We had some extra time and the weather was great, so we decided to leave Pahrump Nevada and head to Portland Oregon on a very s l o w lazy route going through eastern Oregon via the state scenic road instead of the Interstate highway. One we hadn't been on before, so new scenery, less traffic, no billboards or fast foods etc. to stare at etc. We could just take our time and enjoy the ride. We also decided since we had the time, to stay at a campground in an off-the-beaten-path, near a wild life refuge and spend a few days enjoying that area. I had read that it had thousands of acres of marshes, lakes and grasses that attracted hundred of birds, water fowl, deer and other animals. I thought it would be wonderful to see and photograph. Afterward, we could head on to Bend and then on in to Portland. That was the plan.
Well, the trip started out ok...full of sunshine and promise. We almost made it out of Nevada...we were about an hour and a half out from the last town (Winnemucca), in the middle of "nowhere", listening to our audio book, watching the endless view of low shrubs, when all of a sudden...BANG! thud-a-da-a-dud-a-dud... the sound only a blown tire can make...and the smell that only a motorhome blown tire can emit! Dang. We slowly pulled over to check it out...yup, right rear inside tire, blown... So much for choosing a nice back road, now what! At that moment, we looked up and down the road and couldn't see anywhere to even pull off the road! We slowly drove, and would you believe it, about a quarter of a mile down the road, in the middle of nowhere, there was a gas station? Do we have an angel on our shoulders, or what? Nice big wide pull through area that we could pull around in back and just sit and wait. We called our handy Good Sam Service people and in two hours (told you we were in the middle of nowhere) two young men came out with two new tires and replaced both right tires (you have to do both) and an hour later we were back on the road again!
Now, by this time, the sun was beginning to set and we still had three hours to get to our campground. The "scenic byway" turned out to be pretty boring actually...mostly sagebrush, some trees here and there and maybe a half dozen farms/ranches with some cattle. As it got dark, being on the state road, without industry, there were no lights of any kind, so it was very dark...and we saw nothing for a very long time! It was a good thing the campground had a lighted sign, or we would never have seen it! Holly, the manager was super nice and walked us to our site with a flashlight because even the campground was pretty dark!
The next day the temperature had dropped by more than 30 degrees with the wind chill! It was predicted to rain, so we decided to stay in and just settle in (and pull out our winter clothes). The following day we ventured out to check out the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
We picked up their Auto CD and drove around as much as we could, but soon discovered that we must be "in between" seasons. The summer fowl have left and the fall/winter fowl and animals haven't arrived yet because we didn't see anything! Almost all the marshes were dried up and even the lakes were almost a third the size. Pretty disappointing. We did get to see the Pete French Round Barn though, which is quite unusual.
This was an experience...you have them when you full-time like we do. Just, thank goodness not often!
...on the road in Oregon, Marie
If you wish to view the rest of the photos from this trip, you can at my Flickr account at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/74905158@N04/