Spectacular photos of Cowboy Country, heritage still struggling
. . . don't let 'em pick guitars, and drive them old trucks . . .
More below the break.
In the early 1990s, wife and I drove across Oregon, ending up high on Steens Mountain at the end of August. When we arrived, we set camp and then drove up to the top where we could look down into the Alford. It really is a beautiful place, and if you have the chance you should visit.
That night it rained, hard. We got up and everything was swamped, the tent was wet inside, and it was a mess. We decided to drive up to the peak again and then follow the road out to the south and back around to the highway. As we drove higher the rain turned to snow, and then began to get deep. Shocking really that in one night we could get between 16" and 2' of snow, and it was still falling. After a while, we could no longer tell if we were on road or just aimlessly driving through the desert. We decided to turn around. The cliff edge is unmarked and steep, and impossibly far from rescue.
As we made our way back down the mountain we noticed cattle trailers, horse trailers, and cowboys by the dozens. The snow meant the grazing season had ended and every cowboy for 100 miles had shown up to wrangle cattle. We were so far off the beaten path, it was for a few hours just us and a hell of a lot of cowboys.
Hat's off to you boys, that is a very difficult life with few rewards. Well, expect for lifestyle, and the beauty of your office. And some cool songs. I really can't beat that!
The first photo is of Steens Mountain in winter from the Alford. The second is looking from Steens Mountain towards the Alford.