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Old 06-09-2009, 04:55 PM   #1
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Eastern Oregon, A Ramblin Journey - Planning

Hey Folks, what with my job contract set to expire on July 3rd, I've been debating doing some ramblin' with the old camper after the holiday weekend and have been kind of itchin' to explore eastern Oregon.

But, what's out there to explore? That's the question.

I know about Fossil, already on the list, but hmm.... what else to explore?

My goal is to stay south of the 84 and explore that big unknown of eastern oregon, but not worth doing if there isn't much out there to explore .

So, what all's in Eastern Oregon?

So far I've pieced together the following route:

Eastern Oregon, a Ramblin Journey

Now, what's south, though?

I'm debating heading as far south as Lakeview before turning west to stop over in Chiloquin, then on towards Bend on the 97.

Over Memorial Day weekend, I traveled over the 26 down to Madras then 97 down to the Crescent Lake Cuttoff road before turning west to go and fish Odell Lake.

Most of hwy 97, I've explored, with a few exceptions, but nothing east of there, its all one big enigma and I've gotten to wondering what the devil makes up the rest of Oregon.... I've seen just about everything from the coast to Hwy 97, and everything along the North eastern end along Interstate 80, with a few exceptions, but nothing else....

Here's a concept route:

Ramblin Journey Concept
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Old 06-09-2009, 06:49 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedneckExpress View Post
Hey Folks, what with my job contract set to expire on July 3rd, I've been debating doing some ramblin' with the old camper after the holiday weekend and have been kind of itchin' to explore eastern Oregon.

But, what's out there to explore? That's the question.

I know about Fossil, already on the list, but hmm.... what else to explore?

My goal is to stay south of the 84 and explore that big unknown of eastern oregon, but not worth doing if there isn't much out there to explore .

So, what all's in Eastern Oregon?
Sort of what we're thinking. Just got back from AZ, been to Glacier, Redwoods, etc., but there are some things a lot closer to home we would like to see in Eastern Oregon, too, like:
  • Hells Canyon National Park (deeper than Grand Canyon)
  • Wallowa Mountains, including cable car ride
  • Oregon Trail sites (several, visible ruts, etc.)
  • Sumpter Railway and old mining towns out of Baker City
And a couple we've been to, way over on the Eastern border:
  • Succor Creek Canyon (there is a state park campground at the bottom)
  • Leslie Gulch, on the Owyhee River; rock formations to rival Utah
When we were at Succor Creek, there were several campers and trailers in the campground, don't recall any large class A coaches. No campsites in Leslie Gulch when we were there. Both areas accessed by gravel road, with some washboarding, like most gravel roads out there. We also like poking around on some of the two-lane country roads, just never know what you'll run into.

Enjoy your trip.


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Old 06-09-2009, 07:06 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by blacktie.shooter View Post
Sort of what we're thinking. Just got back from AZ, been to Glacier, Redwoods, etc., but there are some things a lot closer to home we would like to see in Eastern Oregon, too, like:
  • Hells Canyon National Park (deeper than Grand Canyon)
  • Wallowa Mountains, including cable car ride
  • Oregon Trail sites (several, visible ruts, etc.)
  • Sumpter Railway and old mining towns out of Baker City
And a couple we've been to, way over on the Eastern border:
  • Succor Creek Canyon (there is a state park campground at the bottom)
  • Leslie Gulch, on the Owyhee River; rock formations to rival Utah
When we were at Succor Creek, there were several campers and trailers in the campground, don't recall any large class A coaches. No campsites in Leslie Gulch when we were there. Both areas accessed by gravel road, with some washboarding, like most gravel roads out there. We also like poking around on some of the two-lane country roads, just never know what you'll run into.

Enjoy your trip.


Finally , someone answered what the question of what the devil is in Sumpter. I have this thread on several different forums to form a nice spread of options, and a great many people have said "Go to Sumpter" but not why . Fortunately, no motorhome here, just an old Dodge Power Wagon and a big truck camper. No trailers coming along on this trip, either, going to go similarly loaded to when I traveled the Oregon Coast from Lincoln City down to Crescent City, CA back in late December, early January.
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Old 06-10-2009, 08:39 AM   #4
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What kinds of things do you like to do? Mtn bike, hike, museums? Just scenic places?
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Old 06-10-2009, 11:08 AM   #5
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Little of everything, though I don't know if I'll be bringing the bikes or not (Would need to weld up a new upright tube to mount them on the back hitch), I'm not anything remotely close to being a true "Mtn Biker", I just like to ride around periodically.
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Old 06-10-2009, 12:32 PM   #6
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Don't forget the Oregon Scenic outback highway and the boondocking such as at Chewaucan Canyon Marster Campground (photo gallery).

Then there's the Winnemucca to the Sea highway (140) and the wildlife areas just north of there. (Gem hunting near Denio? hot springs? geyser at Lakeview?

See the photo gallery for some pictures of a launch site on the Owyhee and a BLM camp at Ukiah.

