John Day, Oregon, to Home

Do you remember the theme to that old show Rawhide? Rolling, rolling, rolling...that's been us the past couple of days. Driving, driving, driving. And now...home. We arrived around 2:00 yesterday, and we were both glad to make an early day of it.

Smitty and Gracie were fine when we got home. They both wanted to go outside more than anything else at first. Smitty chattered and chattered at us. He continued doing that into the evening, and we think he was a little anxious about being left for so long. Today, things are back to normal in his world. My lap has barely been empty since we arrived.

Gracie seems less concerned about anything other than the condition of her treat bowl. She was glad to find my side of the bed unmade this morning since that is her perennial morning napping place.

I need to back up a little to when we left Elko, Nevada, and made our way to Saturday's final destination of John Day, Oregon. You know there are few things that turn our cranks more than a good tunnel, and we went through one right away after we left Elko.

And that was about the most exciting thing in over 100 miles until we crossed the border into Oregon. I'd say those people were there to greet us and welcome us home, but actually, I think they were just trying to cross the street.

And from there, it was more of the same...long, straight road for mile after mile.

If you've ever wondered what the southeastern corner of Oregon looks like, here you go. Zillions of square miles of grass and sagebrush with the occasional cow thrown in for variety.

I kept myself amused taking pictures of barns for my Barns of America quilt. The Barns of America quilt is only just a dream now. It won't seriously get going until after we make our big trip back east after Mike retires in 2017.

Consider these my practice shots at taking pictures out my window as we speed by.

There were some terrible fires in southern Oregon this past summer. We passed through the area of the fire known as the Canyon Creek Complex Fire. (Here's a link to an update from the end of August showing the size of the fire and other statistics.) From what I can tell, the fire burned in a "mosaic pattern" and shifting winds made it unpredictable. At first, we saw areas where the trees were scorched, but seemed to have some life left.

Eventually we reached areas where the trees had been incinerated.

Clean-up was under way and there were stacks of logs that were salvageable. We could even see the telltale orange flame retardant still on the roadways. (Sorry for the buggy windshield.)

We saw places where the fire had burned right down to some structures that were spared.

We also saw structures burned to the foundation. When we started seeing the remains of homes, I stopped taking pictures. It felt a little like taking pictures of dead bodies.

The fire burned within just a few miles of the community of John Day, and we weren't certain what we would find when we arrived. This was a welcome sight.

The only RV park within quite a distance is located at the Grant County Fairgrounds. We've stayed there before. There was room, but there remained a sea of tents being used by the firefighters still in the area. We camped next door to an elderly couple in a motor home who told us they'd lost everything in the fire that incinerated their 40 acres of forested land, their home, and several outbuildings. They had evacuated their home just 15 minutes before it burst into flames. I can't even imagine how they must have been feeling about losing almost everything they owned, but it certainly caused us to take stock of our many blessings.

We got an early start yesterday morning on the last leg of our trip. Shortly after getting under way a herd of deer crossed the road in front of us.

The area east of John Day is a picturesque farming area, and I took more pictures of barns as we went.

As we approached Sisters, Oregon, this was a welcome sight.

And eventually, about 280 miles later, we were home.

Today there's quite a lot to do to get back to what passes for normal around here. I've unloaded most of my clothes, but there is a mountain of laundry to do. The food still needs to be unloaded from the camper, but that shouldn't take too long.

My guild meets tonight, and while it's tempting to skip the meeting, I really want to hear the speaker, Mary Shiffer, who is going to talk about crazy quilts. I love crazy quilts, and I'd like to make one some day. Just now I did a search for Mary Shiffer, but could find nothing about her quilts. Maybe I'll learn more tonight.

So that brings you up to date. I worked on my Hocuspocusville embroidery only one time while we were traveling. I was having too much fun to settle down for embroidery, I guess, but that's next on my list of things to do. What? You didn't think I was going to put laundry before stitching, did you? Hopefully, I can fit in a little quilting time today too because I need to get Vintage Tin finished for Erik's birthday next month.

Thanks to all who followed along so faithfully while we traveled. It's always good to hear from friends while we're on the road.

14 comments from clever and witty friends:

Linda said...

HI, glad you had a good trip!
Smitty missed you for sure!
Joyous Autumn!

Sher S. said...

glad you are home safe and sound and had a fabulous time. Loved seeing all the photos of your doings, not something I'd do but you looked like it was a blast. I'm sure Mr. Smitty missed you besides having someone there for them. They can't replace "YOU" for the cats.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Glad to hear you are safely home. My two furkids have given me attitude with just being gone for the day - poor Smitz and Ms G!

Ray and Jeanne said...

Welcome home! Glad you made it safely. I love you pictures of the barns. ~Jeanne

crazy quilter said...

So glad you made it home. I am so sorry for those poor people who have lost everything. Hopefully they will rebuild and all will be fine. Glad the kitties aren't mad at you, but maybe that is what Smitty was saying, WHERE THE HECK HAVE YOU BEEN, and why didn;t you write?

barbara woods said...

glad you are home safe and sound

WoolenSails said...

So much beautiful scenery and so much destruction from the fires, so sad.


Quilting Babcia said...

Great barn photos. It's always a challenge to do photography at 70 or 80mph but you seem to have mastered the art!

Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

Yay for coming home !~! Great barn photos, crossed my mind that you may do a barn quilt along the lines of the Doors Quilt...

Dar said...

Welcome home. Enjoyed traveling with you. I think you take excellent pictures of barns and burned forest while speeding by. In fact, you must have a great camera to make them so clear and up close (unless you stopped the car and really walked to them. :)

Brown Family said...

There have been a few fires here in Texas. It destroyed most of a state park. Then this year we had bad flooding that wiped out part of a town. My friends and I planned to go to the quilt shop there, but one lady's son told her not to. She needed to remember it as it was ans not see the devastation.

Kate said...

That was quite a drive home. The devastation caused by the fires is just heart breaking. We have fires here, but not like you do there. We don't have all the trees. Hope you've been able to get all caught up.

quiltzyx said...

Home again, home again, jiggity jig! My oh my doesn't Gracie look smug?!?
Your barn pictures remind me a bit of some that I took on my roadtrip in 2007. The white one with the red roof looks freshly painted, doesn't it?
That darned laundry, doesn't it know that it isn't supposed to get dirty while you're on vacation? Sheesh. Glad you're home, safe & sound!

Tami C said...

Love all your barn pictures! Hope you find some with quilt blocks on them!