GAYS MILLS - As I left Washington, Craig and I stopped in to see his son-in-law at his bakery, in Leavenworth. Spencer has opened a commercial bakery, the Bosket (family name) Bakery, and gifted me with a loaf of sourdough bread, warm from the oven. Note to self: learn to make sourdough bread this winter. Yumm was that bread great and I kept in handy as road food to go with the cheddar cheese from home.
I drove south from Leavenworth down through Washington and well into Oregon. I saw a sign at one point that stated: Next gas, 94 miles. The wide open, and largely empty high desert of Oregon is called the Oregon Outback and with good reason. The western side of Oregon is wet and green as moisture from the ocean is wrung from clouds as it moves over the mountains. The eastern half of the state is in the “rain shadow” of those mountains and gets very little precip. On this leg of the trip I could see for miles in all directions.
Throughout my trip I kept seeing things I wanted to learn more about. I’ve got lots of homework to do this winter just researching things I saw. Prime example: why are there so many mountains in eastern Oregon that look like old volcanoes? And what was with Fort Rock, a huge black crater that stuck up like a sore thumb from an otherwise sandy desert floor. Had to be the tip of an old volcano but I’m going to research that.
My goal in visiting southern Oregon was to revisit Paisley, a small town where I worked for 3 summers. I met with Jan Dunn Murphy, the daughter of the hay boss I answered to for those 3 years. Jan is the longtime librarian in Paisley and we had a great visit there while she was on a lunch break.
From Paisley I motored on west to see a college friend who now owns a small ranch near Bonanza. Bonanza is near Klamath Falls and is in a scenic area with green mountains surrounding fertile valleys. I got the cook’s tour in Bruce’s 4-wheeler, enjoyed seeing his small herd of beef cattle and seeing his wife, Valerie’s horses. Valerie is into carriages and the 100 acre ranch has numerous routes that she can drive her horses through.Another too-short visit ended as I planned to press on to daughter Rachel’s place that night.