"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

San Dunes and Coffin Races OR/CA

Lakeview, OR
Lake County Fairgrounds
Susanville, CA
Diamond Mountain Casino

The scenery along 395 in Oregon is stark, but very beautiful.  Mostly it was dry, open range land but we came upon some sand dunes that we were surprised to see.  The Sand Dunes Wilderness Study Area contains about 16K acres and are consist of unstabilized sand dunes, which rise to a maximum height of about 60 feet
Continuing south you come upon Lake Abert. It's is a large, shallow alkali lake approximately 15 miles long and only 10 feet deep.

The east side of Lake Abert is bounded by Abert Rim, a steep escarpment that rises over 2,500 above the lake surface. The lake is bordered on the west by a long ridge called Coglan Buttes and on the north by the Coleman Hills. The lake's only year-around source of fresh water comes from the Chewaucan River, which flows into the lake from the south.

 Loved the cloud reflections in the lake.

We drive past more large ranches on the way to our stopping point.

It was getting late and we decided in advance we'd stay at the Lake County Fairgrounds for the night.  We didn't unhook.  Just had some leftovers and went to bed as it's getting darker sooner now.  We'd be up early to head out. $5 for the dry camping and dump station. 

It's only 15miles to the California border.

As the sun was coming up it appeared that there was an area of low fog ahead.

As we drove through it though we wondered if it was from what looked like hot springs.
We figured on staying at the Diamond Mountain Casino for the night.  I wasn't too keen on it as it was much smaller than I thought with an uneven parking area.  We talked to management and they told us we could park in the lower corner near the coffee/cigarette shop.  If you look at the above photo, that's the coffee shop I'm standing next too.  Very close.  We were allowed to plug into their 20amp power on the light pole. After taking with our friends, Lee & Trace, they told us we should stay for the Coffin Races on Halloween.  We figured we would.
 Since we didn't unhook we took the bus to Main St.  Our driver was really nice and we enjoyed the colorful banter of the locals on the bus.
 The street was lined with Trick-or-Treaters that provided goodies from the local businesses.
 They did some practice runs for the coffin races.

Coffin Races
 The doggies were dressed up too.  Costumes everywhere.

So many cute ones except this one (below).  Pretty creepy.

Lots of dancing too.  We decided to pop in for a drink before heading back to the casino for dinner.
We decided to just have a few appetizers then call it a day.  Since we made such good time getting back to California and the weather for the next few days were going to be sunny, we decided to make a short side trip to Carson City and use our Nevada State Park Pass one last time for free camping before it expires at the end of the year.  This way we could also visit a couple of friends once more and visit the Carson City Mint again.

 Another great drive before settling into a new to us Nevada State Park.


  1. Looks like a great area! Safe travels and Merry Christmas!🎄🎁

    1. Merry Christmas to you Steve and the family!

  2. I love eastern Oregon. So wild and unspoiled! Great find with the coffin races, Debbie!

    1. I like it better than the coast, but then I'm more a mountain girl than a beach girl. There is more that we would've like to visit.

  3. Coffin races? Really? You guys find the weirdest things!

    1. Lee and Trace told us about them when they worked nearby. Small town fun!

  4. Small town races are so fun, one of the neighboring towns in VT had outhouse races. Cool the things we find on the road.

    1. Local town races are fun. Here in Placerville they have the Wheel Barrow races at the fair. Studebaker invented them for the gold rush before the cars. Our kids have raced in them.


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