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

A Dog’s Way Home by W. Bruce Cameron – Book Review


From the best-selling author of A Dog’s Purpose and A Dog’s Journey comes A Dog’s Way Home.

A Dog’s Way Home is the story of Bella. Bella, a mixed breed mutt, was born under an abandoned building – and that was when life was easy. Since then it’s been a rollercoaster ride for Bella and her person, Lucas.

Follow along with Bella as she faces the ups and downs of cats, dogs, and humans. She finds herself on the most important journey of her life; to get back to her person and her purpose.

W. Bruce Cameron’s books are probably not going to be literary classics, but they are guaranteed to make you smile as you read them. All of his dog books are fast reads, perfect for a day when you need to cheer yourself up. You will laugh. You will cry. And you will absolutely fall in love with the amazing dogs in Cameron’s novels.

And if you don’t like dogs, then please go think about your life choices for awhile.

Because dogs rule.


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!!



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.

 

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!

 

&^#@%*! 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!

Champoeg State Heritage Area – Donald, Oregon

Champoeg State Heritage Area

We had an appointment in Portland, OR, so we decided to try to make the trip adventurous as well.

First of all, you can’t go anywhere near Portland and not visit Powell’s City of Books!

After you find your way out of Powell’s City of Books, drive south out of Portland, and about 10 miles off of I-5 is Champoeg State Heritage Area and Campground.

 

The Visitors Center…which we didn’t visit.

The park is…cozy, meaning that the sites are pretty close together. But there are a lot of trees and shrubs to help with privacy. There is a large area to let your dogs run off-leash. Milo would like me to take this opportunity to remind you to check for ticks this summer! The ticks tend to travel around with fella’s like these. 

OMG. Why didn’t anyone tell me that velvet is so last spring?

How embarrassing. Hold on. I must go change.

There are multiple day use areas, along with a full disc golf course. They have multiple hiking trails, including a 2.4 mile trail that leads you to the Historic Butteville Store. 

The Historic Butteville Store

Over 150 years old.

The Ryan Family Library inside the store.

Butteville Store patio.

The Butteville Store has been there for over 150 years. These days they serve the public by making deli sandwiches and amazing blackberry cobbler.

Roast beef and provolone on sourdough, and homemade blackberry lemonade.

Warm homemade blackberry cobbler with vanilla ice cream.

Nearby, in the town of Wilsonville, is Morey Park. It is a quiet little neighborhood park dedicated to Walt Morey, who authored children’s books like Gentle Ben. At the center of the park is Gentle Ben himself.

Gentle Ben

Little Ben?

Walt Morey

Upon leaving the residential park, we realized that it’s actually an exclusive park for people living in the Morey’s Landing neighborhood of Wilsonville. We are now considering changing our name to Rebels on the Road.


For more information about the Champoeg State Heritage Area visit Oregon State Parks

Want to know how to pronounce Champoeg?

The Wildest Bark Review Yet – Dog Blog by Rusty and Milo

The Wildest Bark Review Yet by Rusty and Milo

Rogue River – Siskiyou National Forest

Hi there! Sir Rusty Fluffy Butt here.

I just pooped in there…maybe not the best photo op, okay?

Dog barks always have fences, it’s some sort of dumb human rule. But 21 days ago the peoples took us to a place that was so awesome that there are just not enough paws to rate it…but I will try.

There was no fence. None. No gate. No walls. Nada. Nothing. It was awesome! The peoples took our leashes off. We were naked and we could go wherever we wanted with nothing to stop us. It was so barking awesome!

Did you smell this? Wait, did you smell this? OMG – did you smell THIS?

Hey! Milo here! Hi! Do you have kibbles?

Okay…do I smell what I think I smell?

So, okay, did Rusty tell you about all the picnic table obstacles to jump on, and the trees, and the tall grass, and the circle to run in… Okay, I bet he really forgot the best part of the no-fence dog bark – THE WATER!

I’m doing my best Fezzik impersonation.

So, I went swimming. Okay. And then I went swimming again. And do you know what the best part was? It was when Rusty fell in!

Okay, just look at me! Cool, right?

Okay, I caught a tree-bone in the wet rover and Rusty is jealous!

Rusty back again.

Forest bark zooms are the most awesome.

As I was saying before I got interrupted by the dumb blonde…we could run wherever we wanted to, but we stayed close by because there are treats in the glove-box. I’m sure there are plenty of awesome treats in the forest, but we don’t have to work as hard for the ones from the peoples..and they have beds. There are no beds in the forest.

But there were so many trees, and rocks, and water (I didn’t fall in, I slid down all awesome-like)! There were so many awesome smells too! Squirrels, raccoons, deer, elk, bears, cats, other dogs, grass, birds, flowers, bushes, trees, water, fishes. It was the most awesome thing. Ever. If you have never been to an awesome forest dog bark, you need to go. Now.

Before I slid in all awesome-like…

Okay, listen, Milo here.

Okay, where are you going?

