Ever since our first visit to the Owyhee, the high desert of southeast Oregon has delivered trip after trip full of wonderful discoveries and surprises. Still - all these years later and having visited nearly a dozen times - I'm sure we've only scratched the surface. In fact, while we did once find a dirt route between Fields Station and the Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge, we've rarely explored west of Steens Mountain at the edge of the Alvord Desert.
And so, finally, it's time. Having uncovered a few interesting destinations near Hart Mountain over the last couple of years - and hoping to visit before snow covered the region for the winter - it seemed like this was the perfect time to visit some abandoned homesteads, old mines, and World War II plane crashes.
No trip goes entirely as planned, and this one was no different. Temperatures in the teens (°F), snow falling as we slept, and unexpected rock art and hot springs added fortuitous highlights to our Tour of Hart (Mountain) Homesteads.