Sunday, April 07, 2013

US Hwy 20: Burns, Oregon

As you approach the town of Burns, you can't miss the huge flag. You also can't miss the facts that it is blowing horizontally and is somewhat tattered, both of which testify to the strong winds that typically blow across the high desert. It's been windy non-stop -- with some rain -- since I arrived.

Burns became a town in 1891, and is the seat of Harney county. It was named after the Scottish poet Robert Burns when storeowner George McGowan turned down the opportunity of immortality by having the town named after him. He declared the town should be named after the “Poet of the People, Mr. Burns”.

The nearby wildlife refuge is renowned as a habitat for over 250 species of migratory birds. The area is also known for its rocks and gems, plus the usual hiking, fishing and hunting.

The weather pretty much ruled out these pursuits, and the Harney County Historical Museum is closed today.

So, my pre-visit intel turned out to be pretty accurate after all: There isn't much to do in Burns. What little there is, I didn't get to do. That's the way it goes sometimes.

I did enjoy some local color by having breakfast at "Ye Olde Castle Famly Restaurant & Antique Emporium." The source of the castle theme remains a mystery to me, as does the combination of an antique emporium. As you can see, I continued my current trend of having the place to myself, amidst an eclectic collection of antique bikes. Go figure.

After breakfast, I took a leisurely drive around the entire town. The streets were mostly deserted, and the shops were mostly closed. Quite unexpectedly, I found some humor in the names and descriptions of several establishments. The "Motel Deli Quick Mart Drive Thru" for one, and the "Biggest Little Kitchen Store in Eastern Oregon" for another. If they weren't closed, I would most definitely have checked them out!

I'm taking the rest of the day to catch up on some chores, planning and other projects. I hope to pull out of here early in the morning, though the weather forecast is hinting at snow. I'm definitely earlier in the season that I thought I'd be, so we'll just have to see what happens next… Stay tuned!

Click here to see exactly where I am posting this from on Google Maps.

1 comment:

Barbara said...


Since you will be going through Cody, WY I HIGHLY recommend a stop at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center!! It is like 5 different Museums in one and you will need more than a few hours to see it. It really is an amazing place.