In a remote area of eastern Oregon, near the Pikes Mountains, a series of three roads has carved out an enduring identity.
The highway, the Highway 70, is the longest in the state, and it connects to the highway that bisects the state and spans the Pacific Ocean.
It’s a rare sight in Oregon: no cars, no traffic, no pedestrians, and no cars.
Its narrow lanes and winding paths have become an unofficial tourist attraction, with families snapping photos of themselves and their cars in the back of a pickup truck.
Traffic on the highway is slow and steady, but it’s often so busy, it can be tough to keep up.
Drivers come and go, but they don’t come here to rest or relax, says Andrew Johnson, a freelance journalist based in Portland.
They come to see the road, to enjoy its scenery, and to make the most of the drive.
But not everyone enjoys the road.
For one, it’s expensive.
Highway 70’s highway tolls are currently pegged at $100 for drivers and $60 for non-drivers, and drivers can expect to pay a higher rate.
And the cost of getting from one end of the state to the other is also high.
Highway 70 is only a short drive from Poughkeepsie, New York, and, like Pikes, it requires a $20 toll on Interstate 95.
The state highway is one of the busiest in the country, and there are no dedicated lanes.
Instead, the roads are packed with cars and trucks, often making them impossible to navigate.
The state highway does have lanes dedicated to cyclists, but those lanes are mostly closed, and the lanes often clog up.
“If you want to go from one point in the north, and then you want the next point in that same area, it takes you way longer,” Johnson says.
“It’s so crowded that you’re going to have to make a decision on what you want.”
Johnson says there are also safety concerns with the highway.
The main road to the summit of Pikes is a one-way road, which is designed to slow vehicles down.
On a typical weekday, there are about 50 cars and 20 trucks traveling on Highway 70.
Drivers often turn onto Highway 70’s right side, where the road is narrower and easier to navigate, he says.
But the narrow lanes have made it harder for drivers to see cars that are trying to cross.
“It can be pretty scary when you cross the street and it’s too late to react,” Johnson said.
The state has set up a hotline for people who are stuck on Highway 71.
But many of the people using it are frustrated.
“There’s not a lot of information out there for people to find,” Johnson told ABC News.
There are some options for drivers who want to avoid the highway and take the highway route, including traveling along the Ponderosa Highway, or crossing Interstate 405.
The Ponderosas are about 20 miles north of Poughs Peak and can be reached by driving from Paine Field, a small town on the north side of the Pius River in southeastern Oregon.
Driving on Interstate 405 from the north is one option, but some people have also taken the interstate route to avoid driving through the state’s busiest roads.
Johnson says drivers can also use the highway as a shortcut to get to work.
The highway also has a parking lot and a few grocery stores along the route, but there are only about three grocery stores and one grocery store parking lot along the entire route.
It’s a frustrating road, he said.
“I would love to have more options to be able to drive on the Pidgeon, but unfortunately, we’re stuck with the Pinnacle,” Johnson explains.
“It’s really frustrating.”
Johnson said he hopes more people will use the Highway 80 to avoid Highway 70 as well.
Johnson has taken a number of videos of himself driving through Pikes.
In some of the videos, he’s seen people crossing the road in the front passenger seat of a truck.
In another, he has seen people trying to pass through the highway, but unable to because of the tolls.
Johnson said that while he is happy to be stuck on the Highway, it is a very lonely place.
He hopes the highway will be restored someday, and he hopes the toll will be reduced.