Tuesday, December 5, 2023


Mitchell, Oregon–Painted Hills Country

Bridge Creek Cafe. (Julianne G. Crane ).

A slow drive through Central Oregon, took us from Redmond along State Hwy 126 to Prineville. Once in Prineville, we followed US Hwy 26 northeast through the scenic ponderosa pine forests of the Ochocos Mountains.

About 46 miles from Prineville, we stopped in the small town of Mitchell hoping to find a tradition breakfast with biscuits and hot coffee.

We found exactly that at the Bridge Creek Cafe on US Hwy 26, just west of town. The cafe seems to be the favorite of motorcyclists who tour along many of the two-lane highways in the region.

Mitchell, population around 160, was established in the 1860’s as a stage stop along the Dalles Military Road. The town was named in 1873 for John H. Mitchell, a former Oregon Senator.
It is also the Gateway to the Painted Hills Unit of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument and hosts the Painted Hills Festival every Labor Day weekend.

The Painted Hills Unit contains 3,132 acres of scenic marvels unique even in the Pacific Northwest.
It is said that the Painted Hills were formed “over millions of years, the weathering of volcanic ash under varying climate regimes resulted in vividly-hued rock layers of red, pink, bronze, tan and black.”
They are a favorite subject of photographers and painters and definitely worth the drive. Outdoor exhibits and a picnic area are also available for visitors.

To read more about the RV Lifestyle click on RVWheelLife.com

Julianne G. Crane  

Photos: Top Bridge Creek Cafe. (Julianne G. Crane ). Bottom: Painted Hills (NPS)

Julianne G. Crane
Julianne G. Cranehttp://www.RVWheelLife.com
Julianne G. Crane writes about the RVing and camping lifestyles for print and online sites. She was been hooked on RVing from her first rig in the mid-1980s. Between 2000-2008, she was a writer for The Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, Wash. One of her popular columns was Wheel Life about RVing in the Pacific Northwest. In 2008, Crane started publishing RV Wheel Life.com. She and her husband, Jimmy Smith, keep a homebase in southern Oregon, while they continue to explore North America in their 21-foot 2021 Escape travel trailer. Over the years they have owned every type of RV except a big class A. “Our needs change and thankfully, there’s an RV out there that fits every lifestyle.”



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