Pueblo Mountains (S. Oregon)

June 11-15, 1984

Forty-eight strategically-placed stone cairns pointed, beckoned and guided this first Obsidian Desert Trail backpack trip across the 24-mile long spine of Southern Oregon’s Pueblo Mountains west of the mighty Steens Mountain. This small section of the envisioned “Desert Trail” (to run from Mexico to Canada when completed) spans the stretch from Fields, Oregon to Denio, Nevada. High point of the trail is 7,750 feet which passes through such easy-to-appreciate—difficult-to-adequately-describe areas as Ten Cent Meadows, and VanHorn Basin. Cairns are not numbered on the ground, but are located by dint of compass bearing and distance in yards. Cairn-like non-cairns breed along the way, and water supplies are shared with side-hill cattle. Wild flowers are everywhere, yet the fragrant sagebrush predominates. Coyotes “sang” on cue to the moon’s rising, but the expected hordes of rattlesnakes did not materialize; enhanced snow levels gave no trouble. Good weather and strong cohesive group made this a happy “first”. Trip fees (collected in Denio on completion) were doubled, easily by one-armed banditry! “Across the Pueblos” went Margaret Crosland, John Kocher, Ingrid Peterson, Betty Legris, Bill Williams, Larry Schulze and leader John Cecil. “Sagebrush madness” will see us back again next year! Thank you, Desert Trail Association (HQ - Burns, Oregon), for a superb high desert experience.


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