The drive today was 416 km. It was a long day, straight roads and not much to see but farmland, cows, more lakes and the occasional small farm community. We passed into Oregon, and went half way up the state before stopping. The sun was bright, for the most part, and although we encountered some wind, and a few raindrops there was nothing of significance. Goose lake is in both California and Oregon. It is considered a pluvial lake, which is a body of water that accumulates due to water availability due to changes in temperature or precipitation, rather than rivers or creeks flowing into, or out of it. Again high concentrations of salt accumulate on the shore lines as the water evaporates. It was obviously high water as you could see farmers fences a long way out in the water, and the water fowl was abundance.
The next beautiful lake we came to Lake Abert. With the lake on one side, and cliffs on the other, it was a spectacular drive down the east side. The fields across the lake were like a moon scape, so opposite of the rocky cliffs that ran the length of the lake on the highway side. Lake Abert is large at 15 mile long and 7 miles wide at its widest point and true to the area it is a shallow alkali lake. Although the lake is known as the Pacific flyway, as its an important stop for migrating birds…we didn’t see any the whole length of the lake. Again, likely too early!
Throughout the day the highway weaves its way up and down with many long straight stretches of fields. Occasionally we were driving over hills, through national forests (sometimes with a little snow in the shady spots) and then back down into the fields/desert like scenery. It was an interesting day in that I didn’t realize how much farming went on in the northern parts of California and Oregon, and even Washington. And of course their national forests are not quite what either of us consider forests having grown up in BC. We’ve always travelled the coast, we’ve never given it a second thought what these states would look like inland. For miles upon miles, and hour upon hour I was amazed on just how much ranching was going on, something I always have associated with states such as Montana.
We arrived in Pendleton early evening. We found the KOA campsite, and pulled in. Again, we found a spot – the only one left, filled out the registration and went to drop it in the box. It was only then that we realized the campsite was FULL. There was nothing in the campsite we chose, however, someone else with truck and camper? Gone for just a couple hours. I’m sure they would have been displeased to arrive back to find their campsite full! Now to find another RV site. There were actually 4 other campgrounds, so with positive attitude, we plug the first address into Joe, and off we go. There were spots at the next site, but I think every site that was taken had people living at them, garbage everywhere, and the “wash” trailers looked like they would fall down off their stilts any moment. So, another address punched in, we head the few blocks to it. Same thing, only there were NO sites available. The other two sites were the same. It appeared this may be a cheaper way to live than a house or an apartment because most site were full with full timers, and they are hardly comparable to the sites we saw in Arizona, or California! Back to Joe again, we plugged in Hermiston, and found Hat Rock Campground, a Good Sam member, actually phoned to reserve a spot – and headed the 43 miles with Joe guiding us. Joe is new to this I can tell. He still thinks we want to be touring about in the quickly fading daylight. He had us on the scenic route, twisting, winding through all the creeks the whole hour to Hat Creek. His route was about 10 miles longer than had we just got on the freeway – but again, its an adventure, and we arrived set up later than what we had anticipated for the day, and Gary started studying the map for our next day of travel.