Monday, September 10, 2018

Malheur NWR, Burns, OR

While we were in Burns, we also made a couple of trips onto the Malheur Wildlife Refuge south of us about 30 miles.  Not a lot of bird activity this time of year but we did manage to find a few and see a coyote not to mention some nice colorful scenery.

After we left Burns, Wednesday of last week, we drove to Crater Lake National Park hoping the smoke from all the wildfires around would not be too bad.  Unfortunately, yet another fire had sprung up in northern CA and the smoke blowing into our area was awful.  So we left after 2 nights and spent a few nights in Fairview, OR near the Columbia River Gorge which was nice but expensive and noisy!  We are now in Woodland, WA, where we will be spending the next 5+ weeks near family.

Here are a few pics from the Malheur Wildlife refuge:

A female great horned owl.  She was so talkative!!! Did not sound like your typical owl (hoot)

some of these pics were taken from afar and unfortunately not clear but this is a male and female(below) of some type of prairie chicken

look at the size of this fish!!!  We were not able to watch him swallow it as he flew away with it

we did see egrets, herons and white faced ibis among several duck species


Monday, September 3, 2018

Burns, OR, John Day Fossil Beds NM

What an unexpectedly wonderful day!  We are here in Burns, Oregon, and when we told people in Boise we were going to be here next they asked why?  Nothing to do in Burns!  They were pretty much right there:)  Burns is just a little town and the Burns Campground really just an overnight stop for most folks. Then there was the smoke!  We had smoke in Boise from surrounding wildfires and it was not good, but here in Burns it was much worse.

However, 30 miles south of Burns is the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and 20 miles to the north is the Malheur National Forest with lots of places to hike and it is beautiful.  Then, if you are in for a nice day adventure, John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is further north and well worth the trip!  Here is our day adventure to John Day FBNM:

a beautiful scenic drive north up the US395

we had a little spritz, just enough for a rainbow!

This is the Mascall area a few miles south of the monument


looking past a fossil off the patio at the visitor center

Inside the visitor center, all
kinds of actual fossils on
display. Plant and animal,
very cool!!

the scenery is spectacular!!

this hike took us op on top of the hill looking down on these beautiful formations

last pic on our way out of the monument 
 Heading back home we stopped in the town of John Day after seeing a sign for the 1188 Brewery.  Turned out to have good beer and food so we filled up before continuing!  Then back on US395 we began to see wildlife.....
we saw a large herd of elk.....


another large herd of elk....

 and pronghorns (no pic)
and more deer!!

It was amazing, these pics
do not do the elk herds justice.
there were several hundred elk

What a fantastic sight!!!

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Boise, Idaho, Highlights

Boise is one of those places we may have to come back to as there is a lot to see and do.  We had a really nice time there in spite of the smoke from all the fires here in the west.  Really hampers the views of the scenery.  My lungs have been feeling the effects of all the smoke, I can't imagine what people with health concerns must be going through.

Anyway,  Boise and surrounding area is brewery and winery country so you know Mike and I had a great time visiting as many of these establishments as possible.  There is also lots of beautiful country to see in the Idaho heartland but I would suggest planning a trip there at other than fire season for sure;)  Boise has museums and beautiful parks to check out as well.  Had we more time there we could have seen a lot more in this area.

We stayed at Hi Valley RV Park in Eagle while checking out the Boise area. Worth mentioning because it was a nice park located next to some nice hills with hiking trails!  So convenient!

We followed the beautiful Payette River up into the Idaho Heartland one day to visit Warm Lake:
Warm Lake up in the Idaho Heartland

Payette River
 The Payette River is a very popular rafting/kayaking river with up to class 5 rapids.  Mike and I did a  half day raft trip along an 8 mile section and did some class 2 and 3 rapids.  Fun!!!  Now I think I'm ready for 3 and 4 rapids....maybe;)
Rapid on the Payette
 We did a hike in Boise up to Table Rock which overlooks the city and, in this view, the old territorial prison which is now a museum.
 Boise has a botanical garden right next to the old prison:

After  the hike that morning we toured the prison. Always
Mike is checking out solitary confinement

if you weren't in solitary, you could actually spruce up your own cell by making things in the shop on the prison grounds
4 floors high!!

 In another area of downtown Boise they have a beautiful rose garden.  It is always a treat to smell a rose these days!!
 Not far from the rose garden is a small wildlife sanctuary and Mike is watching a sturgeon swim by below him!

Below, a pic of me with a larger than life Abe Lincoln

Boise Capital building

local artists can express themselves in Freak Alley, very interesting!!!!

No, I am not going to put a pics of every brewery we went to.  Lots of good ones though!!!!!
stickers from some of the breweries

one of the many good wineries in the area

7 diff wineries represented here in just some of the wine we bought;)

me with purple teeth after a few wineries, now having a beer;)

Malheur NWR, Burns, OR

While we were in Burns, we also made a couple of trips onto the Malheur Wildlife Refuge south of us about 30 miles.  Not a lot of bird activ...