June 5, 2018: A Quick Visit in Oregon

After spending the night in a hotel east of Portland, Danielle, Dirk, Shera, and I planned to head up the Columbia River and explore some of the gorge. Danielle and I very much wanted to show Dirk and Shera one of our favourite hikes of all time, Munra Point, which we’d hiked in 2016. However, as we drove along the gorge, I came to a sad realization that I’d forgotten about the Eagle Creek Fire that devastated the gorge in 2017 and resulted in the closing of much of the trails in the area. The fire was caused maliciously by a teenager lighting fireworks during drought season and consequently burning 50 000 acres of land. I could go on about my bitter disappointment and disgust with said individual and others like them, but I digress.

Because we couldn’t hike Munra Point, we instead decided in the spur of the moment to show Dirk and Shera another of our favourite places in Oregon, the Painted Hills division of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. Thus, with this destination in mind, we departed the gorge around Hood River, and headed east, driving through beautiful inland Oregon, along both paved and dirt highways until reaching the national monument.

Once at Painted Hills, we took a lunch break in the serene, river-side, tree-shaded picnic area making wraps and relaxing in the shade, and stretching our legs after the car ride. After lunch we hopped back in the Ac’ and drove to the main parking lot. Although Danielle and I had been to Painted Hills before, we were still inspired by the incredible colours the otherworldly landscape has to display. We explored around the Hills for a couple hours or so and then decided on where to head next.

While I too agreed with them, the Seeligers were very keen to find hotsprings. So after doing some research, we decided we would go hotspring hunting, and Idaho seemed to be the place to attempt to do it. Jumping back into the whip, we headed towards Idaho. As we approached the border, we stopped for gas in a small town where Dirk, as is tradition, struck up a conversation with one of the workers who directed us to a local hotspring approx. 30 minutes away by car. Attempting to follow her directions, we eventually made our way to Snively Hotsprings, along the Owyhee River. While the setting was quite beautiful, unfortunately the hotspring pool itself was surrounded by refuse, including a dirty discarded diaper. Off-put by the litter, we decided not to take a dip in the pool, and instead head along into Idaho, finding a hotel in Boise.

People in this blog: Danielle’s Instagram.

Some highway leaving the gorge into the interior of Oregon.

As we were driving along this random highway we found this stop along the side which had many of the iconic PNW mountains visible and signed. I believe this is Hood or perhaps Rainier? I can’t remember.

We stopped in Painted Hills’ picnic area and Dirk grabbed my camera and took a few shots of me and then then girls eating their lunch.

Saw Dirk sniping some bangers over at this dead tree…

…so I copped his style.

Beautiful scenes in the parking lot.

Following the less-than-clear directions to the supposed local hotsprings.

Eventually we did find them. The hot part was the area at the bottom of the frame before the rock barrier.

Better view of the hot area.

The source of the heat is this small stream running into the river.

Although we didn’t end up soaking or camping in the area, I did get some of my favourite photos from the roadtrip here near the hotsprings so I wouldn’t consider it a wasted trip along the country roads.