Ghost Towns of Central Oregon – Part 5 – Lonerock

Welcome to Lonerock

The small town of Lonerock was founded in 1881 to provide much needed supplies and services for all of the local ranches. After much deliberation, I’m sure, the town was named for the lone rock that still sits next to the Methodist Church.

A rock. Alone. A lone rock if you prefer.

Although we didn’t see any active businesses in Lonerock, people do still live there. Also, the Gilliam County website states that the church is still used for weddings and special occasions.

A lone church

Lonerock is located in the southeast corner of Gilliam County. Surrounded by grassland there are only three ways in or out of town, but only one of them is paved.

As I was saying, there are only two ways in and out of Lonerock, but only one of them is paved.
Rolling hills of grasslands
A lone cabin nearby

During its prime the town had a sawmill, post office, jail, church, and a school.

A lone school house
A lone community building
A lone gas pump
A lone jail

Once the sawmill in Lonerock closed down, people started moving away to larger cities, like The Dalles, to find work. Over the next next 70 years the population dwindled down to only 11 residents by 1990.

However, according to the last census the population had increased to 21, which shows that residents in small towns in the middle of nowhere are quite capable of entertaining themselves.

A lone cow doing a lone moo

The Weirdest Dog Bark Ever by Rusty

Hi! It’s me! Rusty! It’s awesome that you’re here!

One of my people’s had a weird idea. We went and played in a giant (and I mean GIANT) kitty litter box! Well there was no actual box, but there was sand EVERYWHERE!

Look at it! How awesome does that look?

There were lots of tall sand hills, and if I ran to the top I could do the fastest zooms back down the hill! It was so awesome! I actually didn’t even smell a cat around, which was a relief because I am not sure how big a cat a would be that would need that much sand to poop in – but I reckon that I don’t want to find out!

I’m winning!

Anyway! Back to my zooms! I don’t have an official record of how fast I was because speed and time are a matter of perspective, but from my perspective my zooms were the awesomest ever! Even Milo agreed!

Look at Milo getting zoomy!!

There were lots of bushes and trees around the cat litter hills. We smelled some small stuff, but like I said, no cats! Thank dog! But there were birds and a boobplesnoot must’ve crossed by the night before. I smelled lots of peoples – maybe they chased all the cats away.

There was plenty of room for me to kick Milo’s butt in a dog wrestle!
I’ve been working on my war face. Is it awesome yet?

Our person took us the litter hills for like 7 days in a row. It was so awesome! I am still finding sand in places that I didn’t know it could get! How do cats deal with that all the time? Is that why they are grumpy? Anyway, it’s been a few days since we went and I am working hard on getting my paws clean still. But don’t let that you stop from visiting the sand litter hills.

The ZOOMS are totally worth it!! OH! You can dig…a lot! And wherever you want! It’s so awesome! Go visit!

There was a booplesnoot here!!



Happy Holidays from the Oregon Coast

City Holiday Display in Florence, OR

2018 has been a long year.

Don’t get me wrong! I am not complaining, because I know how lucky we are living the way we do. We don’t have average 8-5 jobs, we hardly ever have to set an alarm to wake up, and if we don’t like our neighbors we just move without having to pack a single box.


An entry in the Holiday Float Parade in Florence, OR

We started the new year in Las Vegas playing poker tournaments at Binions. From there we got to spend time with our friends and families in the Pacific Northwest. The Mr. had to have a pretty serious surgery that took almost half of his liver. I am hobbling a bit with an unknown (for now) diagnosis. The year was long and life continues to always try to get in the way, but we are still Writing on the Road – so I consider 2018 a win for us. I hope it was for you and yours as well, but if it wasn’t – there is a new year just around the corner. And, hey, that is how we always find our best dry camping spots…by looking just around the next corner!


Coos Historical Railway Display in Coos Bay, OR.

During this holiday season remember that we all have our own gifts to give to the world, whether it is writing, or photography, or just some simple painted rocks that you leave laying around for others to find a free smile. Perhaps you take garbage from the ocean and turn it into art. Maybe you are a connoisseur of beer? Whatever it is that you do – just do your thing. Do it great. And always try to be better than you were yesterday…or last year.

Veteran’s Memorial Park in Florence, OR


So, at the end of 2018 try to take a minute and appreciate what the year gave you. Love? Happiness? Friendship? Tell them you love them! Tell them they make you happy! Tell them you are grateful for their friendship. New job? Work hard! New dream? Make it come true! Heartbreak? It means you still love beyond yourself and that makes you amazing.


A snowman hitching a ride on a small boat. I hope he doesn’t fall in!

