Monday, July 22, 2013

Oregon's Outback

At 4800 feet above sea level, Lakeview, Oregon, is the state’s “tallest town.” We stayed five nights 15 miles south of Lakeview at the Goose Lake State Park on our way back to Carson City.  The park sits just off Highway 395, right on the Oregon / California state line, and what’s left of Goose Lake straddles the line.
Highway 395 in this area is part of the Oregon Outback Scenic Byway, which actually extends from the state border all the way to LaPine, just south of Bend. We’d like to take the whole tour someday, but can’t do it this year.

When we asked in town why this was called Oregon’s Outback, we were told that this IS the outback of Oregon. Erl, the store owner we talked to, explained that Oregon is all about Interstate 5 and Interstate 84, and over here on 395, it’s really the outback. (Interstates 5 and 84 intersect in Portland, about 350 miles from here.) So we set out to see this part of the Outback. Here’s what we found:

Of course, this is cowboy country, with cattle ranches and horses and grazing land. These old barns are scattered along 395, along with some sturdy, more modern ones. This country must have been built up in the first half of the last century, and some of it is falling down now. Many of the farm and ranch houses are the originals also, built well before there was any such thing as air conditioning. Most of the older homes were surrounded by immense shade trees to add some cooling effect from the summer’s heat.

Just across 395 from Goose Lake State Park is the tiny community of New Pine Creek. It's not in very good repair:

But there's one fine home, with its own decrepit barn.

Back in the town of Lakeview we saw evidence of local pride in some well-done murals.

Just south of town, Suzy found nectarines and tomatoes, and had to get involved.

As always, there are more photos in our web album -- Lakeview and Oregon Outback.

Life rolls on in ... Our Life on Wheels.


  1. Love the murals. Someone(s) took a lot time to make them beautiful.

    Cute photo Suzy! You are looking so good.

  2. Makes you wonder why there is this beautiful house out there in the middle of no where. Beautiful barn pics. Suzy looks wonderful and now I want a nectarine.

  3. Even the most dilapidated barns never seem to quite fall all the way down. In their day, they must have been sturdily built! I liked seeing and reading about your tour of the Oregon Outback.

  4. It's been many years since I visited Lakeview, so I didn't know this part of the state was call the "Outback." But the term seems to fit. The pictures of old barns are great.

  5. I always wish I could roam around the original town for a few hours, and see what it was like in the beginning. Don't you wish you could roam around the "new" New Pine Creek? A little hustle and bustle going on? There are so many empty buildings around New Mexico, too, and I'm sure they were nice places to live in the past when there were jobs to keep the townspeople going.

  6. You look like you're having a good time!! Hope Suzi is feeling better.... great barn pics!!

  7. I've really enjoyed your Oregon posts this last month! You were almost my feature blogger of the month on JourneyLinks but I wondered if Oregon was biasing my opinion too that state!

  8. Your trip to Oregon’s outback must have been an enjoyable one. Your photos are captivating. It is interesting to look at your trip photos and see old barns falling down. By contrast, then right in the middle of everything, it is clear that there is a lot of pride in the town with the artwork displayed on the walls.

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