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Posts Tagged ‘Highway 395’

“The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.” Don Williams 

Oregon’s Highway 395

My kind of journey is one in which I travel slowly and has many twists and turns and surprises around every curve in the road. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Sunshine Blogger Award

Just Words   kzackuslheureux. wordpress.com  awarded me a Sunshine Blogger Award. It’s always nice to think that I’ve brought sunshine into someone’s day, so thank you very much. I’m using my Bean’s Pat to pay back the honor on a daily basis.

Bean’s Pat: Write to Done http://tinyurl.com/89wxokt  One’s writing is something that can always be improved, and this is a great blog to help you do just that. It’s also a new way to look at your “quirky” family. 

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“…we turned a point of the hill on our left, and came suddenly in sight of another and much larger lake, which, along its eastern shore, was closely bordered by the high black ridge which walled it in by a precipitous face … Spread out over a length of 20 miles, the lake, when we first came in view, presented a handsome sheet of water; and I gave to it the name Lake Albert, in honor of the chief of the corps to which I belong. …” John Fremont

Lake Albert's southeast end from Highway 395. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Travels With Maggie

Highway 395 stretches for 1,370 miles – from the Canadian border in Washington, down through Oregon, California, Nevada and back into California, where it ends just about 150 miles short of the Mexican border. .

I drove 730 miles of it heading south last month, beginning in Pendleton, Oregon, and ending when I turned west onto Highway 120 that would take me up and over 9,943-foot Tioga Pass through the Sierra Nevada Mountains and down into Yosemite Valley.

Much of the drive was on steep, narrow, winding roads with little traffic. I loved every moment of the journey.

Lake Albert from Albert Rim -- Wikipedia photo

The route winds through Oregon’s Battle Mountain State Park, the Umatilla, Malheur, Modoc, Toiyabe and Inyo national forests, and the X L Ranch Indian Reservation, passing numerous lakes on the way. There’s Goose Lake in Oregon, located near Fandango Pass that was used by early settlers to California; Nevada’s Washoe Lake, located between Reno and Carson City and popular with windsurfers; and Mono Lake in California, which was on my bucket list because of its importance to migrating shore birds.

A smaller lake that captured my attention was Oregon’s Lake Albert. Like Mono, it is too salty for fish to live in its waters. It has, however, a dense population of brine shrimp that make it a popular dining stopover for migrating grebes, phalaropes, terns, avocets, geese, stilts, ibis and other birds.

Albert Rim geology marker -- Photo by Pat Bean

Canada geese were the main occupants on the narrow lake the day I drove the 15-mile section of Highway 395 that overlooks the east side of the lake from just feet away. I stopped several times to admire the lonely and lovely view of pink hills reflecting onto the water from the opposite shore.

I also found myself fascinated by the geology marker that explained the lava ridge running parallel to the lake. Known as the Albert Rim, it’s one of the highest fault scarps in the United States.

Except for the highway, which ran between the basalt ridge and the lake, and an occasional passing vehicle, I suspected the landscape still looked pretty much as it did during John Fremont’s mapping expedition in central and southern Oregon back in the 1840s.

It’s rare to find a place so little impacted by we humans – and wonderful.

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 “I advise you to say your dream is possible and then overcome all inconveniences, ignore all the hassles and take a running leap through the hoop, even if it is in flames.” Les Brown

Highway 395 passes through Modoc National Wildlife Refuge, where I stopped a bit to enjoy these Canada Geese. -- Photo by Pat Bean

 

Travels With Maggie

Looking back at the fire from a service station in Bridgeport, where I -- gulp -- paid $4.99 for a gallon of gas. -- Photo by Pat Bean

My travels down Highway 395 the past five days have taken me from Oregon to California to Nevada and back again yesterday into California. \

“I already relinquished my lone apple to the agriculture inspector at the Alturas station,” I said to a second ag inspector as I re-entered California at Topaz Lake yesterday.

She smiled and waved me on.

Highway 395 is not one that will put you to sleep. The landscape it runs through is an eclectic mix of mountain passes, high deserts, green forests, both fresh water and salt lakes, historical parks and national wildlife refugees.

My dog, Maggie, and I have enjoyed every minute of the often steep and twisting drive. Me because of the awesome scenery, and Maggie because driving always lulls her into a pleasant sleep. She also enjoys the scents her nose discovers during our morning and evening walks at a strange new place. .

Flames were visible across the water from out Bridgeport Reservoir campground. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Yesterday’s travels took us over 7,000-foot passes that looked up at mountains still containing patches of snow. With all the heat so much of the country has had this year, the sight seemed like a miracle.

The red clouds I came upon in the late afternoon seemed much the same, until I realized the color was being reflected onto them by flames. Suddenly my view ahead was full of smoke, with actual flames occasionally visible from behind a ridge to my right. The flames, however, hadn’t yet reached the road and the smoke was mostly overhead, so I drove on, passing the fire just before entering the town of Bridgeport.

I breathed a sign of relief that the road hadn’t been closed, although I think it was later shut down.

The wildfire is still burning this morning, I can see it from the Bridgeport Reservoir RV Park and Marina, where Maggie and I spent the night.

It was nice, as we slept, to know there was a body of water between it and us.

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 “The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination. – Don Williams.

 

The yellow winding road warning sign was no joke. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Travels With Maggie

For two days now, I’ve been traveling south on Highway 395 in Oregon. It’s an awesome road, full of twisty turns, steep canyons, grazing cattle, grassy meadows and flowing water.

I began my journey in Pendleton, where cowboys and Indians still roam, and on the first day I made it to the beautiful Clyde Holliday Park just outside John Day, where quail and deer still play. The second day found me in Lakeview, south of Lake Albert and just north of the California border..

The town of John Day is named for the John Day River, which was named for a Virginian who accompanied the Astor Expedition that followed the footsteps made by the earlier Lewis and Clark Expedition. Clyde Holliday is a successful logging entrepreneur in the area.

 

The roadsides occasionally hinted of autumn ahead. -- Photo by Pat Bean

The first day on the road took me through Battle Mountain State Park, and gave me a history lesson about the Bannock War. The park is the site of the last major fight the Bannock Indians fought against the encroachment of white settlers.

The highway north of John Day, while steep and winding, was mostly broad and open. The canyon south of John Day was steeper and narrower and often lined with trees. Except for an occasional logging truck, I was usually the only vehicle on the road.

Forks of the John Day River followed me both days. As I drove yesterday I composed a poem in my head. I seldom write poetry, but when I do, I call it soul words, which is my way of excusing my murder of poetic forms.

I hope you will, too.

Time Well Spent

Take me up to the mountain top

Up where the eagle and red-tailed hawk soar

Let me look out on a panoramic vista

Of meadows filled with golden grasses,

And clumps of frosty sagebrush

And patches of yellow wild blossoms

And here and there a tinge of red

That speaks of summer’s end.

Let me delight watching conifer leaves twinkle in the wind

And be amazed at how the stalky evergreens

March their way in jumbled rows up rocky cliffs

Let me linger a bit here on the high reach

Breathing in the fresh sky-scrubbed air

Scented with pungent sage and pine needles

Then let me slowly travel down canyon

Accompanied by the tinkling laughter of water

As it joyfully bubbles over riverbed rocks

Heeding the unwavering  call of gravity

Thankfully my life has seen such days as this

Unfettered by the world’s chaotic-ness

And doubly thankful again this precious day

That I’ve added yet another few peaceful hours 

To my piggy bank of memories.

– Pat Bean

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