So, on the map in the middle of pretty much nowhere is a place called Lonerock.
It’s not exactly the kind of place that you go through on the way to someplace else, which is probably why we haven’t visited yet.
We were looking for some gravel roads to explore, and this area has a nice selection, with some wet weather the week before it was a perfect time to do a bit of dirt.
Then on to some tasty road selections with beautiful views!
Arriving in town, we’re first surprised at how amazingly tidy everything is. There’s 1950’s homes interspersed with buildings from the turn of the last century, and the main thing they have in common is that the grass is mowed and there’s not a speck of garbage or graffiti to be seen. People here obviously care a lot about the place they live, for good reason, it’s such a quiet and peaceful spot.
They even have a place to house any scofflaws that wander into town.
There are also some really cute little spots of whimsy to be seen as you wander through town.
The Post Office is a bit rustic
But of course our main goal is to check out that rock they named the town after.
The church is open, so we take a peek.
Honestly, could this place be any cooler? I think not.
We chatted with a couple of locals, who said it’s a little tough to get around in the wintertime, but for them it’s worth it for the tranquil lifestyle.
Finally, it was time to go, so we headed out. The road out of town follows a low valley and skirts a creek for quite a few miles, terrain is a mix of rolling hills and tight little slot canyons, pretty perfect for adventure bikes!
Once we topped out on the mesas, the view opened to huge tracts of farmland growing dryland wheat. I was leading and noticed something that looked like a dog on the road up ahead, I slowed down and realized it was a badger! I slowly rode toward him and he got up on his hind legs and gave me a talking to before walking off in a huff. We ended up seeing 2 other badgers along the same road, boy I’d hate to encounter one of those on a hike, they’re sort of ornery!
We made a few stops at some of the other small towns along the way, and Mike even found me another cool old church. This one was abandoned, but still beautiful even without stained glass or pulpits.
It’s times like these that I really wish I had my good camera with me. The light here was sublime.
If you’d like to learn more about Lonerock, the LaGrande Observer wrote a great article awhile back, check it out: http://www.lagrandeobserver.com/Features/Outdoor/Recreation/THE-PAST-HANGS-ON-AT-LONEROCK