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

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. 

 

 

A Post Seven Months in the Making

A Post Seven Months in the Making

Back in October of last year, we stopped for a visit in Prineville on our way out of Oregon to go to Arches National Park. While we were here, my Dad told me that the geographic center of Oregon was just 25 miles away and we should go see it. Our search for the center of Oregon, a small town named Post, began – and failed. But we found a bush in the middle of nowhere – you can read all about that here.

Since we both refuse to stop any of our bad habits, we don’t consider ourselves quitters. This time in Prineville we were determined to find Post.

It turns out that finding a place you have never been to is much easier when you know how to use your navigation equipment. And if you actually listen to your Dad when he gives you directions.

We have traveled for seven months, and over 13,000 miles through Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Oregon, back to California, and back to Oregon again to finally make it to the geographic center of Oregon. And for a moment in time – Oregon revolved around me!

That’s not how being at the geographic center of things works, but I like things to revolve around me.

The town of Post was named for Walter H. Post, the first postmaster of the Post post office, established in 1889. As of 2014, Post’s population is 43 people.

The Post General Store.

An old newspaper explaining that the Post General Store also acts as the Post Post Office, The Post Tavern, The Post Community Center, and the Post Service Center.

A Posted Elk in the Post General Store

Do you love this Post? I love this Post.

A Short Trip to Central Oregon

A Short Trip to Central Oregon 

One of my favorite things about living the RV life is that we are able to see friends and family so much more now that we are on the road. Living in a sticks n’ bricks, I was working 40 hours a week and by the time the weekend came around and I had a day off to go visit someone, I was too tired to do it. Now – I have the ability to nap on the go (and trust me, I do), so I can go visit anyone whenever I want!

We just left the Oregon Coast and headed towards Central Oregon to Doggysit for my Dad in Prineville. Of course we decided to make a few stops along the way.

On our way out of town, my daughter showed us a super cool World War II Bunker in North Bend. It is within the city limits, but is fairly hidden. The Mr. and I tend to enjoy abandoned places since we have an unhealthy desire for the zombie apocalypse.

I’m not even sure what this sign is saying not to do – but knowing my luck, it probably says No Photography.

The Bunker – Heavily spray-painted and some used condoms. So – in our pretend dystopian world people are still artists and the artists still get laid.

Well, yes. There is a lot of green smoking in Oregon.

“It’s never to late to do the right thing…” Like not painting graffiti on historical buildings.

 

We left the coast by Highway 38, which connects the coast to the I-5 Corridor. Near Reedsport is the Dean Creek Wildlife Area. Dean Creek is a Roosevelt Elk Refuge area, and you can see as much as 120 Elk up close. The animals are so beautiful and noble. This is a stop worth making! 

Roosevelt Elk

Elk Herd

Our next stop was in Cottage Grove. Cottage Grove is a small town close to Eugene, Oregon. One of my dearest friends from adolescence just moved there, so we stopped to stay a few nights and catch up. Our furry kids, Milo and Rusty, were able to meet her furry kids, Liam and Piper. Liam is a Mastiff – he seems unaware of that and thinks he is the size of Piper, which is a Chiweenie. All the kids were a little leery of each other, but nothing too stressful happened – even when Piper let her Chihuahua demon side come out. (Those little teeth are slightly terrifying!) It was a lovely visit, and Cottage Grove seems like a pretty quaint little town nestled against the Coast Fork of the Willamette River. They have a pretty adorable covered bridge right downtown, too.

Liam Wallace – the Mastiff with a heart as big as his head.

Piper – The Chiweenie that is possibly in need of an exorcism.

Rusty making sure to not make eye contact with Piper.

Covered Bridge in downtown Cottage Grove. http://www.cottagegrove.net/history/covered_bridges/

To get from Eugene area to Prineville, we followed Highway 126, which is a gorgeous drive. The scenery is amazing and most of the highway follows the beautiful McKenzie River. We crossed over the Santiam Pass, which still has some snowfall on the ground.

The top of Santiam Pass

We arrived in Prineville two nights ago, a few days before Doggysitting duties begin to make sure all the fur kids will get a long. They’re all doing great! Meet Toby and Sissy.

Little Miss Sissy.

The photogenic Toby.

Sissy sticking her tongue out at the big, stinky dogs, Rusty and Milo.

Next Blog –

Central Oregon Sights!

See you Soon!.

 

Diary of Oregon Coast RVers – North Bend, Oregon

Diary of Oregon Coast RVers

Day One – April 3, 2017 – Rogue River, Oregon. Rained a bit today. But we’re back in Oregon, so it’s to be expected.

Day Two – April 4, 2017 – Rogue River, Oregon. Mostly cloudy. Rained this afternoon. Good to be back in Oregon where everything is so green!

Day Three – April 5, 2017 – Rogue River, Oregon. Rained all day. Spent the day in our trailer, watching the rain fall outside our steamy windows.

Day Four – April 6, 2017 – Rogue River, Oregon. Wind blew like crazy. Trees falling in the Valley of the Rogue State Park. Far away lightning and thunder. So glad for electric hookups to be able to run our heater – until the power went out. Trailer is damp. Still happy to be back in Oregon….?

Day Five – April 7, 2017 – Rogue River, Oregon. Sun was out this morning. Had coffee on our way out of Grants Pass area. Rain started while driving to the coast. Coastal weather. It happens, right?

Day Six – April 8, 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. Rain. All. Day. Silver lining; coastal weather is consistent.

Day Seven – April 9, 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. It’s raining. Just a bit here and there, and cats and dogs in-between.

Day Eight- April 10, 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. Rain. Our trailer smells like wet dog.

Day Nine – April 11, 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. A strange glowing orb showed itself in the sky today. If it occurs again tomorrow we may call in the authorities for investigation.

Day Ten – April 12, 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. No worries. Orb is gone. Rain is falling. All seems normal.

Day Eleven – April 13, 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. Heavy rain with intermittent showers.

Day Twelve – April 14, 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. Rain, followed by tears from heaven.

Day Thirteen – April 15, 2017 – Coos Bay, Oregon. Showers this morning. Break in the rain in the early afternoon, followed by coastal flooding.

Day Fourteen – April 16, 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. Rain has slowed to a constant dreary, trickle. Considering selling our RV.

Day Fifteen – April 17, 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. Rain. Trailer is damp enough to turn it into a greenhouse. Growing your own food is good, right?

Day Sixteen – April 18, 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. Rain.

Day Seventeen – April 19, 3017 – North Bend, Oregon. Heavy rain.

Day Eighteen – April 20. 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. Rain, with occasional rain.

Day Nineteen – April 21. 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. Surprise rain storm.

Day Twenty – April 22, 2017 – Coos Bay, Oregon. Cooler with rain showers.

Day Twenty-One – April 23, 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. Heavy rain. Why does God hate Oregon?

Day Twenty-Two – April 24, 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. Praying for drought.

Day Twenty-Three – April 25, 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. Possible 2 minute clearing, following by constant rain.

Day Twenty-Four – April 26, 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. Cloudy with persistent showers.

Day Twenty-Five – April 27, 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. Rain showers, followed by dreary drizzle, followed by rain showers.

Day Twenty-Six – April 28, 2017 – Oregon. Leaving the coast for one week to travel to Central Oregon. Sunshine on coast all weekend. Rain to return as soon as we do.