Saturday, August 6, 2011

(Day 54) On leaving Oregon...

I was up at 5:30 AM and quietly departed the sanctuary provided me by Joanne and Rick.  Heading east I soon met the rising sun as I entered the foothills of the Cascades.  It was an morning.  Entering the Detroit recreation area I travelled some scenic roads that rolled alongside rivers and climbed the side of gorges and then I began to climb in the Cascades.



Sisters is a typical tourist town - made to look like an old west town, it is very clean and would be cool place to spend some time.  Antique stores and they even do a shoot-out three times a day!


After Sisters the road levelled out for a time - high prairie I guess you would call it - and then we started to climb again.  All I can say is awesome!!  The pictures say it all.

Arriving at the summit again things levelled out and would stay this way for quite some time.  Following the John Day River and portions of the historic Oregon Trail was quite a humbling experience.  To think that families had come this way before in Oxen drawn wagons - not know what was beyond the next ridge... and that many died along the way...



At Unity the geography levelled out even further and it felt like I was on the prairies... and it was here that I almost made a mistake.  I passed the gas station in Unity and said to myself, "half a tank... we're good..."  Not 10 minutes later I come upon a sign that says "Next service 50 miles."  I'm still thinking I'm fine... 10 minutes later I look down and see I am down to two bars.  Not good.  Thankfully there was a new gas bar in Brogan, OR and I was able to fill up there.



After filling up, I grabbed a sandwich and as I ate it shared a conversation with a woman who appeared to me the mother of the woman running the cash.  She told me a bit of the history of the area.  When she first told me the name of the area, I thought she said, "Broken" and I thought, "It fits."  A pretty depressed area and not much around.  She very graciously shared her fresh apricots with me and her displeasure with President Obama.

With my belly full and most importantly my gastank replenished I was off toward Boise, ID.  Just outside Boise is a place called Vale.  And if you eat onions I am sure that it likely came from here.  Onions as far as the eye can see.  I think I saw a sign near the town "22,000 loads leave here each season!"

I passed by Boise at about 1:30PM and it was far too early to stop.  I made the decision to press on to Twin Falls via the Interstate and contact the person who had offered to host me in Boise when I arrived in Twin Falls and explain the situation.

The first thing that surprised me about highways in Idaho was the speed limit: 75 MPH  Not much chance to stop and take pictures.  A number of times I crossed over or ran alongside the Snake River Gorge.  Kind of like what I imagine a mini Grand Canyon to be.



I arrived in Twin Falls at 4PM and was graciously welcomed by Jake and Danielle.  Jake and Danielle have been CouchSurfers for many years and have hosted more people then they can remember.  Jake works at a local radio station and Danielle is a teacher at a local school for deaf children.  After cleaning up a bit and sending an email to the person who offered to host me in Boise, we headed out for a "burger and a beer".

Danielle and Jake each had a very dark ale.  I had an Alaskan Amber.  Very good.  Danielle though so too.  It was funny as one of the effects alcohol has on her is her cheeks and lips go numb... it was fun evening sharing stories and I especially enjoyed hearing of Danielle's work as an educator with deaf children.  She told me of one child who comes to school wearing his hearing aids but refuses to put batteries in them.  He is trying to figure out if he "belongs" in the hearing or the deaf world.

Returning to Jake and Danielle's home we watched a movie... a comedy of which I cannot remember the name... but about a guy at the office who hates his job and he and two others who are laid off cook up a plan to scam the company and in the end it all goes south...

By 11PM it was lights out as I planned to get an early start to try and beat the heat...

On the Sabbath Road...

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