May 25, 2012

From Bend to the Border

I hope your not tired of eastern Oregon after my last post, because I have more pictures from another trip.
 On Wednesday, we loaded fertilizer in Halsey, OR. That's south a bit from Portland. After loading, we headed east on US20. We hadn't driven that first section of 20, over the mountains, before, so I was stingy and just enjoyed the scenery without taking pictures to share. Oh, and what scenery it was! I doubt we'll ever go that way again, because it was pretty winding and we lost time. But it was also very scenic, so, though you probably won't ever get to see it here, I do hope you'll get to see it in person one day.

"Over the rivers and through the woods." That was on the Oregon Scenic Byway signs, and I thought it was cute and appropriate. Eventually we came out of the woods into Bend, OR. From that point, it was all old territory. Old, but never dull. As you read last week, I love eastern Oregon.
 The section between Bend and Burns is wide open and empty. You can look out the window and clearly see why they call this the high desert. But don't take "desert" and associate it with "devoid of life." This land is rich in plant and animal life. Grass may be a bit sparse in places, but sage brush and cedar shrubs aren't, and there's still enough grass to support some cattle ranches. As far as wildlife goes, it's out there. Antelope, coyotes, deer, and even wild horses. I've never seen the wild horses, but as you approach Burns, you pass the BLM wild horse corrals, so you know they are out there. I've also seen the pictures on the blog Life at the Rough String. Yep, this is Rough String country! If you've not been to Karen's blog, or if your hankering to read more about life in eastern Oregon, the Rough String is a great place to start!

I didn't get pictures in Burns because school was letting out and traffic was kind of heavy so I stayed busy with that. But it's a neat little town in an oasis in the desert. The fields around Burns turn into wetlands in the Spring, and though they weren't as saturated as they were a few weeks ago when we went through, there were still plenty of water foul hanging around to admire.

A little ways east of Burns, the landscape starts to change. Those blue hills that were visible in all directions on the horizon between Bend and Burns are suddenly very present, and not just hinted at by distant vistas.
 Every few miles, you find yourself deeper into the hills.
 It's some rough country, but they still have farms and ranches here. They are just have a few more miles stretching between each other than they do in greener pastures.
 There will be gaps in the hills where the farm and ranch homes are. And then the road tucks back into the rocky hill passes.
 Eventually the hills start to thin out and its farther between the passes

 About 30 miles before you get to the border, the road passes through the second town it keeps company with, which is Vale.
 Thirty miles later Oregon says goodbye.
 ....and Idaho welcomes you.  We stopped at the rest area on the border to let the girls out and enjoyed the view looking back into Oregon.
And then it was time to look ahead, towards the east.

From Bend to the border is a trip of about 260 miles. Beautiful scenery stretched out between two rural towns, a great way to spend the day on the road.
 We delivered in Colorado the next morning. Our week, from last Saturday morning to present. As you can see, we've had a more varied route than we did the previous week.
Today we delivered in Twin Falls, ID. We're supposed to load potatoes and take them to North Dakota next, but they don't want to load us till in the morning. An entire day to.....catch up on sleep.....and more entertaining, an entire day to go SHOPPING! I just happen to know where there's a good size parking lot in Twin Falls that's within easy walking distance of a Barnes and Noble bookstore and a few other shops. I've had a "let's go shopping" bug nibbling at me the last few days. So Malcolm and the girls are going to sleep, and I'm going out on the town!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!


Shirley said...

It is lovely ranch country, and Karen's blog is one of my favorites.
I really like that barn in your photo.

MTWaggin said...

Oh Sarah, thank you for the memories. Hwy 20 was the way I drove to Corvalis last May and I recognized some of those spots along the highway. Stayed at a hot springs outside of Burns on my way. It was cool to see "high desert"! Safe travels!

Dreaming said...

You've been 'all over the map'!!
Barnes & Noble is a death knell for my wallet! All those pretty books just waiting to be picked up and taken home... and maybe read!