On Monday, we left Umpqua River Haven and headed east. An annual jaunt to spend time with family and friends. We drove through the beautiful Umpqua River Valley—a river valley that challenges all river valleys for beauty—to Eugene and then on east through the beautiful, but not as beautiful, McKenzie River Valley to Sisters, OR. Sisters is a quaint, touristy town with many interesting shops. It is also part of the skiing community near the Sisters mountain peaks. We gassed up and headed on to Bend.
Bend, OR is a thriving community also with proximity to skiing and many other winter activities that require snow. We passed on through heading east again only pausing for a moment at Brothers. Brothers is a wide place in the road with a café and other services. The desert stretches out to low hills as you travel this rural state highway. Traffic was very thin. We like that!
Because of all the rain we’ve had this year, even the desert is green right now. Sagebrush, grass and more. The hillsides are green, green,green.
After an enjoyable day of driving, we settled for the night in Burns, OR (remember our blog post about the siege at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge?https://umpquariverhaven.com/2016/02/09/malheur-national-wildlife-refuge-occupied The locals are still talking about the “invasion”).
Tuesday we continued on the remote state highway that crosses Oregon into John Day Country. This area of Oregon offers a wide variety of scenery and things to do from desert to snowy mountains. We drove the river valley. In spite of this being desert country, there was so much moisture this year that even the desert is green and blooming.
It seems incongruous to have a river running through the desert but it does.
And it is so very green….
Eastern Oregon IS a desert in spite of all the irrigated crops. Every once in awhile the desert insists on being seen. Got sand?
Eventually, we came to the Oregon-Idaho border and picked up I-84 for the rest of our day’s travels. We spent quality time visiting and noticed how green the Idaho prairie was. Often it is just brown driving across the prairie.
Stay tuned for our next adventure that will take us through the mountains of Idaho and Wyoming—undoubtedly one of the most beautiful drives anywhere.