Rusty is missing the best parts of the dog forest bark. The racetrack. It is all paved like the sidewalks by houses, but it’s in a circle and and Rusty ain’t fast enough. So, maybe we should be nice to the OLD dogs like Rusty. They get confused at the difference between falling and “sliding” but he’s right about going. If you have never been to a forest bark you should go.

That’s the circle track right there! I’m just there sniffing myself up for the race!

Also, we met this other doggo named Sam. So, okay, Sam was a nice doggo, but he’s a bit of a show off with his fancy metal see-through doghouse and his always doing EVERYTHING his peoples said. Whatever.

He looked a lot like Max. Wait a minute…was he indognito? 

OLD guy here.

Sam (or Max) has got nothing on me!

I may be older than Milo, but I’m also smarter, cuter, fluffier, and mom loves me more…because I’m awesome. But the yellow kitten has a point. Go visit your forest bark. Stay awhile. (Take all your people stuff back home with you!)  And have some awesome fun!

Sir Rusty Fluffy Butt gives the forest barks all four paws and an awesome fluffy tail!

Okay, Milo again.

So, okay, this was the best tree-bone ever!

I give the dog forest all 4 paws and waggly tail-thump of approval. This may be the best dog bark yet.

Just look at it! So much grey!

The fluffy redhead is back...

The grey, grey grass and the black and white flowers…so awesome.

I just wanted to point out that this forest bark is rated eight paws and two tails! Best and wildest bark review yet!


Rogue River – Siskiyou National Forest

Pack it in. Pack it out.

 

Seeking Bliss – Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, Oregon

Seeking Bliss

Even living the amazing RV lifestyle that we live can be stressful at times, and at other times just downright crappy. We do still have family, health issues, and other responsibilities. Due to that we have been back in Oregon since the beginning of March and pretty stationary in Coos County area. It’s not ideal for writing a travel blog to not really be traveling. So, let’s get away! Go off grid for a few days, recharge our batteries, and ignore stress! Yes!

Look at this blissful place!

Don’t you just want to roll around in it?

Back before we ever owned a travel trailer, we liked to tent camp in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest in the southwestern part of the state. There are multiple small forest service campgrounds that range from free to $10 a night for primitive campsites. These campsites come with a picnic table, a fire ring, and the sound of water flowing by. And that is exactly what we need. 

Our peaceful home for the next few days !

The bubbling creek right outside our window.

4:00 p.m. Thursday.
We arrived at Daphne Grove campground. The campground is empty; they don’t even have a host yet! It is still the off-season, and I couldn’t be happier about it. There is NO ONE around, and it is amazing. No noise, other than birds and rivers. No country music blaring from a local. No kids yelling. No dogs barking. Our dogs can run off leash. I think it took exactly 30 seconds for the stress weight to lift from my shoulders. I have found bliss – and I am going to enjoy the hell out of it for three days!

Slow your breathing down to come and go with the trees in the breeze.

This moss hangs from the trees. It sways gently with the breeze like an exotic hula dancer.

7:00 p.m. Thursday.
Another camper has arrived…and decided to set up in the site directly next to ours. The entire campground is empty. They moved in beside us. They pissed on my bliss. 

little bastard

7:21 p.m. Thursday.
Our new neighbors have finally managed to park their 5th wheel and turned off their loud, stinky diesel truck. 

7:30 p.m Thursday.
Their dog barked. Then our dogs barked. I miss bliss.

8:00 p.m. Thursday.
They started the diesel truck again, left for 20 minutes. Came back with freshly cut firewood. Unloaded truck. Thump. Thump. Thump.

8:03 p.m. Thursday.
Thump. I need a drink.

8:05 p.m. Thursday.
Turned off the diesel truck. Chop. Chop. Chop.

8:10 p.m. Thursday.
They have an air pump.

8:15 p.m. Thursday.
They have a ridiculously slow air pump? Maybe another drink.

8:19 p.m. Thursday.
Air pump! They must be inflating their blowup doll friends, because they can’t have real friends –  no real person would be able to stand the amount of noise they make.

8:30 p.m. Thursday.
Cling. Clang. They’re making dinner. Vodka understands my pain.

8:35 p.m. Thursday. *eye twitching*
I’m pretty sure I just heard them crunching their potato chips.

…she was possessed. I’m pretty sure that I’m not.

8:46 p.m. ThursdaySlursday.
Their dag borked. Our dogs barked. Cranberry juice with vodka make it goods for you.

8:62 p.m. Thorsday.
They have big fire in fire pitch. Chop. Chup. Chump the firewood.

9:06 p.m.s.
Almost out of cranberry juice. Better double the voodkas.

9:18 p.m.
Imma go bed.

6:45 a.m.
Ran our generator for half an hour. Revenge can be blissful, too. 


Public Service Announcement #1
 RVer’s (and tent campers) HATE it when you park next to them and you don’t have to!

Public Service Announcement #2
Mixing cranberry juice with your vodka does not make it good for you.