Happy Holidays from Write on the Road!

Near the Siuslaw River in Florence, OR
We hope your path in 2019 takes you somewhere beautiful!

Links

For more information about the Oregon Coast Historic Railway you can go here.

You can learn more about Florence, Oregon here.

Fall colors and Green Farms – Huntington, Oregon

Fall Colors and Green Farms – Huntington, Oregon

If you’re anything like me, you might be wondering where you can find a small, quiet rural town with glorious fall colors and more pot stores per capita than anywhere I have ever been. Well, beautiful people. Look no more. Welcome to Huntington, Oregon, population 436.

Welcome to Huntington, Oregon

Huntington’s City Park exploding with fall!

Huntington sits 25 miles west of the Idaho border, and is the closest town to Boise that legally sells marijuana. In Oregon it is not illegal to sell to out-of-state patrons, as long as they are of legal age. Going out of their way to make sure they will not be held responsible, the dispensaries in Huntington make out-of-staters sign a waiver stating that they won’t cross state lines with their purchases…luckily, patrons are not under oath when they sign. 

In addition to the dispensaries, there are also a few local pot farms within city limits which makes for a lovely crisp, fall aroma. 

Although this is in the window of one of the dispensaries, this is true for the entire town if the breeze is blowing right.

Huntington is an odd assortment of residents, history, and rugged beauty.

Picnic in the City Park

An old train car that the town uses for local events is parked at the City Park.

The trees in Huntington have nothing but love.

Mater sits in a field nearby.

Downtown Huntington building.

Even historic buildings could use an update sometimes. “Clark’s Cafe. All White Help. A good place to eat.

Coca – Cola from prehistoric times.

Huntington is very proud of their historical railways, which still run 24 hours a day through the area.

Okay, so if the marijuana isn’t enough to make you want to visit, maybe the herds of deer that wander freely through the town will convince you.

These lovelies were making out at the library, about 5 feet from me.

Excuse me ma’am. Do you have a minute to discuss our lord and savior, the Great Prince of the Forest and his son, Bambi?

Wildlife is easy to find nearby, like at the Spring Creek Recreation area along the Snake River. Spring Creek Recreation area is BLM land; you can stay for $5.00 a night during the active season, and for free in the off season. There is potable water, and vault toilets but no other amenities. The views are gorgeous, and the small critters are aplenty – including some  RV hitchhikers of the little mouse kind. 

Sunrise over the Snake River

Oh! Hello! Have you seen my brothers, Theodore or Alvin?

A popular member of the community. He is invited to dinner every Thanksgiving.

A few miles north of the Spring Creek Recreation area, we came across this little…town. Welcome to Jack Gordon, Oregon. Unincorporated. Population 2 or more. Elevation 2095.

Views of the Snake River

Most rural towns in America have a spot where the local graduates get to graffiti their graduation year, and Huntington is no different. This giant rock is located just outside of Huntington. The oldest mark we found was from 1964.

A heart-shaped cave…even their caves have nothing but love!

For those that enjoy a more civilized RVing life, there is the Farewell Bend State Park 4 miles from downtown Huntington (which is also the whole of Huntington) with water and electric hookups.

Farewell Bend State Park

Farewell Bend is named such because of the Oregon Trail pioneers that followed the Snake River, would pause to rest at the bend before continuing on their trek.

The last camp on the weary journey across the Snake River plains. Here the Oregon Trail left the Snake River and wound overland to the Columbia.

This is the farewell bend of the Snake River

The park is beautiful, well-maintained with helpful rangers. We were there in the off season, so only one loop was open in the campground. So, there may be loops in the campground that have full hookups, but the winter loop does not due to freezing temperatures.

Restored wagons welcome you to Farewell Bend State Park

Lookin for a pal, ain’t it a pity, Lookin for a gal, needn’t be pretty, if she’ll ride on the Wagon Train. Wagons ho!

…there are riders with guns by their sides, the wagon train’s full of women and hides, the men drink and smoke to pass the time

The Huntington area is rich with history, with a modern day twist on their local wares. We loved the 2 weeks we spent there, and will definitely stay in the area again on our way through.

Plus –  where else can you see a kid dressed up for Halloween as the Black Panther wearing worn out shitkickers?

What are thoooose?


Learn more about Huntington, Oregon here.

And you can get our awesome thermal backpack picnic set here.

 

Through Washington

Through Washington

We put in some serious effort in September to actually travel! Mr. Write on the Road healed pretty quickly after his liver surgery, and when we were able, we headed north through Washington to Bellingham. 

