Solitude in Southeast Oregon

I believe there is something different about photographing areas that are sparsely populated or generally devoid of people. Isolation helps to clear my mind.  The experience of photography as a whole is much more meaningful to me if I’m not totally surrounded by technology or civilization. These days, I’m seeking out places where it’s expected to see less people.

Southeast Oregon is such a place, but isolation does not come without a few concessions.  Consider that Oregon does not permit pumping one’s own fuel and stations often close early in the evening. Also, there may be 50-100 miles between fuel stations in a few areas so you can see that being isolated in this area requires some forethought and planning.

A dimly-lit sign illuminates a remote gas station in Southeast Oregon.

Harney and Malheur County are true gems that show just how much beauty Oregon contains within its borders. I’m pleased to share the “Beauty of Southeast Oregon” gallery and hope that some of you will experience the uniqueness that this place has to offer. Cattle ranching is one of the major occupations here and this is one of the few places you can still see legitimate cattle drives coming down the road.

The long gravel Fields-Denio road in Southeast Oregon parallels the Steens range and vanishes off into a curve in the distance seen right after sunrise. (Benjamin Chase)

The long gravel Fields-Denio road in Southeast Oregon parallels the Steens range and vanishes off into a curve in the distance seen right after sunrise. (Benjamin Chase)

The Fields-Denio road is a long stretch of gravel road that parallels Steens Mountain on one side and the Alvord Desert on the other.  You can’t really go wrong when it comes to deciding where to explore here.

On the Steens side, you have a multitude of canyons and views at altitude.  On the Alvord side you have the hot springs and the desert playa itself where you can find everything from people speeding across the desert in their land sailers, to people finding a nice quiet spot for some overland camping.

Great people, great scenes, and a great experience.  I look forward to what visual candy this area will bring in Winter.

 

 

 

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