Sunday, May 17, 2009

Through the valleys and back over the mountain

Turns out that was no fly - it was a bee. Barbie managed to kill it. Sunday morning I woke up at 4:59am (which really was 3:59am in Portland) and showered up. We checked out and drove to Caldwell, thinking it was about 4 miles into Idaho. I should really learn to not listen to Barbie when she tells me how far away something is. Caldwell is actually 30 miles east of Ontario. Once you're in there it's another 10 miles to Rosemary's. We were late, obviously.

Breakfast was good, though, and we chatted and were out of there by 9:30 local time. A quick stop at the Caldwell location of Jolts & Juice, and we were on our way. 30 miles out of the way, but on our way.

For the return trip we wanted to hit Juntura and Burns, so we headed toward Vale (you guys have never heard of any of these places, have you?). Through Treasure Valley, following the Malheur River and on into Juntura, we made it in pretty decent time. My mother grew up in Juntura, and Barbie spent a lot of time there with my grandfather, Martin Joyce, as a youngster, so seeing the house was pretty emotional for her. We popped over to the Oasis (restaurant and gift shop), used the facilities and bought a soda, and continued west.

Juntura is, what, 56 miles or so from Burns? We passed the Drewsey junction (where you turn off to go to our cousin's ranch, a place I spent a lot of time at as a youngster), over Drinkwater and Stinkingwater Passes (not listed in any particular order), and on into Burns. Quick tour of my grandfather Grover Jameson's old neighborhood, and then, again, off west.

The nice thing about this drive, besides the country itself, is that there markers that you remember as a kid. It's about 2 hours from Burns to Bend, but it seems shorter because you hit Riley first, then Hampton, Brothers and Millican, and then you're in Bend. Same with the Bend to Portland gig - Bend, then Redmond, then Madras, then you look for the county line road that leads to Tom's camping spot on the west side of Mt. Jefferson, then Government Camp, then into the hideous, monstrous communities of Sandy and Gresham. By then you are pretty much home.

I got home at just after 5pm, only to find that someone had run into a light pole or something that knocked out power to my 'hood. So THAT made me happy. It was back on shortly thereafter and I am unpacked and ready to chill on the sofa with my kitties. It was a good trip. I'll upload my pictures and post them here shortly.


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