August 31 – Burns, Oregon

We’d planned to travel southeast to Winnemucca, NV but at the last minute changed our plans and headed northeast to Burns, OR.  It proved a wise decision.

After brief stops for gas and groceries, we drove north and soon found ourselves in an uninhabited region … driving along the eastern shore of Lake Abert,

one of  the largest lakes in Oregon, with no outlet, water can only leave by evaporation. As a result, sodium carbonates and other salts become concentrated in the lake’s waters and the shore line is lined with a white field of rocks.

The eastern shore rises steeply to the Abert Rim, 2,500’ above the lakes 6,250’ median level.

Along the road there is a field of boulders which have fallen from the cliffs above.

Across the serene waters of the lake, the land behind the shoreline rises very gently.

We’ve never seen a body of water that size with absolutely no development anywhere along its incredibly beautiful shores.

At the northern end of the 14 mile long, 60 square mile lake, the gentle shoreline is a mix of alkaline and grasslands which are now grazing lands for cattle.
Climbing out of the valley,there were long stretches of road through some stark but beautiful country.

When you grow up and live in places like the New England and the Northeast it is easy to fail to grasp how many large and uninhabited exist in North America!

Along the way, we were treated to several “dust devils”; mini tornados of dust only a few tens of feet high and lasting only a few minutes.

We were also surprised to pass between some alkaline sand dunes

We’re settled in to our campground in Burns, Oregon this evening and will be off to western Idaho in the morning.

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