We wallydocked in Longview, which is where we saw our first squirrel bridge. The Nutty Narrows was built back in the 1960’s by a businessman that was tired of seeing all the flattened squirrels on the road. So, he and some co-workers worked together to design the bridge and brought the proposal to the city council, and voilà! 

The Nutty Narrows

Perfect for squirrels on the go!

This large squirrel is there to let the regular squirrels know where to cross.

Except for this guy. He does what he wants.

Onward to Bellingham, which is a city of about 90,000. There are a lot of small, rural towns nearby, though. And a lot of farms. It smells like cow poop almost all of the time. Which is just bullshit. 

They do have large cocks around here, though.

Did you see the size of that chicken?

This is a Hairstream. It’s located in a tiny town on the way to Mt. Baker. I can’t imagine they get a ton of business out there, but I appreciate their wittiness.

This is a fence made out of ski’s in a small town up by Mt. Baker. It’s brilliant!

Near Bellingham is Mt. Baker. It was a drizzly day, but we drove up the mountain to take a look-see. And we failed on that mission because it was too foggy at the top to even see the mountain. But it was still a beautiful drive.

Two very large ravens welcome you to Mt. Baker.

Views of a valley below the mountain.

Beautiful fall colors!

…and this is Mt. Baker….somewhere in there.

Here at Write on the Road, we are going to do our best to keep up our travelling…since we are a travel blog and all.

 

Somewhere in Washington

Flashing gang signs. But seriously, I don’t think peace and Trump go together.

Until next time – have your Trumper friends spayed or neutered.

 

Smith River Falls – Reedsport, Oregon

Smith River Falls

There are five Smith Rivers in the United States, plus the town of Smith River in California. Obviously, Oregon’s Smith River is the best because it has awesome free BLM campgrounds, as well as dispersed BLM land to stay on along the river, including near the Smith River Falls – which are really more like big steps than falls, but falls does sound more impressive.

Steps fit for a cave troll…

…which lives in the adorable heart-shaped cave! <3

Smith River Falls

There are a few privately owned RV parks and campgrounds, which includes a brand new one that will open soon. The falls are about 35 miles from Reedsport, OR, which is the closest town. There is an abundance of farms and farmland along the drive, plus some old abandoned barns that make for some great photo opportunities.

Smith River Highway

I love old barns. Imagine the history! Bucking hay, storing hay, rolling in the hay…

Another barn resisting time.

The local bovine are apparently very particular about their morning and afternoon road-crossings.

These are Great Egrets, or the Great White Heron. They can be seen along the first few miles of the Smith River Highway 

The Great Egrets in flight

This area is very popular with the local people, so it’s fairly busy on the weekends. During the week it wasn’t too crowded, but there were some camping neighbors that could learn a thing or two about camping etiquette…and better taste in music. If you’re going to play it that loud please don’t play crappy music.

Great clean campsites. 

In spite of the annoyances with some of the locals, we had a nice time completely off grid for a few days. Which we are determined to do more often to release our political pressure valve since we won’t have access to news 24/7. It’s better for everyone that way. Which also reminds me…make sure you are registered to vote!

Bad RVing Tips #2

More Bad RVing Tips!

Brought you by the lack of common sense of our recent camp neighbors!

  1. If your camp neighbor has decorative items at their campsite, make sure to let your small children play with it! Your neighbors are going to LOVE you!
  2. If you pull into a small campground and there is only one other person there you can go ahead and crank up your sorry-ass country music as loud as your minivan speakers will let you! It’ll turn into a boot-scootin’ party.
  3. If you find a little free library at your camp neighbors site, you can take as many books as you like! Shit, take all of them! There are no library police at camp!
  4. When there are lots of signs telling you to keep your dogs on leashes, do not even worry about it. They don’t mean YOUR dog, just everyone else’s!
  5. When you think, “Gee, I think I should run around in my underwear!” Yes! This is definitely what you should do!

Okay. I’m done being the grumpy old lady yelling “get off my lawn!”
But seriously…stay off my lawn.

I’m done yelling. Here’s some cute puppers.

Bad RVing Tips

 

All of July – All in Oregon

All of July. All in Oregon.

July was an interesting month for us here at Write on the Road. There was a lot of travel. Correction – there was a lot of driving.

Lakeside, OR
to Prineville, OR
to Portland, OR to
Prineville, OR to
Madras, OR to
Grants Pass, OR
to Lakeside, OR
to Prineville, OR to
Mitchell, OR to
Prospect, OR
to Grants Pass, OR
Ugh. I want out of Oregon for awhile!

The month was filled with doctor appointments, family visits, and family emergencies. It’s not what we had in mind when we decided to travel full time, but there it is…life.

