Friday, May 29, 2015

Oregon's Isolated Beauty

Willowa National Forest, Oregon

Biking in Joseph's valley, followed by a second stop at the Lostina Brewery made for a pretty perfect afternoon. Terminal Gravity's cinnamon chocolate brew on top of riding 25 miles of drop dead beautiful scenery is tough to beat.

Funny how favorite hangouts so quickly pop up. We've only been here a few days and already we have found two favorite places -- Lostina Brewery and Local-Loaf. You should have seen the waffle Ed had for breakfast at Local-Loaf. A fat warm waffle, smothered in fresh strawberries, syrup and whipping cream. And then, just before leaving town, we find our third favorite spot, the Terminal Gravity Brewery itself, serving lunch and beer at picnic tables on the lawn.

Leaving Joseph we zoomed along on a smooth gravel road (in this case not an oxymoron) through grasslands stretching out as far as we could see. The isolated ranch buildings were vacant, left to succumb to time and neglect. Fence lines vanished into the distance.

At Buckhorn Viewpoint, overlooking Hells Canyon, trees had begun to show up on the landscape.

About an hour after Buckhorn, I started spotting camas lilies. We jounced along a bit more before we pulled off onto a side road to camp -- in a field of camas. By 6:30 this morning the sun was already filling our camas meadow with light. Whitetail deer show up but are too nervous about Thistle to stick around for long.

Our morning walk was down a deserted road, through pine woods, with the sweetest wildflower understory -- strawberries, camas, shooting star, larkspur, bluebells, both yellow and purple violets, and anemone. Memory of other flowers dropped away as my focus switched to Benton. Our pup was crazy with sunshine and freedom. He ran, chased and grinned with glee.

100 days on the road today. We'll be back in Washington this week, and home, after a visit with Gail and Joe in Waitsburg.

The thoughts of family and friend hugs are pulling...


"Why does no one speak of the cultural advantages of the country? For example, is a well groomed, ecologically kept, sustainably fertile farm any less cultural, any less artful, than paintings of fat angels on church ceilings?"

― Gene Logsdon, Living

1 comment:

  1. Fran: I'd kind of lost track of your blog until today—— nice to hear you're back after 100 days etc etc.
    Wanted to mention how lovely that photo in the Lostine country, of the old barn with slanting light and a mountain behind it— a superb photo. As I wrote you (did you get it???) I was in that part of
    E Oregon a few years ago and enjoyed it immensely.
    Welcome home!
    Hope to see you soon