Oregon Outback Road Trips
Take home a piece of Central Oregon and have a lot of family fun doing it. One of the most popular areas for collecting obsidian is the Glass Buttes area on the BLM Burns District. The area is very rugged, remote, and primitive (four-wheel-drive vehicle advised). Head east on Highway 20, through Bend, then turning south, off Highway 20 onto the dirt road at milepost 77 which leads to the interior. For more information visit www.blm.gov/or/districts/burns or call 541-416-6700. Dig for Thunder Eggs at Richardson's Rock Ranch north of Madras. Take Highway 126 east to Redmond, then Highway 97 north until you see milepost 81 and the Richardson's sign. Drive three miles to the shop. They'll direct you to where to dig. For more information visit
Cowboy Dinner Tree
Hey buckaroos and buckarettes – willing to head off into the backcountry to earn yourself a good steak? Head on down to Silver Lake in Lake County. You can hike, bike, ride your horses or watch birds all day – or just enjoy the nearly two-hour drive through the scenic high desert – and then head out to the Cowboy Dinner Tree restaurant for a fine steak at night (reservations required). It's a unique, rustic Oregon Outback experience. They don't take credit or debit cards.
Call 541-576-2426 for reservations and visit www.cowboydinnertree.net. For information on Silver Lake, contact the Silver Lake Ranger District at 541-576-2107 and the Lake County Chamber of Commerce at 541-947-6040. Take Highway 20 east to Bend, then Highway 97 south. Cut southeast on Highway 31 to Silver Lake.
Just a 2.5-hour drive (about 140 miles) from Sisters lies one of the jewels in America's crown of National Parks. With its deep blue waters and sheer cliffs towering 2,000 feet at lake's edge, Crater Lake offers some of the most spectacular vistas and fascinating geological history in the United States. The area is buried deep in snow for much of the year; the best time to visit is from mid-July through August. Take Highway 20 east to Highway 97 south to Route 138 west to the park's north entrance. For more information visit www.nps.gov/crla or Crater Lake Lodge at www.craterlakelodge.com.