One of the hallmarks of my roadtrips is just driving. Especially driving on roads less traveled. So the plan from Pendleton on the Lost Coast Then Just Lost Tour was to make a long haul down the full length of Oregon. Oregon makes it easy. Since there are no major interstates out in the Eastern part, I didn’t have to work hard to find an alternative route. It was Route 395 all the way. While it plays a distinct second fiddle to US 101, some people feel Route 395 offers much more diversity. Some day, I’ll traverse the whole thing from Washington to the terminus in the Mohave desert. Today, I just followed it the full length of Oregon. It was an amazing cruise through semi-arid high desert. I think I’ll mostly let the pictures do the talking. Sure it was a long, long haul filled with signs saying “Next Services 80 Miles”. But it was an incredibly beautiful landscape. And, with the exception of maybe half a dozen trucks, I was the only car on the road.
Then I rounded a corner toward the Southeastern part of Oregon and came upon what looked like a drying up lake. By “came upon”, I mean I drove alongside this lake for miles and miles.
Turns out the lake has dried, but not in this century. Actually not in this millenium. This is Lake Abert, an alkali lake that is a remnant of the Pleistocene epoch when vast areas of south-central Oregon were covered by lakes and wetlands. Now only brine shrimp can live in it, which makes it a magnet for migrating birds. (You can read more about the geology of Lake Abert here.)
More pictures of today’s travels here.