Eastern Oregon is gritty
...until you take the Blue Mountain Scenic Byway
The first day of our drive west from Idaho to Oregon was rough as we passed out of Idaho’s scenic Sawtooth Mountains and forested slopes, into the high desert of eastern Oregon.
Eastern Oregon is not a hospitable place; the only thing to see for miles were beige hills carved into corrugated terraces by years of cattle grazing and erosion, peppered with windmills and powerlines.
We had planned to stay at a state park campsite on the Snake River; we turned off Highway 84, the main artery through the area, and drove out to the campground, grumpy from a long day spent battling big rigs and wind gusts.
The site was stark and empty, the nearby river’s water reduced by drought to a trickle between wide, gray mud banks. Flies buzzed as loud as chainsaws in the hot air, as buzzards circled overhead. “No. Just no. Let’s keep going,” I said.
“You find a spot then,” Mike grumbled. “There’s nothing here.”
“There’s got to be something.” Using my phone, I found a nearby trailer park, which turned out to…
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