Eastern Oregon 2
I’m not certain, but I think I drove around the Steens to get to my next location. I drove toward a small town called Frenchglen via Nevada, dipping south, and then northeast on Hwy 140. Before leaving Oregon, I visited what I can only describe as a giant cliff in the middle of the dessert. I don’t know what this cliff was called, but it stretched from horizon to horizon in an otherwise flat landscape. I parked near the top to look over the landscape. A young couple had stopped there as well. They asked me if I knew how to get to a certain town in California. I had no idea.
I probably should have made one extra stop for gas, even though my tank was nearly full. I didn’t see a gas station for about 4 hours, and ended up stopping at a few farms just to ask directions toward gas. Each just told me to keep going – it wouldn’t be far.
I don’t know when I got back to the Beaver State (There’s no ‘Welcome Back to Oregon’ sign on the road to Frenchglen), but before long I found the little town I was looking for… along with gasoline. In Frenchglen there’s a small historic hotel where they serve meals if you call ahead. It’s a state park heritage site, so I filmed my song on their front porch and went on my way.
Succor Creek. It and Owyhee Lake are the only two state parks I’ve found that are solely accessible by dirt road… it’s also 20 miles of dirt road. It was a beautiful drive that taught me not to put too much trust in roadmaps.
You can camp at Succor Creek if you like, and I met some people playing board games next to the creek. The water was low enough that I could film in the riverbed, and after I was done I went to find the nearby lake. THIS was beautiful. To get to Succor Creek and the lake I drove along a canyon carved out by a river bubbling at the bottom. The rocks are beautiful out there - red and browns laced in layers of stone. Outside of the canyon it’s nothing but desert farmland, and you literally have to drive through open grazing land to get to your location. If I wasn’t already driving slow because of the canyon and gravel, I would have had to anyway so I didn’t hit a cow.
The lake, when I finally found it, was amazing. In the heat of the summer, it had mostly dried up, leaving a bed of ivy-like plants for miles. The leaves had been yellowing in the heat, creating a swirling yellow and green canvass across the desert floor.