location: owyhee canyonlands
backstory: when i first moved to this area i began exploring around john day: strawberry mountains, john day fossil beds, aldrich and dixie mountains, and the john day river. it felt like a whole new world to explore.
as i talked with more locals, the steens were often mentioned. heading south of burns, oregon extended my range significantly. then, a few people talked about the owyhee.
the owyhee canyonlands extend from south of the oregon/nevada state line north along the eastern oregon border almost to ontario. it's isolated, rugged and it takes something extra to get there.
just my kind of place.
the owyhee river flows this entire distance to the 50 mile long reservoir at the north end.
this scene is at leslie gulch at the southern end of the reservoir. cresting a ridge and descending down 7 miles through this gulch to the reservoir provides a fascinating view of canyons and rock spires unlike any seen in the rest of oregon.
because of the canyons and desert climate there is usually some kind of wind at dawn and sunset, often intense. on this spring day, during a gorgeous dawn process, a constant strong breeze kept the water rippled enough to disrupt the reflection. and then, briefly, there was a moment of stillness.
patience is a virtue in many situations. this is one of them. dawn took almost an hour, the shadows of the ridge behind me started at the peak and slowly faded down to the water edge in this photo.
patience. stillness. reflection. clarity.
just in one moment.