Friday, May 27, 2011

End of "The Oregon Trail"

Tuesday morning we left northern Utah and within an hour crossed into Idaho.  But first I must tell those from Mt Pleasant – in northern Utah we drove by the West Liberty Foods operation (we had forgotten West Liberty Foods also had an operation in Utah). We made a wrong turn at an exit and were on a frontage road, when there in front of us was ‘West Liberty Foods’.  While Cal was getting coffee he chatted with some locals having coffee - the one guy sold the land to West Liberty Foods. He told Cal that besides slicing meat and cheese, they make chicken nuggets here.
We drove northwest in Idaho on I-84, and at Ontario, Idaho turned west onto US Hwy 20.  We drove Hwy 20 across the high dessert country of Oregon.  On other trips to Oregon we have driven along the Columbia River, but this time we decided to take a completely different route and drive west across the middle portion of Oregon.

In both Idaho and Oregon, farmers are busy in the fertile valleys.  Lots of wheat and hay, but we also saw acres of veggies – onions and spinach. Also in certain areas there was a heavy concentration of large dairy operations.

This part of the country has been having a lot of rain, plus this winter there was an increased amount of snow fall, so between the rain and the snow melt, flooding is an issue here.  In fact at one point near Burns, OR there was a detour, as water was across Hwy 20.

We stopped in Bend, Oregon for the night. Wednesday morning we drove onto Mill City where we stopped to see friends. These friends are old Litwiller family friends - their Mothers were in school together in the 1920s, and the families have camped together many years.  This couple is serving as Host and Hostess at a US Bureau of Land Management Campground.  We had a wonderful afternoon and evening catching up as it has been a few years since we have seen them –since the last campout, (when we stayed at a motel).

This area of Oregon is a rain forest - moss is on the trees trunks, Spanish moss hanging from the trees, and ferns are growing everywhere. While we were with them, it seemed like it rained almost every half hour. It rained (sometimes hard), stop, blue sky would appear and the sun shine, but it would rain again within a matter of minutes! Winter and spring in Oregon!

Thursday morning we drove to Oregon City, OR to visit friends who also lived/taught in Holland in the early 70’s when we were there.  We always enjoy visiting with them, but this time Cal wanted to visit with Bill regarding his experience of riding bike across the US during the summer of 2009.  Our main topic of conversation was biking.  Bill gave us some wonderful tips. 

By Thursday evening we arrived at my sister’s home just south of Portland, OR.  This was the first time we had been to their home in the country.  Their lovely home is situated so that on a clear day they can see Mt Hood, however it continued to rain (it seemed like every half hour), and we have not seen the mountains yet! They prepared beautifully grilled salmon for dinner. 

Friday we spent with my sister and husband. They showed us around the area. Oregon’s wine industry is growing, and the vineyards are planted on hillsides that are otherwise not productive. Again it seemed to rain at least every half hour!  What seems so unreal to us from Iowa, is that normally in a few weeks it will stop raining, and not rain with any regularity again until September.

Tomorrow we will be on our way to Seattle, WA as we near the start of the bike ride, scheduled to start Monday morning, May 30.

Oregon Vineyard

No comments:

Post a Comment