Posts made in Oregon Outback

Jun
14
2013

Weekend Workshop in Oregon’s Desert

The Malhuer Wildlife Refuge & Alvord Desert

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When most people from outside the area think of Oregon, I imagine that the image that comes to mind is either of a rocky, windswept coast, lighthouses, the seemingly ever-present drizzle of Portland, or the waterfalls and greenery of the Columbia and Willamette river valleys.  But, I suspect to the surprise of all but a few who’ve never travelled Oregon’s back roads and byways, the southeastern corner of the state has a desert that rivals some in the southwest.

Alvord-OverlookAbout a 4-hour drive from my home in Bend, the Steens Mountain Wilderness, Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Alvord Desert stretch for over a hundred miles toward the state line with Nevada.  This area is also home to Oregon’s (and some of the west’s) largest cattle ranches, like the Roaring Springs Ranch at 425,000 acres!

But I’m already digressing.

A few weeks ago, I took a weekend workshop down to the Alvord Desert, my first trip into that area.  The ‘shop was led by Oregon photographer and teacher, Robert Agli.  I didn’t actually know exactly what to expect, but what I found was fantastic mix of ranchland, Oregon’s highest mountain (Steens) and the Alvord Desert.  It was a short workshop, but a great, first-time exploration of this unusual part of Oregon.

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