Saturday, May 09, 2009

When we left Haystack Reservoir, we headed north on US-97, stopping in Madras to fill up with diesel ($2.399). We turned off of US-97 at SR-293 and drove up to Antelope, the town most closely associated with the Rajneeshpuram, a religious group of some notoriety during the 1980's.

From there, we drove SR-218, which we'd never been on before. While the road was narrow with no shoulders and lots of twists and turns, it had some spectacular scenery, especially once we got to the area where we could look down into the valley through which the John Day River flows. This is also the area of the Clarno Unit of the John Day Fossil beds. We stopped at the Trail of the Fossil pullout at the base of the Palisade Cliffs and took the short 1/4-mile hike up through the lower portion. After the hike we drove about another 1/4-mile to 1/2-mile to the picnic area and had lunch.

After lunch, we continued east and north on SR-218 to Fossil, SR-19 to Condon and SR-206 to Heppner. Originally, we were going to stay at the Elks Lodge, but besides it being right in the middle of town, with no good place to walk Maxx, they have dinner on Saturday nights, and the parking lot is pretty small. So, instead, we're out at Willow Creek Lake RV Park, which (I believe) is a city-run park...$15 for partial hookups of water and electric and $18 for full hookups. They also have weekly and monthly rates, but I didn't really note the fees for the longer stays.


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