A Flat Tire at Dug Bar

September 4, 2007: We were packing our camping gear at Dug Bar, getting ready to leave, when Chris announced, “We have a flat tire.”

A flat tire is serious business at Dug Bar. There’s no cell phone service anywhere close. We were alone at the campground. An occasional jetboat would roar by on the Snake River. An occasional jet airplane would pass 35,000 feet over our head. Dug Bar is the definition of remote in Oregon.

Never been to Dug Bar?

There are four ways to get to or from Dug Bar located about 31 miles downstream from Imnaha: By vehicle on a very rough, rocky access road, most of which is limited to high clearance 4WD rigs like my Dodge ¾ ton pickup; by jet boat on the Snake River; by airplane, capable of short field takeoff and landing on the grass strip at Dug Bar; or by walking.

Flat tire at Dug Bar
Chris Rea Changing tire Dug Bar

Walking is the least desirable option. Fortunately, we had a spare tire to replace the flat. We changed the tire but now we didn’t have a spare.

We didn’t intend to camp at Dug Bar but the 31 miles from Imnaha took nearly four hours to accomplish. At the end of the day we were tired and miserably hot. Camping at Dug Bar while we still had daylight looked much more inviting than any place we saw during the drive in. We decided to stay the night and leave during the cool of the morning. We pitched our tent and settled in. And the tire went flat during the night.

Now we were praying we wouldn’t have a second flat. Rock roads are tough on tires. We used low range gears and treated our tires tenderly.  Another flat meant a long walk. The day was beginning to warm up as the sun heated the rocky terrain. Walking would not be pleasant.

Every mile we traveled was a mile closer to the Les Schwab Tire Shop in Enterprise. Believe me, we counted down all sixty-six miles. We breathed a big sigh of relief when we got the flat repaired.

For more information on Dug Bar:



P.S. Now I travel with a satellite phone!

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