Nice trip to Bend, Oregon today. Not too pushed for time, we were able to drive leisurely and to stop and have a look around when we liked. Our route took us south from the Tri-Cities on Oregon State Highway 207 which goes through some pretty remote areas.
My predomionate recollections are of low rolling hills slowly giving rise to Pine Forests as the land rose and then to Confiferous Forests. Underlying it all was lava in the hiilsides and the road cuts.
We drove sometimes for 15 minutes without seeing another vehicle.
Notable was the town of Hardman. All clapboard buildings, many in ruins, there was also evidence of occupation by some folks living in trailers. We later regretted not stopping for a second look as it was so remarkable. In the evening, Colette Googled it and we found out that it is a partial Ghost town. The last business there closed in 1968.
Another town we encountered was Spray. We stopped at a general store to see if we might find coffee and/or lunch. The store and the restaurant were all one thing and a number of local folks were having lunch. We took a look around and opted for two bags of mixed nuts. To me, it felt like one of those places where things were either going to feel really awkward or the folks were going to be really friendly and fully engage us in a ‘who are you and where are you from’ chat. I think we just wanted a quiet sitdown sort of a lunch so neither appealed at the moment.
After that, we began to get back into civilization as we got closer to Bend and the towns in that area.
I liked the remote areas we went through today. I told Colette that except for the Olympic Peninsula, this might be the most remote we’ll get on this trip as most of our travels are planned to be near the Pacific Coast.
It’s hard to remember sometimes when you rip through an area like this enroute from one place to another, that folks spend their entire lives in these places save for the odd vacation. These little remote towns are the center of their lives and their last names can probably be seen on many of the grave stones in the little cemetaries we pass.
Bend is 80,000 people and obviously a nice place. I’ve heard about it for years. We found a nice room for only $52/night and then went out and supped on Vietnamese food.
The only wrinkle is that I’ve been fighting a light cold for several days and in the evening, it got stronger. Not fun being sick when you are travelling. This morning, as we’re preparing to take a look around town before we depart for Eugene, it’s much better. Let’s hope it stays that way. Colette had a slight cough for a few days be seems to have shaken it.
The sun’s out, the skys are mostly cleared, we have new country never seen before to travese getting to Eugene from Bend and we’re feeling good. Time to go. Bye!