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John Day River
The pungent smell of sagebrush brought a smile to my face, and conjured up many memories of my youth.
Cottonwood Canyon State Park sits in a deep canyon of the John Day River, one of our nation’s longest free-flowing rivers.
I began hiking the Pinnacles Trail along the west side of the John Day River downstream. After about two miles I spotted some fresh Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep tracks.
I slowed down and began looking for the well-camouflaged animals. And, to my surprise, I spotted a small herd of bighorn sheep splashing around in the John Day River. Of course they quickly saw me and began a retreat up into the high cliffs.
As an added benefit, they scared some mule deer which took off running through the sagebrush.