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Trip report - Leslie Gulch
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hansh
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:44 pm    Post subject: Trip report - Leslie Gulch Reply with quote

This was a second attempt at this trip. I'm a single parent and my out-of-cell-signal-freedom is usually limited to overnighters if I don't have additional backup (more on this later). Leslie Gulch is approx 6.5 hrs from Bend, OR, on the Owyhee Reservoir...downwind getting there, upwind on the return Smile I was completely unaware and unprepared for the beauty of this canyon on the first trip. The goal had been to paddleboard to Echo Rock hot springs on arrival, and then, a leisurely trip back home the next day. Taking in the beauty of the canyon had taken too much time, and a hike through one of the several off-shoot canyons also seemed necessary, except I hadn't brought appropriate clothing/safety provisions for ticks and rattlesnakes. I had made it to within a half mile of the hot springs on the previous trip, but the sun was setting and the NEW batteries I'd brought for my headlamp were DOA Sad I had to turn back and commit to another time.

This trip, my friend and I claimed a campsite and then went straight to the water.

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The paddle was perfectly gorgeous, and luckily, we made it to the hot springs with plenty of time to spare...since this hot springs needed to be filled and cooled appropriately before use. It was too hot of a day for hot springs, but we managed to enjoy the experience Wink

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We made our way back and got to the campsite, just at dusk, for cold beer, portobello burgers, and a movie. The next morning we went for a hike to see more of the amazing rock formations in this area. This time, I was better prepared with long pants, sturdy shoes, and a gps device with two-way text communication. My biggest concerns with being this far off-the-grid are communication with my kids and the possibility of a rattlesnake bite. To be clear, I am not concerned with broken bones or sprained ankles, but I am concerned about tissue/organ damage from a snake bite while SAR/EMS/heli get me to some CroFab. A Garmin inreach explorer solved both of those concerns. I was able to send and receive texts with my son (maybe longer off-the-grid trips in my future?), and I knew that I could communicate with rescuers if bitten by a snake.

The hike was beyond awe-inspiring

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And seriously, I stepped within a foot of this big guy! He gave me two ticks of his tail, and before I'd landed from my jump, I could see him ready to strike.

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We finished our hike and began the upwind journey home. Poor little 1.9L Smile A quick stop at Rome Landing on the Owyhee River for Tempeh sandwiches before pushing the rest of the way through Eastern Oregon.

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MsTaboo
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Trip report - Leslie Gulch Reply with quote

Beautiful trip! Thanks for the photos.
(sigh, so many places to explore, so little time...) Very Happy
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Trip report - Leslie Gulch Reply with quote

Killer! What owning a westy is all about.
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Steve Arndt
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Trip report - Leslie Gulch Reply with quote

Cool report.

This pic is Succor creek on the way to the gulch;

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Trip report - Leslie Gulch Reply with quote

Awesome report. Thanks!

And I am familiar with the instant transport six feet away when I was hiking in the Grand Canyon and heard that rattle next to me on a trail. Don’t even know how I moved that fast. Good thing the snake gave a warning. He could have moved faster than me obviously.
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Sodo
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Trip report - Leslie Gulch Reply with quote

Cool trip report.
Drama, life/death, and really nice pics too. Cool
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E1
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Trip report - Leslie Gulch Reply with quote

Well done, enjoyed! 👍🏼

We had a Mojave green in our camp all day a couple years ago. Most-toxic of the bunch. Fun to watch, not aggressive, easy to avoid. We never step anywhere where we can't see for at least a striking distance (normally 2-4 feet max), or probe bushes with trekking poles if not -- or avoid the step altogether.

We have lots of lights if nature calls overnight, easiest situation to miss one. Far more worried about a hundred Grand in antivenin than the bite itself (He says...), so treat every look like our last.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Trip report - Leslie Gulch Reply with quote

hansh wrote:
....
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Wow. And a hot springs too? Bliss.

Thanks for that!
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goldtooth
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:22 am    Post subject: Re: Trip report - Leslie Gulch Reply with quote

Nice! I've done the Owyhee / Leslie Gulch area a bit on my dualsport bike. It would be great to get the Westy out there.
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Slimvest
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:59 am    Post subject: Re: Trip report - Leslie Gulch Reply with quote

Whoa, ships in the night. Was just there and camped in the site next to yours. Man, I wish I saw a rattler!

Great pics and thanks for the post.
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mrshrimp
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:00 am    Post subject: Re: Trip report - Leslie Gulch Reply with quote

Nice to see the water level is up to normal. I was out there a few years ago and you could drive along the bank up to those hot springs.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 12:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Trip report - Leslie Gulch Reply with quote

Cool pictures and report. It's amazing how certain sounds can make you jump like superman. Snake twitches their tail and you jump for your life, good old nature and survival.
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SCM
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 12:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Trip report - Leslie Gulch Reply with quote

Nice trip report!

FYI, you can buy kevlar gaiters designed for rattlesnake protection (about $40/pair). I need them for one of my job sites in South Dakota. They're worth having.
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