Loaded up the rig, wife, my father who is visiting from Baltimore, and enough knives to not use any twice and headed east. Plan was to drive from home base in Eugene, Oregon, South East to our property on the Sycan river, tucked away between the Freemont and Winema national forests. First stop was at Fort Rock: a volcanic ring of stone formerly surrounded by an inland sea and once home to cave peoples for nearly 10,000 years. Dad hiking the rim: Wife Kelley investigating: On the rim: Next stop was the Cowboy Dinner Tree restaurant outside of Silverlake. Recreating the chuck wagon meals of the Oregon Outback cattle drivers, they serve up salad, fresh rolls, beans, baked potato, and your choice of a whole roast chicken or a 30 ounce aged steak! Stuffed and satisfied, on to the Sycan: Aside from a freak 20 minute hail storm, it was so dry out there that every fire was a one match task! Sky after the hail: Cigars and bourbon around the fire. Really roughing it...: From there, headed SE again on 140 through incredible canyon country, into Nevada, and N to Steens Mountain. Hoped to take the loop up to the summit and camp at Jackman campground. At 9000 feet, it would have been a cold night! The gates were still closed though, so camped at the South campground instead. Here's some views headed up the loop: Looking for one of the many abandoned pioneer cabins along the base of Steens: Evidence of a high speed encounter with a swarm of grasshoppers, and obligatory Becker content: Bk20 was a great camp companion--it handily processed fire wood, carved this juniper cudgel, and gave me the confidence to face all the bears and cougar that I never saw. As always, I wish I had taken more pictures. I came away with a deeper appreciation of our state's myriad beauty, the wonder with which our ancestors must have looked upon it, and the hardship involved in living amongst it. I'm thankful to get to share it.