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~ Kathy M.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Day Trip Down the Oregon Outback Scenic Highway: Fort Rock, Oregon

Yesterday was a nice day.  Blue sky, and temps were close to 50*.  I asked Cary if we could go and do something fun.  He said, what do you want to do?  I thought about it, and came up with the grand idea of a short trip to Fort Rock.  Fort Rock is only 35-40 minutes away, but we never get out that way.  That is because you have to want to go out there for sightseeing or recreation.  They all have to come into town for groceries and shopping.  We left home at 11:30 and were back home by 3:00.  

I took so many pictures that I will have to divide them up into four posts!


We turned on to HWY 31, off of HWY 97.  HWY 31 is now also known as the Oregon Outback Scenic Highway.   If you follow HWY 31 long enough, it will take you to Reno, Nevada.  Sometime, we plan on giving that a whirl.  If you stay local, HWY 31 will take you to Fort Rock, Christmas Valley, Silver Lake, Summer Lake and Lakeview.  We took the turn-off to Fort Rock.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, Kathy Matthews

The terrain is flat high desert with mountains in the distance. There are not too many trees.  It is rugged and beautiful.  Wide open spaces, like the Dixie Chicks sing of.  You can imagine cowboys, Indians traveling from camp to camp, shooting stars, sheep ranches; all kinds of stuff.  It all looks so old.  I felt so much better, though, being able to see the mountains.  When we were in Kansas, it was very flat, but there were no mountains, and that was a bit disturbing to me.  I just like mountains.  I can't help it.



 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, Kathy Matthews


 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, Kathy Matthews


 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, Kathy Matthews
There is a kiosk that tells you all about the Oregon Outback.  
You can click on these to enlarge them.


 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, Kathy Matthews


 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, Kathy Matthews


 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, Kathy Matthews


 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, Kathy Matthews

Sights along the road ...

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, Kathy Matthews


 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, Kathy Matthews


 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, Kathy Matthews


 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, Kathy Matthews


 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, Kathy Matthews
We kept on driving toward the little town of Fort Rock.  
Hoping that there was a place to eat that was open.


 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, Kathy Matthews
Cary stopped the car so I could get out 
and take some photos of  Fort Rock itself.


 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, Kathy Matthews


 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, Kathy Matthews


 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, Kathy Matthews


Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, Kathy Matthews


 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, Kathy Matthews
I took advantage of the zoom feature on my camera.
Fort Rock is a volcano that blew it's top long ago.  
It is a half a mile wide, and stands 325 feet tall.


 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, Kathy Matthews
Almost there ....


 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, Kathy Matthews
Yay, a nice restaurant that was open!


 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, Kathy Matthews
It was light, bright and very clean.  I'll post some pictures of the nice lady's Christmas decorations and teapots soon.  Cary had a Reuben sandwich, and I had a grilled tuna with cheese.  The food was really good.  They have a lounge too, but we just peeked our heads inside there.  We were on a mission.  Or at least I was (the museum).


 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, Kathy Matthews
This view of Fort Rock State Park is from the restaurant parking lot.  The town is tiny.  There is a little store and gas station,  retirement apartments  for those 55 and older, a tavern, the museum and just a couple of other businesses.  Christmas Valley, a half an hour away is a bit bigger and has more variety.


 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, Kathy Matthews
After we were done with our meal, we went over to the museum.  I am making another post about it.  It was way cool.


 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, Kathy Matthews
When we were done at the museum, we went to Fort Rock State Park, which is just a mile off of the main highway.  I was going to do a separate post on that, but I think that I'll just include it here.

The State Park is a day use area with a warm bathroom, lots of picnic tables, and it is horse friendly.  We didn't leave the parking lot, because of the snow ... but there looks like lots of exploring to be done.  Anybody but me see faces on those rocks?

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, Kathy Matthews

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, Kathy Matthews


 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, Kathy Matthews


 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, Kathy Matthews


 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, Kathy Matthews


 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, Kathy Matthews


 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, Kathy Matthews


 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, Kathy Matthews


 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, Kathy Matthews


 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, Kathy Matthews


 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, Kathy Matthews


 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, Kathy Matthews


 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, Kathy Matthews


 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, Kathy Matthews


It was a wonderful trip, and I am so appreciative to Cary for carting me around yesterday.  If you want some more info, take a look at this cool website that I found yesterday:  Oregon's Outback.com


 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, Kathy Matthews
We headed home.  I do see the draw for living out there, 
but I don't see that happening for us.  Property is cheap in this area though.  And, the folks are awful nice.

~ Kathy

P.S. - If you liked this post, you will probably like these too:  The Big Obsidian Flow, Newberry Caldera, Oregon


 

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