Friday, April 17, 2009

Ode to the Desert

Ah.....Eastern Oregon. (Imagine wild prairie music. The stuff wild west movies are made from) It's such a lovely place. Shrubs, tumbleweeds, antelope, wild horses, jackalopes and whatnot abound. A magical place, birds tweeting, wind rustling your hair as you drive through.

The spirit of the West is alive and well in Eastern Oregon where snow-capped peaks look down on rolling hills, complex desert lands and wild rivers. It’s the land of breathtaking beauty including the magical Painted Hills near John Day, the colossal Steens Mountains (the largest continental geological fault) and the jaw-dropping depths of Hells Canyon, the deepest river gorge in North America. The indelible footprint of Lewis and Clark, Chief Joseph and the Oregon Trail pioneers who lived or passed through this region permeate the area’s culture.

The part that is most interesting I must say is the incredibly long, boring and essentially straight stretch of road that is so breathtakingly mundane, that it makes one want to shoot themselves. this little piece of hell is the Central Oregon Highway.

I and my best friend Sonja, decided to take a road trip. Ok, well not really decided, but we had too. We had to deliver something that rhymes with "said beer med" and means no longer living bone material that sticks out of a
Odocoileus hemionus, arranged in a manner that one would want to hang on a wall. We had to deliver this sucker in the back of my truck.

It was originally supposed to be mailed, but we decided it would be cheaper to drive it to it's destination. Therefore it was very well wrapped in a box from the UPS store. Remember, I said cheaper not smarter.

We strapped this baby in the back of my truck at 7 am with bungee cords and hope. It was about 3x3 ft, and not as heavy as I thought it would be.

Well, apparently we were not as cool with the bungee cording as we had thought. We were just getting down the road with Sonja driving when I glanced over at her after I heard her hand slap over her mouth and I saw her eyes widen in horror as she looked in the rear view mirror. The box decided to take a dive out the rear of the truck, roll down the road three or four times before landing in a ditch. Oh shit!

Oh well, it was fine. At least it
seemed fine, except for a little dirt and one small scuff on the corner of the box. So we loaded the sucker back up in the truck. We might have taken a wee bit more time tying it down, this time utilizing the rope I had stashed in the bed. Takes brains ya know. (*tap tap on side of head while winking like a weirdo)

So then we are off. Again.

No problems getting to the gas station. Unless you call the extremely annoying "thumpty thumpty" of the tarp hitting the top of the box because of the wind, a problem. Argh.

Filled up and then we were off again. I must say, we couldn't have picked a better day to go over McKenzie Pass.

We went through some very nice little towns. I saw the little "town" of Millecan that my son's grandma and I (and my son when he was wee) had broken down in about 18 years ago while driving my '69 Pontiac Bonneville station wagon to Virginia when I was young, stupid and in love. The "town" consisted of a store that had a gas station, post office and I think the owners lived there in the back room. (a whole other story, I promise) Unfortunately, it is abandoned and for sale. Mm mm....interesting.

We made it to where we were trying to get to, and everything worked out well. Except that it is a 15-16 hour round trip drive and most of it you just want to shoot yourself from boredom.

Thank God we had Lucy the pooch for entertainment.

Original Video - More videos at TinyPic

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