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The Vinegar Hill Eclipse Expedition Part 1 Indian Rock
Timestamp Free: 2018.10.19 - 15:48:49
Ranges: North America Ranges / Great Basin Ranges / Blue Mountains Oregon
  (1 days)     Elevation Gain: 500m
Participants: Klaus Haring
Difficulty: 1: Mostly easy road and trail hiking
A hike to Indian and Squaw Rock
When I heard about the total solar eclipse in Oregon I thought of the area near Strawberry Mountain which I had visited long ago as a good location for watching it. On the road map I found the Vinegar Hill - Indian Rock Scenic Area and thought that might be a place to watch the eclipse away from the hordes. In John Day I got info of access roads. The ranger told me that Vinegar Hill approach is more difficult and recommended Indian Rock. I then did a trip in the Strawberry Range (see Strawberry Range revisited) and took a motel in John Day afterwards. On Saturday morning I drove east and north to County Road 20 and looked for the turn off to FSR45. It started out a good gravel road, but the last 2 to 3mi became very rough rocks. At the junction to the lookout the road continued much better coming from the north. The spur to the top was blocked, so I had to walk the last 2.5mi also on a very smooth road. The final few 100m to the lookout was a steep trail.

[photo]P1070265.JPG[caption]Indian Rock Lookout from near the end of the road.[/photo]

The lookout was staffed by a woman from Florida, with a large german shepard, who was happy to talk to somebody. When I told her I wanted to camp nearby and would be back to watch the eclipse on Monday she gave me some eclipse glasses. I had only brought some old film strips, good enough to glimpse at the sun briefly.

[photo]P1070266.JPG[caption]View east from the summit. Vinegar Hill is the highest peak in the distance.[/photo]

I then descended to the meadows to the east and looked for a water source to camp nearby. I tried to make a shortcut through young second growth, but the small pines were hiding a tangle of criss cross deadfalls, so I turned more to the forest. At the edge I found...

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