When most people think of the Oregon, they think of water and green forests deep. There is another Oregon, though, east of the mountains that is special and apart from the normal days we know. Here you will find the high desert country that leads to Nevada and Reno. There is no place in Oregon more than ten hours from Reno. That fact temps and haunts you, especially when you are young. There are numerous ways to get there by car and that is where the adventure begins. 
You can drive along the Columbia and take the route just east of Mount Hood through John Day and the French Glen Country. You can go down I-5, then dart off at Shasta across high peaks, often still snow capped, with only the sound of your breathing to keep you company. There are the wild tangles of Jackpot, Winnemucca and Ely you can reach on the way. You are always in a hurry to get to Reno. 
Things seem like a blue whirl of sky, open vistas, grassland and small towns. You might stop in Lakeview for a steak or Standish for a bottle of bourbon from Mable at her liquor store. Or marvel at the only guy in the bar in McDermott with two cell phones, both ringing. Closing a deal on some king ranch land. But you still drive on to Reno. You never realize the dream you thought it would be or how you remembered it. How at one time, Reno was a small town with a few casinos and Harolds Club where you could have prime rib on top of the hotel or carry clanging containers of coins around. Reno is still a small town, but now with much larger casinos. You end up with the same results now as then. There is added appreciation for the drive home and the sites along the way. Ones that last much longer than your Reno dreams…

David Young

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