Get Out and Stay Out… Road Rage

Sep 18, 2015: “You can just head back the way you came.” The cowboy was angry. We had just opened a gate that let us into his parking area and he came flying out the door of his cabin, to intercept us before we could get on our way again. His body language indicated extreme hostility. I was glad to see that he didn’t have a gun.

Ralph and I had been exploring in the Deschutes National Forest. We came to Derrick Cave from the north. We were following a road map and trying to find our way south to Christmas Valley. The road we were following was described as the Derrick Cave Road.

The road came through a stock yard and a ranch gate but gates are common in cattle country. Standard practice is to leave them like you find them. This one was closed so we took the time to close it behind us. There were no signs saying: “keep out.”

“You should know you are on private land.”

“We are just following a road map. Maybe we are lost.”

I decided to ask the cowboy for help in locating the correct road although I knew we were following the right track according to the map. There were no other options.

 “Can you show me where we are on this map? Does this road go to the highway?”

“No… this is a private road…  You can just turn around.”

“It’s getting late and I’m low on gas… don’t think I can find my way back in the dark, the way I came in. Even if I could I would run out of gas.  I apologize if we are trespassing but the map doesn’t say the road is private… am I on the wrong road… is there another road headed south that I can use?”

Perhaps he felt he had made his point… we had been properly chastised… and were repentant.

Perhaps we made a point… we would never come this way again… so he relented and let us continue southbound.

The road led to the highway between Christmas Valley and Fort Rock… just as the map indicated it would.

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