Monday, May 26, 2014

Days 3 - DUST, DUST, DUST Hart Mountain to Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Oregon

Todays Miles - RV- 84; Jeep 64

Total Miles - RV - 444; Jeep 64

Departed - Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge

Arrived - Malheur National Wildlife Refuge

You might say we are, ahem, "Refugee's".....
The Route

Our route takes us across a 40 mile gravel road.  Recently we drove 20 miles over gravel to Chaco Canyon so we weren't worried.  It was good road and the views were incredible. We did see some antelope too.  Too far away for photos tho.
The Long, Long Gravel Road (40 miles)
We made the blacktop north towards Frenchglen which is south end of Malheur.  Just before Frenchglen we faced a 3 mile, 14% downhill grade.  Thankful for towhaul feature which downshifts to lower gears thereby saving our brakes.
Down a 14% grade  Yikes
We then drove 30 miles north to Narrows where we find an RV park. We thought to stay only 3 days but the price for 4 days was significanly cheaper so we are staying 4 nights.  You know who, the birder, is pleased.
This 70 miles of gravel road was rather dusty
The bad news is we discovered dust in all compartments and coating the whole RV.  Inside and outside the jeep.  We drive into Burns (30 miles north) to buy some fresh produce pick up a package at the Post Office (see bottom) and also to wash, vacuum and clean the jeep inside and out.  We took everything out of the jeep. As we cleaned, a major thunderstorm approached blowing all the little stuff everywhere.  Yikes.
First things first,  we wash and clean Mr. Toad
We managed to clean the jeep despite blowing gusts up to 40 mph. Later in the evening back at the RV we witnessed a wonderful sunset then the rain started.  after about an hour, before it was totally dark, we put on our rain jackets, went outside, and wiped down CharLi the RV.  Woo Hoo.  Clean and saved $40 cleaning fees.
Sunset before the rain at Malheur
This is an amazing place. Major stopover for the Pacific Flyway.  It is amazing the number of bird species we are seeing here.  Have seen Trumperter Swans, mating Avocets, Terns, small birds and many more. I have over 20 good photos already at my photo site and will post some shots on flickr.
We initially came here to meet our new birding freinds, Turtle and Hawk (aka "Point and Shoot").  They are full timers recently retired who sold their home in Ashland and now travel around volunteering to help on various bird surveys.
Intriguing bicycle.  Love the Faux Fur!
We drove back down to Frenchglen then back up the Central Patrol Road.
Bensen Lake where Trumpeter Swans are
Next post will be about some of these birds.
Our morning coffee system
Oh, yes,  We just received some incredible coffee from Peets, via General Delivery. We have discovered that, while traveling, we can have packages shipped to General Delivery Post Office Zip Code.  They will hold for 30 days.  We get things from Amazon, mail shipped from Ananda Village and Ananda Laurelwood and also Peets Coffee which we received at Burns P.O.  A special roast, we tried yesterday and today.  Yum.  We are ordering more.  It makes the mornings so great!

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