Fish Lake located “just off the highway” (14 miles) on Steens Mountain provided some fun fishing on day three of our four day trip (see previous post for the rest of the days). The lake had some planted trout which were hearty but not very mighty! However, float tubing in this high mountain desert lake, enjoying the sun, provided a great afternoon of angling.
When leaving camp each time, we saw the Steens Mountain herd of wild horses. One morning we caught a small group crossing the road. These horses really add to the beauty of Steens Mountain.
Another spot we chose to see was the Riddle Ranch. This is a classic example of what it takes to find places in Eastern Oregon. To get to the Riddle Ranch; Drive about 30 minutes south of Frenchglen, turn left and go 18 miles on a dirt road, then, another left, past a sign warning you to have a high clearance vechicle, down another two miles on a road that gave me flashbacks of the road into Trout Creek (Deschutes) before grading began! However, once your there it’s well worth the effort.
The Riddle Brothers came to the Steens around 1900. When they came there were about 100,000 cattle and sheep in the area around Steens mountain. The three brothers settled on the Little Blitzen River. Water was key to survival in the Steens and the Little Blitzen provided enough water for successful ranching. The Riddles had over 1200 acres and water rights to herd their cattle. Bascially, these guys locked up the water rights and nobody else could graze cattle around their ranch!
The three brothers never married, and lived on the ranch for about 50 years. They sold the ranch to Rex Clemens who raised cattle on the ranch for an additional 30 years. In 1986, the ranch was sold to the BLM and is now registered as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places.
That’s about it for Steens Mountain, except for one last pic…
The wild flowers! We hit it just right for the wild flower bloom and pictures can not express the majesty nor beauty of Steens Mountain. You just gotta go….because,…yup, “it’s just off the highway!”