Ghost Towns of Central Oregon – Part Two – Kent & Shaniko

ghost town
a town that was busy in the past but is now empty 
or nearly empty because the activities that kept 
people there have stopped
Kent, Oregon


The town of Kent is located on Highway 97, south of Grass Valley and north of Shaniko. The town site was originally called Guthrie, and a smaller town site, named Kent, was in a nearby canyon. When the Columbia Southern Railway arrived in Guthrie around 1900, the people of Kent moved to the larger town, and the town of Guthrie was renamed Kent. The post office is the only active business in town.

Kent false advertising.
Kent Market
Cheapest gas in Oregon!


August Scherneckau moved to the area in 1874, after the Civil War. It is said that the town was named after the way that the local Native Americans pronounced Scherneckau’s name. The Shaniko Post Office was opened in 1900, and the town was incorporated the next year.

Shaniko Schoolhouse

The town of Shaniko became a transportation hub between the Columbia Southern Railroad and the Union Pacific Railroad. Between the years of 1901 and 1911, Shaniko was known as the “wool capital of the world.” The largest building in town was a wool warehouse, which still stands today.

Wool Warehouse

In 1911 the Union Pacific Railroad began using an alternative route to Portland, and Shaniko started losing businesses and population right away. Shaniko was first called a “ghost town” in 1959. According the last census the population is now 36.

The Shaniko Hotel
Inside the Shaniko Hotel
Shaniko – The hub of transportation.
Another example of the local transportation.
I bet there is some antique dog tinkle on this.

UP NEXT Antelope!

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!

It’s Just How Geeks Roll – Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington

We at Write on the Road tend to avoid big cities whenever we can – so recently we tackled Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington all in the same week – because we also like to make ourselves cry.

We got it raw…

We had to be in Portland for a few days, so we filled our time finding geeky stuff to do. 

…and lots of books.

Who says size matters? The Guinness Book of World Records – Portland is home to the World’s Smallest Park. Mill Ends Park is just 24” in diameter and 452.16 square inches.

Mill Ends Park

This is it. No really. This is it.

Who else says size matters? Me, when a bookstore takes up an entire city block! We visited Powell’s City of Books, America’s largest independent bookstore. It was amazing. It smelled of books, new and old, and coffee. There were a LOT of people shopping while we were there, but it was okay – book people are okay.

A bag of books. Just add wine for instant happy!

Sniff them. Do it. All the cool kids are.

A city block full of books. This is just one section of heaven here.

We also hung out for a few hours at the Clackamas Town Center Mall. Best stores – Hot Topic and Barnes and Noble. Now I own a badass beanie, and my to-be-read-pile is ridiculously large (and now we’re talking about size again). To finish up our shopping, we visited the StarWarsStore store near the mall. The store is small, but the space is filled with so many collectibles that it was nerdgasmic. 

Are you okay, Anni? Anni, are you okay? Are you okay, Anni?

Maximum effort!

Made the Kessel Run in 12 parcsecs…

To end our Portland adventure we found The TARDIS Room Cafe. With hopes of fish fingers and custard, we arrived for lunch – only to be disappointed by a closure for remodel. 

The construction workers have the phone box.

After our few days in Portland, we were ready to get on the road again.

Portland, Oregon, thanks for being nerdy with us!

We headed north, and briefly stopped in Seattle, WA.

How do they thread the space through the needle?

I try to be a supportive spouse. I support Mike in most things, and when I don’t it’s because he has had some stupid idea to…I digress. I support Mike in most things, and it was no different when he decided to take a religious trek to sacred ground – CenturyLink Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks.

“…it’s one thing saying you’ve got the best god, but sayin’ it’s the only real one is a bit of cheek, in my opinion.” – Terry Pratchet

I don’t give any craps about football – but Mike does. He has been a fan of the Seahawks since he was a wee lad, and he was thrilled to stop by Centurylink for a quick look-see. It wasn’t a tour day, so we didn’t really get to see the field open, just through the fence. The store was open there, and although I don’t give any craps about football, I do love me a new hoodie – so guess who’s a Seahawks fan now? Still not me, but I got a new hoodie anyway.

Wave your flags and banners, sports fans!

12 is okay. 42 would have been a better answer.

The view from the cheap seats. Really cheap seats. The free ones outside the locked fence…

Or the 42’s!

Seattle has a ton of things that we wanted to see and do, but we didn’t have time for this trip. Travel through Washington will be a regular thing for us from now on, as family members have moved up there and we will be visiting often.  Looking forward to the Space Needle and the Pop Culture Museum next time through!

After Seattle we kept driving north – eventually all the way to the Canadian border…

UP NEXT – The most northwesternest you can get in the continental US.


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.