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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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
 

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Discussion Starter #3
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
 

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Discussion Starter #5
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!!!



 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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:D. Thanks for another great ride report, I really enjoyed it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Admiral that video was awesome!! I was laughing my butt off at the submarine "pings"!! Thanks for taking us along.
The backstory. When I was at the homestead/cache, I was at my time limit to head back. I've got a football game to go to tonight! ...but how long could it take to ride down to Hattie Harrell Ranch. I pass the river ford on the way to the ranch. I'll try it on my way back from the ranch if I've got time.

So, I depart the ranch to head home. I pause at the shore of the river contemplating weather I have enough time. I don't have enough time...so I head across the river anyway. Oops! Took the airbox/filter cover off and let it dry out for about 1/2 hour. I'm screwed, I ain't gonna make the football game. Wife WILL NOT BE PLEASED. Felt some relief when the U200 started. I had scoped out a shallower way back across and went slower not to repeat said "battleship sinking". Get across with easy and eventually make it back home.

Oddly enough, I've got enough time to make it to the football game. Wife comes home from work and informs me she don't want to go to the game. DOH!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
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.
Have to admit it's funny. Little worried at the time, but funny now for sure. Oh, another positive...the water was warm just so ya know!:D

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.
Glad to see you up and about on the TW. Waiting for you to show me around the Boise Foothills...Eagleson, other trails up there?

Just excellent, thanks!
Wonder what the water crossing would've been like towing a trailer like yours? Glad you liked the ride.

Some of that country looks like prime habitat for buzz tails. 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:D. Thanks for another great ride report, I really enjoyed it.
My wife's fear of snakes is one reason why I'm riding in this area alone. I'm sure the "buzz tails" are lurkin. Thankfully, I've not seen or heard one in my wanderings in the area...so far.

My very first thought when the U200 died out in the water was Lizrdbrth's carb vent mod. Now, I still could have made it without "sinking" if I would've gone slower like I did on my return trip across the water. Still, I'm gonna do the carb vent mod to be ready for my next venture out. I kinda liked crossing the river, plus I've got more 'splorin to do on the west side of the river.
 

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I loved that waterwheel, made me think of a defunct ranch near here that is now a part of Saguaro National Park. The rancher built a dam to supply his cattle with water, and drug railroad ties behind his Willys to make roads up to his place. The Corps of Engineers cut holes in the dam and time turned the roads into stock/hiking trails. It's always interesting visiting places like that, might not have worked out the way Hattie or Mr. Garwood had hoped, but it's still pretty inspiring to stand where they stood.

Loved the soundtrack to your video too!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
What's in the geo boxes you find?
Glad you like my rides. Contents vary by size of cache, but a typical size cache will have trading items like key chains, small kid toys, playing cards, batteries, mini flashlights, bungie cords etc. One time we even found a mini (size of your palm) horse saddle. We rode our mules to this cache and it was kinda cool there was an item which related to what we were doing. I think I traded a sunglass visor holder and a keychain for the saddle. Still have the saddle on the dash or our truck. :) Take care.


 

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such a beautiful area! i tried to ID that mini drone the oregon air natl guard flew past you in the first minute, but was unable. maybe it landed at that deserted strip?

thanks for another amazing ride report.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
i tried to ID that mini drone the oregon air natl guard flew past you in the first minute, but was unable. maybe it landed at that deserted strip?
Good catch, I didn't even think of that. Too funny!:D

Actually, when I first got down near the river, there were some jets flying overhead. I got the camera out, but had bad camera aim and only got the sound. Without jets in the video, I chose not to use it audio. Maybe I should have dubed the audio with "said drone"!:)
 

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That was great! I felt every rock you hit under the water LOL. And then the oh craaaap moment..yikes I probably would have a lot more to say though haha....looks like a very good ride..
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I probably would have a lot more to say though haha....looks like a very good ride..
I might not be saying much out loud for the camera to pickup, but I'm thinking it....:D

...but it always picks up my grunting sounds :p
 
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