Hells Canyon, Washington /Idaho / Oregon

- 23 May 2005 -

So it had been three years since my last Hells Canyon jetboat ride. Now I had the responsibility of initiating Miss Kick into this cool world of scenery -- especially since we were about to move to Texas in the summer of 2005!

This time I had a better camera -- and a better seat, out by the back of the boat. So I got to take better pictures!

I didn't take better notes, though, so the scenery will mostly be speaking for itself. Listen, though! Listen as it speaks for itself. You will hear pretty things. Or, rather, you'll see pretty things. *nods*

The funky slopes and ridges characteristic of Hells Canyon. 

This is a statue of a bull, made from scrap iron by a Hells Canyon rancher on the Washington side of the river).  

A pretty little valley deep within Hells Canyon, on the Washington side.

The tour guide said that this steep, zig-zag road was a road to a limestone mine. Kickadee was surprised, since limestone is everywhere in Texas -- you can even find fossils in gravel driveways there! -- but it's pretty rare here. 

I was also a little surprised that they had to go to this length to find limestone...

About a mile after the right bank's jurisdiction changed from Washington to Oregon, we came to the Cache Creek Ranch office for the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area.

Taken while stretching my legs in my home state -- at Cache Creek Ranch. 

Our tour group had a morning snack here -- a few muffins and some orange juice.

The other group that was here at the time had donuts. And coffee.

I'm writing this six months later, and I'm still jealous ;) 

An interesting little hut at Cache Creek Ranch. 

A square of light enters the dim hut at Cache Creek Ranch.   

Various pioneer jars, jugs, and pots inside the hut. 

Across the Snake River in Idaho. 

And we're heading up the river once more...  

Mr. Rocky Mountain Sheep says, "Hello. Oh, hello."

On March 17, 815 A.D., space aliens brought their Inca captives into Hells Canyon. According to Znorbokh VII's 1977 Plutonian best-seller, "Wacky Fun With Hominids", the Inca were left at this location -- Eureka Bar, Oregon. Their careful stonework may still be seen to this da-

No. No, no, no.

Here's the real deal, according to the National Forest Service: It was all built by miners, not Inca or space aliens. (Darn.) "The stair-step foundation of the stamp mill/smelter [...] can still be seen."

Kirkwood Historic Ranch, on the Idaho side.

The last Hells Canyon tour that I took stopped here for lunch. This tour just stopped for a stretch break. So I didn't get to get pictures of all the pretty stuff here... but we had stopped at Sheep Creek Ranch a bit earlier for lunch, and there was some spiffy scenery there, too. :)

An official hiking trail along Hells Canyon traverses the ranch in this area.

The pretty stream at Kirkwood.

Leaving Kirkwood.

The peak at Kirkwood is one of the more distinctive mountains in Hells Canyon.

The snowy peak is Dry Diggins Lookout.

If the driest diggins around happen to be that which you seek, look no further than the highest point visible from the bottom of Hells Canyon. Or something.

Most text written 29 December 2005.
Last updated 20 January 2006.