If you are looking for amusement parks and well defined tourist destinations, Eastern Oregon is not likely to be your bag. If you are looking for wildlife, history, and wilderness then you'll have a lot to explore.

Thanks Ken and Carolle for the list, too. I'll have to add some of them to my 'gotta visit some day' list!
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Old 06-10-2009, 12:41 PM   #7
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Whoops, looks like I forgot to post the updated route:

Here's the new concept route, it does include Hwy 31 .

Ramblin' Journey Concept #2

The only magic to all this is I'll need to periodically find myself a wifi hotspot (Obtaining a laptop before this trip) so I can log into the unemployment site and do my weekly filings and keep my job search up.

What all is at the Mahleur Wildlife Preserve? Is it worth visiting?
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Old 06-10-2009, 01:38 PM   #8
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There are assorted riding areas by Hood River, and in the mountains off hwy 44 (east from Dufur).

A few miles east of Biggs is a park with RV slots along the Dechutes river. A converted rail type bike trail (kind of rough) leaves from that campground rougly following the river. Roughly 11 miles in there is an old homestead with bunkhouse, and a wooden water tower.

Shaniko has a collection of antique cars that is worth stopping for. In Fossil there's also a guy who's restoring some cars and has an old knucklehead. He's built a little fenced in area to let people come in and look.

A lot of the small towns though 97 south have little museums.

If you stop in The Dalles, there's the Discovery Center, Ft. Dalles museum, and several good places to eat (let me know if you'd like a specific suggestion).

Have a good time.
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Old 06-14-2009, 06:43 PM   #9
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How about Crystal Crane hotsprings(nice little rv park and from there the Malheur wildlife refuge the round barn, SE of Burns.
Fort Rock And the crater near there, Christmas valley area, RV park Christmas Valley.
La pine state park RV camp really pretty and clean and then a river couple miles north on dirt rd and an old cabin and falls where some John Wayne movie thing was shot(think it was Rooter Cogburn).
Bend has an Art walk that is fun several times a summer, several RV sites.
How about Crater lake national park and Diamond lake near by.
Nice camping and just forest stuff around Ukiah, S on a paved rd lots of FREE camping.
John Day fossil beds, two areas on hyway 19, I know there are several camping areas near by.


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Old 06-15-2009, 04:31 PM   #10
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How about Crystal Crane hotsprings(nice little rv park and from there the Malheur wildlife refuge the round barn, SE of Burns.
Fort Rock And the crater near there, Christmas valley area, RV park Christmas Valley.
La pine state park RV camp really pretty and clean and then a river couple miles north on dirt rd and an old cabin and falls where some John Wayne movie thing was shot(think it was Rooter Cogburn).
Bend has an Art walk that is fun several times a summer, several RV sites.
How about Crater lake national park and Diamond lake near by.
Nice camping and just forest stuff around Ukiah, S on a paved rd lots of FREE camping.
John Day fossil beds, two areas on hyway 19, I know there are several camping areas near by.


LEN
Hey Len, where are the Crystal Crane hotsprings at? Bend got removed from the trip plan to save mileage (Was just through there back over the Memorial day Weekend).

I do believe Hwy 31 comes out in La Pine, so I may wind up staying at the SP (If I can find a site, where I stay at night is going to be kind of by-the-seat-of-your-pants).

Crater and Diamond lake I've been to many many times, hence why I'm working the side of Oregon east of 97 for the most part.

Fossil Beds are pretty much the first stop on the route .
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Old 06-15-2009, 08:10 PM   #11
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If you stop in The Dalles, there's the Discovery Center, Ft. Dalles museum, and several good places to eat (let me know if you'd like a specific suggestion).



Have a good time.
Not news to you, Jeff, just wanted to pass on our favorite personal refueling stops in The Dalles, which I am sure are regular stops for you:
  1. Cousins - Yeah, touristy, just off the freeway, but even Jimmy Dean can't beat their sausage patties - which, by the way, is made right down the road in a little butcher shop in Dufur. Have one along with their biscuits and gravy . . . man, that is worth stopping for.
  2. Used to go to Oney's (Olney's?) just on the other side of the freeway from Cousins, for their prime rib. I mean, we drove up from Vancouver, WA, for it. Retired now, don't "dinner out" that often any more, so not sure if they are still there.
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Old 06-22-2009, 08:28 PM   #12
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Crystal Crane hot springs is 26 miles SE of Burns. If you are at Lapine SP go through Christmas valley and Fort Rock as the drive from Bend to Burns is very boring except for the Speed Goats(antelope). If you are at Crystal Crane on a saturday night see if you can get reservations for steak dinner at Diamond B&B.

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Old 06-22-2009, 10:48 PM   #13
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Cousin's is still there, and one of the places we eat at fairly regularly. They specialize in turkey dinner, and are also known for huge cinnamon roles.

One of the other good places is the Baldwin. Its downtown on Court street, so a lot of the passing through types don't know about it. Really good burgers, pasta, and desserts.
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