We left Burns to find the country side covered in a fine dusting of snow and ice crystals growing from almost every surface. 30 miles were done before we knew it on the cold, still, and straight Hwy 78 to Crane. There we were graced by the cozy Crane store/cafe and a cup of cocoa. The townspeople greeted us with excitement and wished us good luck and safe travels as we departed to attempt the Steens Mountain Pass. From the frigid, snow-covered plains we dropped into a curiously snow-free valley and flew along the smooth road. It wouldn't last forever as the asphalt turned into chip seal and the ascent began. As the sun dropped a cross wind developed, urging us into a sheltered spot beneath a juniper.