Where are we? In the middle of nowhere...again. Heading south east out of Baker City we checked the Days End directory to find any place not too far away to BD over the long weekend. If you are an Escapee you are aware of the Days End Directory, a bible for those of us who like to dry camp or camp for cheap. It lists mostly stops that are usually $20.00 or less unless there is nothing else in the area and then it may be more. Anyway, several BD spots turned up around the town Nyssa and Lake Owyhee State Park. (Lake Owyhee originally was one of Joel's destinations for Eastern Oregon, but we spent so much time in Bend and Lake Wallowa that he felt there wouldn't be enough time to stay at Lake Owyhee for any length of time) Cow Hollow County Park appeared to be the closest to Lake Owyhee without driving 30 miles up a narrow one lane road. With it being Labor Day weekend, I was sure the State Park would be crowded. The Snake River is very close, and although we are still in Oregon the clock rolled over to Mountain Time.
Cow Hollow County Park is located a few miles from Nyssa in the middle of nowhere (actually it is a little oasis in the middle of alfalfa fields and onion fields). .The park has electric hook ups and water, which are free, but the boxes are wasp infested so we didn't use them. There is a large grassy field and there is good solar or shade, which ever you prefer. A great place to hang/chill for a few days and let the world go by.
The park has an interesting history. It was a Japanese Intern Comp during WWII. What made this unique is that some of the Japanese were allowed to live off the camp and help harvest the sugar beet crop. The town donated the camp to the BLM which later determined it wasn't suitable for them for one reason or another and then donated it back to county.
Sunday morning we headed out to explore Lake Owyhee. There is a dam at one end of the lake and the lake is approximate 50 miles long. The road to the lake is narrow and winding and skirts the Owyhee river. There is lots of boon dock camping along the river. Some areas even have port-a-potties. Apparently it is a very popular fishing area as I saw lots of fly fisherman.
The drive to lake is well worth the time. The lake is beautiful. There are two campgrounds, both nice. It should be noted the road ends at the campgrounds and if you want to explore the rest of the lake you need a boat or go in from the west on very rough dirt road. There is no cell or internet service and it is a destination one would want to spend a few days enjoying because it is so hard to get to. Also, it is definitely a boater's destination. There isn't much to do but boating and fishing. But the lake is mesmerizing with lot of interesting rock formations and coves to explore.
This will be the last stop in Eastern Oregon. I feel I've barely touched the area there is so much to see. If you are not into remote areas, go somewhere else. Next stop Idaho somewhere near Boise...maybe.