For more than a decade now, travelers on I-5 have enjoyed the convenience of a large and well kept rest stop at Exit 99 in Canyonville. For that we can thank the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians.
It’s called the Jordan Creek Rest Stop, and it’s the only privately operated rest area on I-5 in Oregon. The others are managed for the state by the Oregon Travel Information Council.
As the Roseburg News-Review reported at the time, the tribe opened the place in the summer of 2011. The rest stop is close to the Cow Creek Band’s hotels, an RV park, a market and gas station, as well as the tribe’s Seven Feathers casino across the freeway.
Among the distinguishing features at Jordan Creek: No panhandlers with their cardboard signs.
I emailed the tribe and asked how they manage to keep the place so neat and ship-shape.
I got no reply, but one reason may be this. The Roseburg paper’s story about the rest stop in July 2011 said: “Tribal officers will patrol it.” Indeed, on a visit last spring I saw a tribal police vehicle slowly cruise through the parking lot.
One other point: A couple of people objcted to my use of the word “Indian” in a recent story. They insisted the term was inaccurate or politically incorrect, or both.
The Indians of the Umpqua Tribe, including the Cow Creek Band, would disagree. They are proud of the word and include it in their official name.
After stopping at Jordan Creek last Sunday, I was prompted to read up on the Cow Creek Band. It’s an impressive story, and you can find it online here.
And if there ever is a contest for best public rest stop on I-5, I’m pretty sure Jordan Creek will win. (hh)