May 15, 2011

A Soggy Sunday in Oregon

Our morning began in Burns, OR. We were loaded up with onions in southern California by 9:00 on Saturday morning, and drove all day and most of the night through the Nevada back country. We had planned to go straight through, but seeing as how we couldn't reload till Monday morning, we decided there wasn't much hurry. Malcolm got tired and so we stopped at Burns around 3:00am. We fell asleep to the pitter patter of rain drops gently falling on the roof of the truck.

We learned at breakfast that we had missed the main show. Apparently they had quite the storm in Burns yesterday. A man at the cafe mentioned hail, and Karen over at the Rough String told me later that the streets in town were flooded from a down pour when she'd been in town earlier on Saturday.

It was soggy, but there was no evidence of a major event. We enjoyed our leisurely breakfast, the only noteworthy observation being a pickup that pulled in to park that had some snow patches on the load in the pickup bed.

We set off on our last 200 miles, heading north into the mountains between Burns and John Day.

It wasn't long before we found the snow. It had been working on it since the wee hours of the morning and there were a good 2-3 inches of sloshy wet on the road.
It was not that much snow and didn't last long enough to be discouraging. Even with the white stuff, it was still nearly 40 degrees, so we didn't worry too much about the road and instead worked on taking in the scenery, of which there is always plenty in Oregon!
The Oregon coast is beautiful, but I have to say I'm partial to the eastern side of the state. Maybe it has to do with my love of wide open spaces. We'd driven through the really open territory in the dark the night before, but there were still areas in the mountains that open up to huge empty valleys.
Along the way there were a scattering of tiny little towns where not much was going on on a soggy Sunday morning.
It was obvious, without much looking around, that a lot of water had fallen recently. Nearly all the fields and low places had water standing.
We hit the next stretch of forested ground and enjoyed watching the trees speed by the truck.

Even in the mountainous areas there was evidence of an over abundance of moisture. The streams were over their banks by several feet and here and there they crowded the road, once or twice flowing over the pavement a bit...
...and in a couple of places the water was making an effort to demonstrate Mother Nature's superiority over man and his creations.
And then we got to John Day, Oregon and were witness to their struggle. The town was turning out to try and stop the river from doing more damage. Men walked about with shovels, sand bags were stacked in front of doors, and the feed store owners were making an attempt to salvage merchandise from their flooded building and lot. But there is little you can do in the wake of swollen rivers and streams. A lesson many in our country are learning these past few weeks.
No matter how often things like this happen, its still heart breaking every time.

West and north of John Day, the river wasn't as cramped and had more room to move, so the flooding wasn't as drastic as before and the soggy Sunday in Oregon resumed its peaceful mood.
We arrived in Hermiston, OR around 2:00 in the afternoon. We'd been told they were unloading today till 6:00 but apparently they all went home at noon. So, here we sit loaded with onions, waiting till morning.
In the morning we'll back into one of these warehouses. There are 8 of them.
And they'll unload these onions, all 50,000 pounds of them, into a pile like this one.
This warehouse is full, but the doors are left open to ventilate the onions. The warehouse we're probably unloading into is across the road. The pile of onions in it only fills half the warehouse.
We didn't have any where to go till morning, but we could have been sitting there waiting to be loaded first thing. Instead we're here, parked next to the onion warehouse, waiting. I think it was especially nice of them to go home early today. The truck behind us thinks so too. I sincerely hope the onion guys are enjoying their time at home, and that their big plans for the afternoon got rained out on this soggy Sunday in Oregon!


small farm girl said...

You take such good pictures. I hope you frame some for your house.

Horses Are Our Lives said...

wow, I haven't visited your blog lately, so sorry! but I LOVE this look! it's fabulous! Want to do a new look for me? LOL I love the forested area that you drove through, but oh my, that is a lot of wet areas. I didn't realize Oregon got hit that bad with rains!

Danni said...

Oh dear. That really sucks. Hope you and Malcolm brought some good board games to play. :-)
Why can't you all be stranded west of Portland sometimes????
:-) :-) :-)

Michaele said...

I am trying to imagine what all those onions must have smelled like. I have never been to Oregon and enjoyed the drive : )

Meagan said...

I always LOVE your pictures and all the sights you get to see! i can't believe you drove through snow!!!! LOVE YOU!

Leigh said...

Makes me feel really bad for complaining about our 3 week dry spell! I'm actually watering the garden this afternoon. I should be thankful that things aren't worse. Great photos, BTW.