Exploring Burns, Seneca & home through John Day

Checking weather reports on Thursday, it looked like we would be getting one gorgeous Saturday, and Sunday would be a good day to stay home, so we started looking at maps and checking for back roads we haven’t done before, or it’s been so long we’ve pretty much forgotten. We’d never done 395 from Burns towards John Day, and there was a jaunt on some Forest Service roads that took a minor detour from Seneca to Prairie City so we added that in too.

Overall, this is an enjoyable ride, with no major “oh wow!” moments as far as scenery. The roads are all in very good shape, even the short gravel sections. At 450 miles, it’s probably a bit long for a casual day ride, but it worked out fine for us.

Burns is sort of a gloomy place to visit right now, their sad little casino is closed with a sign out front saying “Closed, New Building to be open Spring 2013!” which makes it even more depressing. A town that used to house plenty of industry is now home to picturesque and crumbling old warehouses and other buildings. Good people live here, I hope more business comes to the area soon.

450 mile jaunt through the Eastern Oregon backcountry
Here’s the loop.
Picture Gorge on Hwy 26

Picture Gorge on Hwy 26

Picture Gorge on Hwy 26

Picture Gorge on Hwy 26

National Forest Road 16 between Seneca and Prairie City.

National Forest Road 16 between Seneca and Prairie City.

Back county road between Prairie City and John Day

Back county road between Prairie City and John Day

John Day River Valley

John Day River Valley

Hwy 395 from Burns to Seneca.

Hwy 395 from Burns to Seneca.

Hwy. 395 from Burns to Seneca.

Hwy. 395 from Burns to Seneca.

Ye Olde Castle in Burns, food's okay, vintage bicycles are better.

Ye Olde Castle in Burns, food’s okay, vintage bicycles are better.

Huge poplar (?) trees point to the oldest neighborhood in Burns.

Huge poplar (?) trees point to the oldest neighborhood in Burns.

Cool house, bad structural design.

Cool house, bad structural design.

Burns-Izee Road.

Burns-Izee Road.

Burns-Izee Road.

Burns-Izee Road.

Burns-Izee Road.

Burns-Izee Road.

Burns-Izee Road.

Burns-Izee Road.

John Day river valley.

John Day river valley.

Riverside School, now a B&B near John Day.

Riverside School, now a B&B near John Day.

More bust than boom these days in Burns.

More bust than boom these days in Burns.

Da Bear plays it cool.

Da Bear plays it cool.

Wildflowers in BMW yellow.

Wildflowers in BMW yellow.

Moooove it!

Moooove it!

NF 16 out of Seneca.

NF 16 out of Seneca.

Ye Olde Castle, Burns Oregon

Ye Olde Castle, Burns Oregon

Artsy house in Burns

Artsy house in Burns

Advertisement

One thought on “Exploring Burns, Seneca & home through John Day

  1. My Grandmother owns the Ye Old Castle. She has put her life into the place. I practically grew up there so it’s nice to see her place show up when I look up my home town. I just wanted to comment because of the mentioning of my grandmother’s restaurant.

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s