Adventure - Page 13
24 DAYS ON THE ROAD
Continued toward Oregon and enjoyed my drippy peaches. It was sunny and very hot again: probably in the high 90's. It felt strange to be heading west into Oregon today. I'd been gone so long it felt like I'd always lived in my little teardrop, like I'd been on the road forever. Certainly I'd been through every season of weather and every kind of terrain.
Big, rolling sagebrush desert hills as I passed into Oregon. Saw another herd of wild horses standing in two groups; one on a hill, watching, the other huddled near the highway, no fences in sight for miles. They must have felt safer knowing one flank was protected by the highway. There were about 30-35 mostly dark brown horses in all. Some with white patches, and most with black manes and tails.
Stopped for gas in Baker City and participated in that most civilized of modern rituals: full-service gas refueling, which is required in Oregon. Baker City looked cute and only a little touristy; lots of old historic buildings. I'd have to come back and check it out another time. Continued to LaGrande where I turned east onto Hwy 82. Mostly desert but a nice stretch of pine trees along the Wallowa River, which was beautiful. Then more pine trees the further I traveled east. Definitely some big hills here. The flora reminded me of the Rockies.
Arrived in Enterprise, Oregon, about 5:00 pm. All the roads were torn up as the town was taking advantage of some Federal highway dollars to rebuild all of Hwy 82/Main Street. Turned on to School St., a little jog of a dirt road, and found Steve and Debra Carper's Terminal Gravity Brewing Company. Steve poured me a pint of his IPA, and we went for a tour of his self-made brewery.
We had dinner and beers on the brewpub's porch, watching Steve's and Debra's two daughters play with their cousins, dodging among the picnic tables placed on the grassy, aspen-shaded lawn below. The aspen were just beginning to turn yellow here too.
After dinner, I followed the Carpers to their house on the hill. First things first, the girls wanted to see my camper, so they took off their shoes and hopped inside, which is what all kids want to do when they see the teardrop. Looking through the cupboards, they found my box of travel games right away. The three of us had a rousing double round of "Lotteria", or Mexican Bingo, the backgammon chips falling off the bingo cards on top of the fluffy, puffy sleeping bag comforter. Good thing I have lights in the teardrop, as it was quite dark already. Then Steve knocked and it was time for his daughters, the irrepressible Logan, 8, and the observant and ever-complementary Claire, 5, to go to bed.
The camper and the night cooled down quickly. I heard the coyotes yipping in the distance for about the 7th or 8th time on this trip. Perhaps they prefer to yip on cold nights?
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The story is 16 short pages total. You can jump to other sections of the story here:
1 - Departure
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