Monday, December 30, 2013

The Towers of Jump-Of-Joe

I've posted previous posts on Jump-Off-Joe. Jump-Off-Joe is a high point along the Horse Heaven Hills south of Kennewick. Although its elevation is nothing particularly exciting, it provides very long distant line of sight views deep into eastern Oregon and eastern Washington. As such the summit ridge of Jump-Off-Joe bristles with communications towers. And in recent years the entire ridge line has been lined with wind powered electric generators.

Whenever I view these facilities I suspect there is some lack of comprehension in my understanding of physics as I don't fully understand the various facilities.

Jump-Off-Joe is an old personal haunt. During a former era my mates and I would leave a car at the summit and then run from town up over the initial ridge line of the Olympic-Wallowa lineament, across the broad wheat plain and then up the brutal 1,000-foot steep slope to the summit. On a more ambitious venture, Billy and I ran to the summit and back, and held bragging rights only local long distance runners could appreciate.

One communication tower of diminutive stature still stands near the route that caused much burning pain in my thighs.

Small antenna just below the summit ridge

On a recent trip, I headed down the steep summit ridge to explore the slope. The steep slope has been routinely burning with a recurrence interval of every two years or so for the past couple decades. There is essentially no sage left. 

The slope is steep enough that Sam, who has gotten a bit long in years, prefers to let me do my thing without her assistance, but to her credit remained vigilant as I headed down the slope.

An alert Sam watching over me and the Pasco Basin

1 comment:

denali6622 said...

Great memories...I think you, me, Tucker, and Cliff tried a November climb at one point, only to be driven back to Highland Drive by the freezing rain.