Monday, April 23, 2007

Day 5

La Pine is a nice State Park but very little to do, except visit the Big Tree. The sign said that it is the largest Ponderosa Pine in Oregon. 500 years old, 25000 board feet, but not so tall, as it looks as if it were topped at some point.
After the visit to the Big Tree, we hit the road, going southeast this time on Hwy 31, which is listed as a Scenic Highway. It was that. The first third, the road eased its way thru forested pines and then through a small section of sage brush, but then we came to an area around Silver Lake that was awesome. Towering mountains framed the picture and the quiet valley, just sprinkled with occasional cattle farms and dotted with “blink and you’ll miss them” towns. We hit squalls of snow but it mostly blew around and didn’t stick. Roy tried to take pictures….out the window, but it just doesn’t show how scenic this road was

I had planned to spend the night at Goose Lake State Park. The brochure said that it would be open mid April but while I do believe this is mid April, the park was closed for the season, so we continued. We turned on Hwy 395 and ‘happy accident’, we found an RV park in Alturas. By this time, the snow is really coming down and as we pulled in, others followed until the park was pretty much full. I called it a happy accident as we decided to walk downtown, and there was this old hotel for sale. I am talking over a 100 year hotel and peeking in the windows we just drooled. Inside someone had restored it to its 1900 standards. What we wouldn’t give for a tour! Roy found the advertisement for it, and the owner wants a cool million, two. It has two dinning rooms, one bar area, a game room, a lobby with gleaming hard wood floors and walls. There are a few rooms with attached baths, but most of the rooms don’t have baths and while I would love to buy it, I can’t see what can be done with it. It’s not a big town, but folks don’t stay in historical hotels when there is an internet friendly Best Western in the area. I could see making apartments out of the rooms, but that would ruin it. The only other thing, might be a huge Bed and Breakfast. There was really no parking in the area either, and I am sure the outside paint it led and that would cost a small fortune to remove, but I am certainly going to send the picture to my Betty and Paul so they can also drool.
The snow is really coming down now. We might get stuck here.

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