On The Trail!

Middle of Nowhere. Christmas Valley, Oregon with story and photographs by: Ted Holman.Editor: Eric Bewley.


The usual good planning that I insist on saw me receiving a call from Eric Saturday morning that they were leaving for Christmas Valley, OR that very moment. This was about an hour after I had chosen to replace the water pump on "Mr. Mutt". Seems that I had either gotten the days confused or wasn't listening to the "accurate" instructions Eric was giving over the phone. I am responsible for Sara sitting in the truck at Beaver Marsh for two hours, I did it, it was me, that is all there is to it (other then Eric is easily confused). If they weren't such great people, I would never humble myself so completely.

 christmasvalley_99_01.JPG (15271 bytes)About a half hour before we got there.

So we decide to cut straight across the State, using any line that was on the map. Three hours of dirt and asphalt later, we arrived to find both motels full ($27/night) and no sleeping bags (all right, I had no bags). Ah planning...... highly over rated as two rooms became available due to no shows. Christmas Valley is intense. Geographic sites, anthropological sites, volcanic activity, sand dunes, you name it and it is here, right in the middle of No Where, OR. We fire-roaded the morning away (read: lost) until we found the dunes. Holly Smokes, they were big with nobody there, no tracks, nothing but us and a couple of bikes way off in the distance. I mean this place is huge. We aired down and went at it.

christmasvalley_99_eric_03.JPG (9849 bytes)Dunes as far as you could see. christmasvalley_99_ted_02.JPG (9284 bytes)

christmasvalley_99_eric_01.JPG (22948 bytes)Some dunes were mixed with brush.

Kamma and Becky raced down one dune and as you can see, when you reach the bottom, stop running.

christmasvalley_99_oops_01.JPG (7518 bytes)

christmasvalley_99_oops_02.JPG (10184 bytes)

I was not much better as I spent a lot of the time getting unstuck. We would get to the top of the dune, freak because I couldn't see and sink. The dunes went on forever, but as usual, with my good navigating, we were soon out of them into the "Lost Forest" and dust. Not just dust, I mean DUST.

christmasvalley_99_eric_02.JPG (20758 bytes)

christmasvalley_99_ted_03.JPG (9903 bytes)Whoa, the mutt had air!

I again was brunt of everyone's disappointment (so don't give me the map!). It was so bad inside Mutt that my glasses got covered and I could not see the windshield. I looked 100 years old when I got out of the rig. editors note: Ted actually always looks 100+; however, in this instance, he looked really old. We had a great time and are looking forward to checking out more of Central and Eastern Oregon. If you ever get the chance, don't miss it, but don't forget your sleeping bags!

christmasvalley_99_ted_01.JPG (15502 bytes)What a stout looking rig! christmasvalley_99_02.JPG (14334 bytes)On the way home.


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