> Photojournal > 1999 > Fall/Winter
Hell's Canyon Recreational Area

The idea was to drive down to the Nee-Me-Poo trail in Hell's Canyon. The reality that occured was different, but not without interest or merit. We left about 7am and drove down to Imnaha, Oregon before heading north onto gravel forest service road which was "not recommended for passenger vehicles." That was no joke. Passenger vehicles would probably be able to make it if they have decent clearance. However, they would get knocked around and shaken quite a bit. So it was with my pickup. I wondered if there would be anything left between what must have been getting beat off by the hard bumps and the rocks getting kicked up and what was getting shaken off by rough nature of the road.

Along the drive in there were two wild turkeys which were in the middle of the road. They loped along in front of us for a while before taking flight. They were the first wild turkeys I had ever seen. I had underestimated how far it was to drive and found that the gas gauge was reading a bit lower than comfortable. We pushed on as far as we dared keeping in mind that it would have been a _long_ walk out if we should run out of gas (the nearest gas station was 45 miles away in Joseph). When we decided to stop and not push the limits of the gas tank anymore, we went ahead and walked up the road for a ways. There were a couple of deer along the road and also a group of big horned sheep (the first I had seen in the wild in quite some time). A passing motorist told us that it was another 12 miles to the end of the road.

We were not even at the Snake River, but the canyons were still incredibly immense. They stretch for miles and miles and were quite deep. There were many side canyons which looked like they would be quite interesting to explore. Such explorations would have to take place on foot, undoubtedly. I think it would be nice to go spend some more time down there and next time I will be sure to fill up on gas at Joseph on the way in. It would also be nice to take in mountain bikes to ride along the dirt roads, perhaps.

Home | Fall 1999