It wasn’t all errands though. We went swimming, we saw cool stuff, we saw scary stuff, and beautiful stuff. Because there it is…life.

Just a deer running by our front door in Lakeside, OR

Crooked River near Prineville, OR

Old Highway tunnel near Madras, OR

This is what we call a No Thanks.

A fairly naked Mt. Hood

Interesting way the trees fell (or the Blair Witch is moving on to larger and more challenging designs.) near Mt. Hood.

A banana split bus! I hate bananas, but I like the split. Oh. Wait.

A TARDIS bus stop. I am officially jealous of these kids!

This School Bus Stop is the property of …. jealous. So jealous.

John Day River near Mitchell, OR.

Chasing sticks…

I got it! I got it!

I thtill gots it! I thtill gots it!

I see a little silhouette of a bird · Scaracutie, Scaracutie, will you do the chirpdango?

I haven’t see one of these in ages! Is that a bird? A plane?

It’s Superman! An illegal immigrant here to save our asses!

A long-awaited trip to Crater Lake..

Wizards Island in Crater Lake…through the smoke.

Fire Information. It’s hot. And it’s everywhere.

The Ghost Ship Island in Crater Lake. I think we’ll go back when the smoke clears. 

Welcome to August. Hoping for less driving and more travel!

 

Crooked River – Prineville, Oregon

Crooked River Campgrounds

Along the Crooked River Highway

The first of the Crooked River Campgrounds is located about 15 miles south of Prineville, OR along the Crooked River Highway. There are between eight and ten BLM campgrounds along the river. All of the campgrounds have bathrooms and garbage service, and a few have drinking water as well. You can stay a total of 14 days on BLM land, but you can switch to different campgrounds during your 14 days.

Campground entrance…and exit, actually. Are we coming or going?

One of the campsites at Stillwater Campground.

We chose to stay at Stillwater Campground, and had a whole end of the campground to ourselves for most of our stay. It is ridiculously warm during the summer, but that is what the freezing cold river is for. So, wear a swimsuit with a snowsuit over it.

There is a lot of wildlife in the area. We saw deer, a beaver, ducks, geese, all kinds of birds, and even bunnies! We didn’t get pics of all the critters, but we can’t do everything for you, now can we?

An Osprey waiting watching for his fish dinner. (Go Seahawks!)

A Blue Heron at dusk.

What’s this you say? Come on. You don’t know a beaver when you see one? 

It was a peaceful stay, and with Prineville so close there is access to everything you could need. There are grocery stores, fast food, restaurants, a cool dog park, and an RV Shop that has a Dump Station and a fresh water fill for only $10.00. If you find yourself passing through central Oregon make sure to stop and enjoy the Prineville area! 

Beautiful drive along the river!

River views from the campground.

A shoe tree! No one knows why they exist, but theories range from serial killers to fertility rituals. 

 

 

&^#@%*! Clean Up After Yourselves!

&^#@%*! Clean Up After Yourselves!

I’m angry. I am angry that I even have to write a post like this. So, I will keep it short and simple, and try not to use profanity.

We enjoy dry camping. We will drive right past even the coolest of RV Parks and go out in the middle of nowhere where our puppers can roam free and we can have peace and quiet to work on our writing, reading, and napping.

More often than not, when we are dry camping we come across the tracks of the most vicious animals to walk the earth.

I’m sure this just rolled out there by itself.

Broken bucket strategically placed to…catch rain water?

Ah! Forest tree ornaments.

A beautiful butterfly posing on a piece of garbage.

Humans.

Pieces of a TV.

Hey, Mother Earth! Hold my beer.

We have found everything from mattresses to an obscene amount of bullet casings. And we always clean up what we can. Not to toot my own horn, but we always leave our camping spots in better condition than we found them.

Endless shell casings

GAHHHHHHH. WTF people??

And it is really that easy! Whether you are out in the forest fulfilling your ammosexual fantasies or parking your RV to find your peace – just leave your spot better than you found it. Take a garbage bag when you go. Clean up your shit and whatever other shit you see laying around.

Nice shooting there, JimBob.

I killed myself a cardboard box! YeeHaw!!

A Jack in the Box cup. It’s like 50 miles to the closest Jack in the Box. People suck.

This is your earth. You don’t get another one, so stop pissing her (and me) off.

Sir Rusty Fluffy Butt is pretty pissed about all of this shit too. He loves his planet!!

PACK IT IN – PACK IT OUT!!

LEAVE NO FUCKING TRACE.

I FAILED AT NOT USING PROFANITY.

FUCKING CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELVES!