Wondering what traffic will be like on Tuesday?
August 22 – 23, 2017
Tuesday morning after the eclipse, I break camp and head east on Hwy 26. I’m pleasantly surprised there is very little traffic along this highway. The three units of John Day Fossil Beds National Monument are along Hwy 26. I plan to stop at the Sheep Rock Unit. However when I arrive at the visitors center it is a zoo!!! There was a ranger out front trying to direct traffic as best he could. I lowered my window to talk to him and he said they had as many visitors in the last four days as there usually is in a year. The parking lot was full and for several blocks vehicles were parked along the road. I am able to go through the parking lot to turn around and head back to the highway. My visit to John Day will have to wait until the next time I’m in this area.
I continue east, stopping at Clyde Holiday State Park. Oregon state parks allow the use of their fresh water fill station and dump station at no charge. They do ask for a donation though. There is a line of RVs, so it’s about about a 30 or 40 minute wait. I didn’t mind though and enjoyed chatting with the volunteer who was there directing traffic. One of the things I love about my new life is the slower pace. City folks seem always to be rushing here and there with some deadline to meet. I love that I can stop along the way whenever I wish and can take the time to engage in conversation with the people I meet. It is so fun!!
At the city of John Day I stop for gas and grocery store. Also visit the ranger district office for Malheur National Forest. I’m looking for an overnight stop along Hwy 26 in the forest. I get some information about the campgrounds along this route. None really sound that attractive, so I’ll play it by ear.
Shortly after passing thru Prairie City, the road begins to climb up into the Blue Mountains.
After passing Dixie Summit, I was looking for a FS road where I could turn off to find a camp. NF 2645 was in a level area and was a fairly wide road. I turned south off the highway and found a nice level place to camp about a half mile from the highway.
Wednesday morning I continue east on Hwy 26 to the city of Ontario. The Malheur County Fairgrounds here has an RV Park with water and electric hookups. With Passport America discount, the fee is $10 per night, plus $5 for electric and $5 for water. I was back in the section where the horse people camp during the fair in a grove of trees. However, this was at the end of the electric line so the service was a little sketchy – voltage was very low. My power management system cut the power a couple times, but since I was the only one back there, I got thru the three nights that I stayed here.