Silver City, Idaho & SE Oregon

August 14-19, 1989

Our objective was to learn about the natural and human history of SE Oregon and parts of Idaho. We paused at Sisters, lunched at Brothers and stopped at Ontario that night.

We stayed south of the Snake River then viewed remnants of the Old Oregon Trail with Bert Silcock, ex-BLM. After a brief stop at Murphy with its museum, we crossed New York Summit to Silver City, described as “the queen of ghost towns.” From there we continued down Jordan Creek, “Idaho’s Creek of No Return.” We extricated the bus from a creek crossing and continued to Jordan Valley, a Basque town. We left for Leslie Gulch and viewed bighorn sheep against a colorful backdrop of spires as we descended to the Owyhee Reservoir. We ate lunch in Succor Creek Gorge then continued northward to Homedale, returning by Highway 95. That evening we visited Mr. and Mrs. Mike Manley. He is an historian and a craftsman who demonstrated the art of horseshoeing and showed us a large collection of antique wagons and the shop in which he is restoring them. We got an excellent view of the total eclipse of the moon.

The next morning we visited the grave of Charboneau (Sacajewa’s son) at Danner, then went via Rome and Burns Junction to the frontal scarp along Steens Mountain. We ate lunch at Mickie Hot Spring, visited the Weston Mercury Mine where the Weston Brothers demonstrated self-sufficiency in their arrangements. We saw dry Alvord playa, stopped at Fields, then spent the night at Denio with its quaint accommodations.

We went northward stopping at Roaring Springs on the edge of Catlow Valley, paused at Frenchglen, then slowly climbed the dipslope to the top of Steens Mountain from which point we could see in all directions. We returned to the head of Kiger Gorge, lunched by Fish Lake, then crossed Catlow Valley to the Prongbuck Refuge on Hart Mountain for a brief explanation of their objectives, looked down on Warner Valley with its partly filled lakes and ancient shorelines, went through Plush and spent the night at Lakeview.

On our last day we paused at Paisley, some of us swam in the Summer Lake Hot Spring, then viewed Summer and Silver Lakes, paused for lunch at Fort Rock and then made it to Eugene on time. We saw an amazing number of scenic wonders and met outstanding individuals. We owe much of the success of the expedition to Don Moorhead our skillful driver who got us to our many destinations.

Participants were Kay and Bonnie Anderson, Margaret Baldwin, Joe, Mary and Richard Bentsen, Ingrid Carmichael, Clair Cooley, Ann and John Corliss, Ardis Ebbighausen, Herman Hendershott, Evelyn Hile, Jane Hilt, Miki Hutchison, Virginia Kapsa, Dee Kelley, Viola Landry, Dot Leland, Helen Lynch, Margaret Markley, Carrie McClish, Frances Newsom, Hans Schock, Lois Schreiner, Lila Smith, Hawk and Ruth Williams and co-leaders Evart Baldwin and Bill Eaton.

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