Our goal for this “leg of our trip” (aka time between commitments in California) was to 1) get to cooler weather, 2) meet up with friends, and 3) get to the Oregon coast in time for the Escapees/Boomers Crab-a-Rang. So when we left Idaho we decided to make a b-line to Oregon’s north coast and go down the entire state on Highway 101. We also had an “appointment” to pick up our mail in Burns, Oregon.

This was our first experience with trying to get our mail while on the move. The way it works is we call our mail service and give them an address to ship our mail to. Previously we’ve used family addresses for when we were visiting their area. You can also use RV Park addresses, but we never stay at those long enough. So this time we used General Delivery. That means your mail gets shipped to the post office of your choice, and you have up to thirty days to go in and pick it up.

Loosely planning our route to North-Eastern Oregon, we picked a town (not too big, not too small) on the way and called that post office to be sure they accepted General Delivery (because we’ve heard that not all post offices do). Knowing that our mail service advises it takes a week to receive mail once we request it, we thought we had it all set.

We camped in the Malheur National Forest about twenty minutes north of the town on Labor Day. It was practically deserted – everyone had already gone home from their holiday weekend. It was not a pretty place. The entire drive there had been dreary – one because it’s eastern Oregon and that means high desert landscape. But mostly because the smoke from the fires burning in North Western Oregon was getting worse. We could not see any distant landscape and everything was grey. So after one night there we were ready to leave.

Malheur National Forest
See how grey/smokey the air is at Malheur National Forest

We arrived at Burns Post Office on Tuesday morning – after a long weekend. They said our mail had not arrived yet. I thought maybe they would still be sorting weekend mail. I asked what time we could go back, and they told me “tomorrow”. Luckily Tom had already found another campground of interest in the area: The Narrows.

When we got there we  presented our Passport America card (which entitles you to 50% off) and found out that because we’re Escapees members, we could stay two nights for the same price! So why not? Especially since that would give us extra cushion for mail pickup.

Malheur Wildlife area tour
Malheur Wildlife Area – You can’t see Oregon’s tallest mountain in the background!

Well, it wasn’t pretty. Although the RV park was one of the nicest we’ve been to, and we saw beautiful pictures of sights in the area. (BTW/FYI the RV Park is for sale) But all we saw were smokey grey skies. We couldn’t even see the nearby mountains that were a feature of the area. We took off on some of the scenic drives anyway, but the view never got better.

We did go to the Round Barn and learn all about the cattle baron wars in the area.

We drove through the Malheur Wildlife Refuge and did see some wild life: some deer, an elk, a fox, some egrets, and possibly an eagle (we debated on that!). It was too smokey to do any hiking.

Malheur Wildlife Area
Malheur Wildlife Area – would have been beautiful under blue skies.

We drove around Diamond Mountain, but didn’t understand the maps we had so we missed the road that had all the volcanic formations. Once we found out where it was we were too weary of driving on wash-board gravel roads to go back.

So all in all it wasn’t a bad couple of days there, but we were ready to move on. We went back into town with our fingers crossed that the mail would be there. It was. And the package was date stamped on the FRIDAY before the long weekend, so I was a little put out to know that they had it the first time we were there. But that’s postal service, right? Plus it all worked out.

Happy Travels,

Peace & Love, Joy