Historic Hood River
Road to Mecca
Phew, that was a lot of driving on unimproved dirt roads. This was Olga Plog’s first campsite on their big 1924 road trip. “Mecca” appears to refer to a crossing of the Deschutes River near where Highway 26 currently crosses in Warm Springs. There is currently a “Mecca Road” along the Deschutes which leads to the “Mecca Flat Recreation Site”. In fact, I suspect this campground is basically at the same spot as the modern campground. Check out this image, which I think even shows a bit of the old bridge abutment to the right side.
I think it is telling that this point was a good day’s drive from Hood River in 1924. While this drive takes about an hour and 45 minutes on today’s roads, in 1924 most cars could cruise at 35-40 mph on good roads, of which there were none between here and Bend. Think of driving on one of the less improved roads in the National Forest, and it is apparent why it took a good day to get to this point.