Another abandoned ranch. Without a plan, this seems to be a theme for this trip. In this fast world, it is calming to see items made by hand slowly. I slowly look at how things were cobbled together. Yet I imagine that the Riddles may have found pleasure in our easy to purchase manufactured world. They had a hard life.
It is never a goal to camp in a gravel pit, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do. My family must have camped in gravel pits when I was a kid, because it seems quite natural to me to use a gravel pit as a home for the night. But not everyone was raised like I was. On Labor Day weekend I was heading home with my friend Jan. We were focusing on getting home, no longer in the vacationing mode. We were in Fields, Oregon about 6 PM and were starting to think about where we would spend the night. I thought the BLM Page Spring campground an hour north may be full since it was a holiday weekend. I asked at Fields if they could recommend a place we could pull over for the night. Sure, there was a gravel pit a couple of miles north. A couple planned to go target shooting there that night, but we were not to worry, they were a nice couple. Sounded great to me.
I was excited to see the Steens, a fault-block mountain of the basin and range geology, not like the volcanoes of the Cascade Mountains by my home. I had driven from the Hart Mountain Antelope Reserve and when I reached the valley rim above Frenchglen the Steens looked like a huge gentle giant of a hill that just kept going skyward. There was no clue that the backside abruptly drops to the Alvord valley.
I was headed to the BLM Page Springs campground; a campground that my boondocking brother had recommended. It must be nice if he recommended it. It was centrally located for exploring the vast area with a nice amount of space between each campsites. I found the campground a happy place with a comfy camp site that I settled into for a three night stay.