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AlexBoshHikes - Oregon Desert Trail Journal - 2017

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Alex "Dayhiker" Bosh
City: Vale
State: North Carolina
Country: United States
Begins: Mar 27, 2017
Direction: Eastbound

Daily Summary
Date: Wed, Apr 12th, 2017

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 874
Journal Visits: 3,326
Guestbook Views: 44
Guestbook Entrys: 4

Oregon Desert Trail Map

(Click image for full size)

Post hike breakfast

Post Hike Thoughts

OK sorry in advance, this entry is super unorganized, im about to eat breakfast and just randomly throwing thoughts out into this entry. The ODT was one of the gnarliest thru hikes ive ever done, but the only reason for that is the season in which i was hiking. seasonal conditions aside, the actual route is actually pretty gentle. although, to me, it seems the first half of the trail is vastly different from the second half. it seems like Bobby Joe designed the first half and Billy Jean designed the second half and they both had very different ideas of what a thru hike should be. the last thirty miles of the route was one of the coolest sections of any trail ive hiked, mainly because of the amount of x-c through wild canyon country. on a normal water year i would have wished i had placed one extra water cache either on Burma rim or Diablo Rim. the Alvord Desert would be another spot i wished i had placed a water cache. even though it doesnt look like a super far distance between reliable water here, dont underestimate the harshness of this particular area. its in the rain shadow of Steens and is much drier and hotter than anything i had hiked through up until that point. a food cache above three forks would have been super nice, just to have a little breathing room and time to relax in the canyon. hiking as early in the season as i did, i never felt like i needed a chrome dome, and was able to take almost all my breaks in the sun. if you hate sending resupply boxes like i do and are willing to hitch, you could probably get away with only sending food to Frenchglen and Denio. everywhere else had decent but expensive food options. the Paisley PO will only hold general delivery boxes for ten days. i wish i had sent all my boxes from Bend. for some reason i sent all but my Rome box from there. i guess i just felt bad sending them a box to hold for so long. but they are willing to hold stuff for you for a while. my favorite trail town was McDermitt. cheap motel, the casino with bar and cheap diner, a library, post office, and an excellent market all within a five minutes walk. if it was directly on trail, it would be my perfect trail town (im still glad i hiked Oregon Canyon). my 28 degree synthetic quilt was sufficient even in April. i would like to mention that i used Z packs "wind, sand, and snow" tarp stakes and they where pitiful, probably the worst stakes ive ever owned, theyre not long enough and bend super easily. there is a lot of potential for alternate routes out here and im very excited to see how curious hikers in the future will make this trail their own. Big Antelope Canyon looked AWESOME from across the river. two worthy side trips i took were Petroglyph lake in Hart Mtn. and Jordan Craters in the Owyhee Canyonlands. i wish i had spent more time in Orejana Canyon to break up the boring road walk. one thing for early season hikers to consider in Steens is that there was no cornice at the top of the climb out of Big Indian Gorge but there was one at the top of the trail down to Wildhorse Lake. one thing for Autumn hikers to keep in mind is that, apparently, there is an old orchard near the top of the purple route to Alvord Hot Springs where some locals go to gather peaches. i guess its somewhere around the end of one of these dirt roads. not quite sure where it is but congrats to whoever finds it!!! welp, steak and eggs are calling my name right now, so enjoy this true masterpiece of a trail, stay safe, and of course......NEVER GONNA MAKE IT!!!!! ;)

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Journal Photo

Oregon Desert Trail - 2017

The 750 mile Oregon Desert Trail traverses some of the most spectacular natural areas of the states dry side, including Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge, Steens Mountain and the Owyhee Canyonlands. Learn more:


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