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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Ghosts of Times Past: Touring Central Oregon with Know Your City

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Wed, Jul 17, 2013 at 9:59 AM

Over the weekend I worked on a photo shoot that took place in various abandoned buildings around central Oregon, a part of the state to which I'd never been. Therefore, when I looked at the info for Know Your City's two-day bus tour of the area's ghost towns last week, I thought, "Oh that sounds really cool." Now I see it and I'm like, "That's gonna be fuckin' AWESOME!!" But it's coming up fast! This weekend fast.

Guided by Keith May, the author of Ghosts of Times Past: A Road Trip of Eastern Oregon Ghost Towns, the tour includes stops in creepily abandoned places like Boyd, Dufur, Friend, Shaniko and Antelope, plus a short walk through the gorgeous Painted Hills, and—maybe best of all—you'll spend the night in Mitchell, which is where we stayed too! Moreover you'll probably be staying at the Oregon Hotel, because I'm pretty sure there is only one hotel in town. Look for: a complete lack of cell phone service, a big cage behind the town gas pumps where this one guy's pet bear used to hang out (apparently he's too old to be down with daily transporting and now just hangs out back home at the farm?), and a surprisingly tolerant, almost lawless atmosphere in which people are constantly traveling through, especially on motorcycles or with hunting dogs, and there seems to be daily BBQ-ing and live music happening in the small park where you can camp up to three days for free. It's freaking delightful.

Heres a super scary abandoned ranch where we took some photos!
  • Here's a super scary abandoned ranch where we took some photos!

Anyway, if I had that much fun without the complete dose of fascinating history lessons being offered (the trip is Saturday to Sunday, and you can still get tickets here), you're going to have a blast.

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