Thursday, August 9, 2012


US 395: Alturas to Lakeview

Alturas Dawn
The southern-most stretches of US 395 in Oregon can be desolate.  We knew we were headed north but we had no destination in mind.  It was going to be 100 degrees later on so an early(ish) start seemed in order.  We figured we’d knock out an hour or so before stopping for breakfast to figure out the rest of the day.

C'mon!  Let's load up!
By about 7:00 my buddy cranked up his Stelvio, and I, my GSA.  The sun had crested the Warners but temps were brisk enough to require a layer between the t-shirt and the mesh jacket.  US 395 is wonderfully maintained with a smooth surface that rises and falls and sweeps this way and that through gentle high desert topography.  Ranches east of the highway back up to the mountains; to the west they border Goose Lake.

In the high and dry country
Morning rays glint through arcs of Rainbird sprinklers endlessly rotating in an effort to provide silage in this drought stricken region.  The aroma of damp alfalfa fills the helmet.

Revisiting an old friend
Cattle graze the flats out toward the lake and the land is dotted with hay barns, pump sheds and farmhouses.

Nice place for forever
A quick detour and a short climb on County Road 9 (Fandango Pass Road) offers an expansive view of the basin that Goose Lake dominates.   The Willow Ranch Cemetery offers comforting views for eternity. 

Old Barn.  Old Ford.
Nearby, barns built century before last still offer shelter to hay bales, livestock and implements.

The romance of the west is not fiction
A small group of horses gallop across a field, stopping suddenly so I could record the continued existence of the Old West.

Davis Creek School
Returning to 395, the run in to Lakeview continues the morning’s delight.  The old Davis Creek School House reminds us of those simpler days when children walked to school – seven miles – up hill both ways – in the snow.

Always on the lookout for suicidal deer, the first encounter we would have was a young buck, antlers still in felt, ambling across the highway in Lakeview.

Waiting for winter in Lakeview
We ordered the Traveler’s Breakfast at Jerry’s – lots of sausage and eggs and potatoes – viewed the map and hoped the rest of the day would be as glorious as its beginning.

© 2012
Church of the Open Road Press


  1. What did you replace Nikky with? :)

  2. A Panasonic "Lumix" DMC-ZS8: 16x Leica Zoom. Quite nice and very familiar given my years with its Panasonic Lumix ancestor.

  3. I like the Pannys also. My main camera is a DMC-FZ100.The backup is the Canon.

  4. I have never been up your way, but I love the photos and sure hope I can make it someday.