. Must have been occupied for some time after 1927




    Root cellar


    more to come
    Hidden Content A ride in the woods helps me relax and release tension. The fact I'm dragging a body should be entirely irrelevant?

  6. #5
    Senior Member admiral's Avatar
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    Nearby I find one of the old irrigation waterwheels used to irrigate the crop fields of the ranch


    This one is very similar to the one I saw on my Birch Creek/Morrison Ranch ride


    Well, time is getting short so I must head back to the truck

    ...but wait, I find one of the river ford locations. I can't pass that by without giving it a shot can I?


    Of course not!






    That about wraps it up for the day. Just gotta re-trace my route back to the truck


    Don't forget to watch the video!!!



    Hidden Content A ride in the woods helps me relax and release tension. The fact I'm dragging a body should be entirely irrelevant?

  7. #6
    Senior Member Wingnut's Avatar
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    Admiral that video was awesome!! I was laughing my butt off at the submarine "pings"!! Thanks for taking us along.
    DonBenito likes this.

  8. #7
    Senior Member elime's Avatar
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    That was great! Man, I am so jealous. All that room to ride and no one cares. And old houses and homesteads to explore -- that looks like so much fun. However, I must confess when your engine died I laughed. All I could think was "OOPS!" I feel guilty about laughing but I am sure I will get over it.
    Long live the internal combustion engine!

  9. #8
    Senior Member Roninboise's Avatar
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    That is a great adventure and ride report. Your narrative is a delight.

    I will be back in the area by the 18th of Sept. and if you need a riding partner for further adventures this fall, let me know. I am healed up and ready to roll.


    Happy Trails All

    Ron in Boise.
    Last edited by Roninboise; 09-03-2013 at 07:45 PM.

  10. #9
    Senior Member r80rt's Avatar
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    Just excellent, thanks!
    Only a fool would attempt it, and God help me, I am that fool!

  11. #10
    Senior Member B-dub's Avatar
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    That river is beautiful, the green around it is quite a contrast to the surrounding area. Some of that country looks like prime habitat for buzz tails. I'm sure we would've heard about it had you run into one, though. The ranch was interesting, especially the waterwheel. I guess $3600 was a lot of money in 1927, but it seems a shame after all the work in building up a ranch to have to walk away. I loved the video, good onya for giving the water crossing a shot. Looks like you could benefit from Lizrdbrth's carb vent mod as well. But then again, it's not a bad way to clean your socks! I also got a kick out of the submarine pings. Thanks for another great ride report, I really enjoyed it.
    Last edited by B-dub; 09-04-2013 at 11:47 AM.
    Braden likes this.
    My handle is B-dub, I ride a T-dub, and drive a V-dub.

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