Friday, July 28, 2017

Highway 395 south through Oregon

Shortly after we left Pendleton, Oregon this morning we turned onto highway 395.   It was slow going on this highway, what with having to ascend a few summits, averaging 4 and 5 thousand feet in elevation.Our motor home is a bit doggy when it come to climbing hills, much less mountains. 
Ordinarily we cover 300 miles in a day, today we did 200 miles.  The scenery was great, however, and time was not an issue.
This was probably the first summit we climbed and I took the picture looking back at the road below us.  Mountains and hills off in the distance.  Rather desolate looking.
First sign of life we see, a house and some outbuildings.  Once and awhile we do see small numbers of cattle munching grass on the hillsides.  This is high desert, crops can't grow here.  Has to also be brutal during the winter.  We always knew we were getting to a summit when we saw the sign "chain up, snow zone".
Usually, on two lane roads, there are very few rest areas, and when they are available they are too small for our rig to get in and out.  What a surprise to find this rest stop, which was quite large.  Turned out that it is part of the Clyde Holliday State Recreation area, and a campground lies next to the rest stop.  River's name is North Fork of the John Day River.
Just wanted to show more of the beautiful scenery.  Until we had arrived at the rest stop we had been traveling through the Umatilla National Forest.
It was exciting to go through a town after wandering in wilderness areas most of the day.  This is the town of John Day, population around two thousand.   Descendants of  gold miners now raise cattle or work in the logging industry here, according to our AAA tour book.  After the town we entered the Malheur National Forest.  It was in the news back in 2015 when there was an armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.  Coincidentally one of the men participating in that attempt was in the news today and got 2 and one-half years in prison for having a stolen machine gun.
Shortly after we left the town of  Day we saw a road sign indicating that ahead of us was a "burned watershed".  We were to watch out for fallen rocks or trees.  It encompassed a large area of burned out forests, The charred trees were close to the road, some had been cut down, but certainly not all.
Devine Canyon was the final picturesque area of the day for us, pictured above.  Beautiful gorge with towering rock formations on both sides of the road.  It struck me that people are usually heading to the more popular national parks and places like this are not on many people's radar.
Our stop for the night was in Burns Oregon, a one trailer park town.  We were lucky to get one of the few remaining spots to park our rig for the night.  Hopefully we will reach Reno tomorrow.

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