On our way to Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge
, we stopped in Lakeview
to pick up a few more groceries that we weren't able to find the previous day in Tulelake. And who should we see there but Claude Singleton, our supervisor from the Alturas, California BLM office! He was there picking up supplies for his fishing trip in the Steens Mountain...he goes there to fish frequently during the summer.
Everything I'd read about the Hart Mountain NAR said NOT to take an RV into the Refuge from the west (the western entrance climbs up Hart Mountain and is a gravel road). I had emailed the Refuge to find out what the "real" conditions were, and was told by the manager that it was about a 6% grade and the gravel should be in good condition in August. So we chanced it, stopping at the Hart Bar Interpretive Site at the northeast end of Hart Lake to unhook...we would drive the Lazy Daze and the Honda up the mountain separately. As it turned out, the road was no problem at all. It was in good condition, we were on the inside going up the mountain, and the grades weren't too steep.
Hart Mountain is a massive fault block ridge (like Steens Mountain to the east) that rises to an elevation of 8,065 feet. The west side ascends abruptly 3,600 feet from the floor of Warner Valley. The east side of the mountain is less steep, descending in a series of hills and low ridges.
We arrived at Hot Springs Campground
in the Refuge (free), and drove around to find a -- flat -- spot. These are really "unimproved" sites! We did finally find a fairly level spot in the portion of the campground across the road from the hot springs.
Although the name of this is Hart Mountain National Antelope
Refuge, the "antelope" are really Pronghorn
. While Pronghorn are related to true Antelope
(both belong to the Order Artiodactyla) Pronhorn belong, all by themselves, to the Family Antilocapridae while the true Antelope belong to the Family Bovidae.
We found out that tomorrow is the start of bow-and-arrow hunting season for Pronghorn! Well, at least it's a quiet sport!