As it turns out, the town "Lakeview" is nowhere near a lake
! Furthermore, 5000 pipeline workers were arriving this week. There was NO place to stay. We ended up resigned to drive 60 more miles towards Klamath. Fortunately, 11 miles down the road, we noticed a RV place mentioned in our AAA book. Juniper Lake RV ranch is situated on an 8000 acre cattle ranch. No lake, but a fairly large and dirty reservoir for watering the crops and animals. Fortunately, it was the only thing that was dirty. This place was spotless! We chose a spot furthest from the camp, up against one of the cow fields. Then, Isobel drove us on the 6.5 mile loop around the lake. It took over an hour---maybe because we stopped a few times---and maybe because Isobel was driving 5 miles an hour. I’ll never tell… Anyway, we had a nice tour of the ranch and then drove back to town. We finally found the Mexican food we had been craving---which was pretty good if you didn’t look in the kitchen. While Isobel was sleeping, I was treated to the most amazing star show of our entire trip.
In the morning, I woke up early to work on the blog. Right away, I saw all kinds of excitement. Three cowboys and a dog were rounding up the cattle in the field 5 feet from my tent! Fantastic! They had to do it twice as the lead cows took a turn back towards the campsite, but no one was perturbed and they quickly circled them all back in the right direction. When we left, the cows (neutered males, about half grown) were penned. We think they were moving to another field, and it’s a story we’re sticking with!
Leaving Lake Owyhee, our goal was to reach either Crater Lake or Klamath Falls. Unfortunately, this was a totally unrealistic hope, at least given the route I chose to take (note to self, need better maps!). After moving a bit west on our favorite alternative to interstate highways, route 20 (120 in the south), we turned south-west on route 395. The good thing is that there was no traffic, the bad thing is that there was no traffic---at all. After passing miles and miles of wheat and feed corn fields, we entered another interesting geological feature of Oregon. Smack in the middle of the state, a rift happened a long time ago which left the highest sheer cliff (1/2 mile high) and a very long salt lake below it. I'm used to driving long distances by now, but this seemed particularly long. When we finally reached a town, we were ready to stop for the night.