Coos Bay OR to Burns OR
The plan for Day 2 of our travel was to have a leisurely breakfast with Aunt Ellen then drive deeper into Oregon. We were a bit early for a rendezvous, so we enjoyed watching tug boats pulling barges along the bay. I didn’t get photos of those, but I did try to capture the local atmosphere.
Our breakfast stop was The Pancake Mill, and it was crazy. We had to wait quite awhile. Not only was it a busy Sunday morning, but Dunefest was happening just north of here at the Oregon Dunes Recreation Area. There would be tons of ATVs and off-road vehicles coming through town.
As we waited I was a bit confused by a few of the postcards.
Despite the long wait, though, the apple waffles and buckwheat pancakes were worth it.
After breakfast we said our goodbyes and continued on our journey home. We retraced our steps back to Reedsport, then eastward along the Umpqua. Just south of Eugene we leave the interstate and take Highway 58 which followed the Willamette River for much of its route.
This stretch was beautiful, but I didn’t stop to take photos. One thing I noticed were TONS of big box store kayaks. They seemed to be strapped to just about every other vehicle we passed. I had also noticed them stacked to the rafters in the stores in Washington. There must have been a big push on them this season.
I try my best not to be a “kayak snob.” These boats are a great, inexpensive introduction to the sport, but people should really know their limitations and not get into situations that these boats just can’t handle. But, I digress from the trip…
Our route led us through a pass in the Cascade Range, then at the Crescent/Gilchrist area we headed north on Highway 97. We had passed unmistakeable lava fields on Highway 58. As we traveled north we could see larger volcanic cones in the distance to the west.
Near the city of bend we started to see signs for the Newberry Volcanic Monument. We decided to stop for a bit. There was a large cinder cone and miles of what I know as a’a lava (from the Hawaiian word, pronounced “ah-ah.”)
At Bend we headed east on US 20 across wide open stretches of land. This was some seriously remote terrain. Laura and I both thought that this would make excellent dark sky viewing.
I saw signs for Bureau of Land Management and we passed a large office for the BLM. As we pulled into Burns something at the back of my neck began to tingle. I had some nagging suspicions I’d have to check out when we got to the motel.
The community of Hines is just southwest of Burns. As we drove in we counted several taxidermy shops. Apparently hunting and stuffing is a big business in this area.
The motel we had booked for the night was…creepy. The Days Inn at Burns was a worker’s motel, not a vacationers place. There were vans and strange types lounging everywhere. Our room was filthy, but at this point we were tired and nothing else was available. I got a pretty good pizza from a place next door and we locked the doors to settle in for the night.
Continued on page 3…