Burns OR to Evanston WY
The next morning I remembered to check on that nagging suspicion I’d had earlier. It turns out that Burns was the site of the Bundy Family Standoff at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in 2016. Ammon Bundy and his family occupied the refuge, located just south of the town. I knew the name of the town sounded familiar.
We had other reasons for wanting to get on the road, though. This motel was filthy. Laura didn’t even want to shower in the terrible bathroom. When I went out to walk Luna there were large piles of dog shit everywhere. People just didn’t care. It was time to leave.
The town of Burns itself seemed like a nice place. There were interesting businesses and restaurants in the downtown section with some cool historic architecture. However, our experiences at the motel and the areas association with right wing idiots made it so that we didn’t want to stick around. We headed north then eastward on US 20.
There were more miles of two-lane roads across remote country. The sun cast interesting rays across the highway and we watched wisps of virgas, rain in dry climates that evaporates before hitting the ground.
Finally we reach an interstate at the town of Ontario, Oregon. On I-84 we crossed the Snake River and entered into Idaho.
Idaho was a bit of a blur from the interstate. Boise was busy, with the heaviest traffic we had encountered since leaving Portland. Strains of the B-52’s “Private Idaho” kept running through my brain, along with how inappropriate the song was in this situation.
We reached the Twin Falls area and I wanted to see Shoshone Falls. We tried to visit this area back in 2004 but it was rather unimpressive. We left the interstate and drove across the Snake River on Highway 93. At this point the gorge is quite impressive. Why we didn’t stop for photos, I don’t know. We did continue on to the falls overlook, but we didn’t actually go down into the falls park. I guess we were worried about how much further we had to drive.
We crossed into Utah, drove along the banks of the Great Salt Lake, and at Ogden crossed the Wasatch Range. The intersection with I-80 was confusing because of construction and we followed a detour that took us nearly 10 miles out of our way. We got to see a lovely lake, though.
Eventually we crossed into Wyoming and our stop for this evening – Evanston. This night’s lodgings were still a Days Inn, but MUCH nicer than what we found in Burns.
I went to find dinner at a nearby KFC when I spotted this dangerous combination.
Since we were just across the Utah-Wyoming border, there were lots of vices readily available for those stuck in Mormon-land. I decided I needed to support their endeavors, so in addition to fried chicken I bought the makings for martinis.
Continued on page 4…