LaGrande, Oregon

We were up early yesterday morning and on the road ahead of schedule. It meant we pulled into LaGrande fairly early in the afternoon. We're on our way to Stanley, Idaho, but our reservation isn't until Monday. We briefly spent some time trying to decide whether to stay in LaGrande on Sunday or try to move along. This being Labor Day weekend, we were discouraged from moving on when we couldn't find any available RV spots along the way. Having made that decision, we congratulated ourselves on how clever we were to actually take a day for relaxation. What a concept! Both of us have been incredibly busy getting ready for this trip, and so it'll be nice to just have a day to do nothing. After I finish here, we'll be going out for breakfast. We almost always find a friendly mom and pop place in these small towns. We're in LaGrande proper, but just a few miles down the road is the little town of Union, Oregon. Taking the day to explore is just what we need.

So let me back up for a minute to the last day at home. I canned eight pints of tomatoes.

It was all I could squeeze out of our harvest, and I supplemented with a few from our CSA. Our house sitter will continue harvesting them while we're gone, and so I'm hopeful I'll get a few more pints before they're finished for the season.

Fast forward to yesterday, and here are some things we saw. We were stopped at a rest area in the Columbia Gorge. I'm determined to get back on my 10k steps, and so I was good about walking every time we stopped. I didn't quite hit my 10k goal yesterday, but I was close. Speaking of walking, this looks like an inviting place for a hike, doesn't it?

A few steps further on, I saw this.

Back on the road and across the Columbia River on the Washington side, we saw this double locomotive pulling a long, long, long train filled with wind turbine blades. And those are some huge mo-fo's, let me tell you. For scale, consider the double locomotive at the front, and you can see that the blades are longer than two locomotives. This is a big wind power area, and so we imagine more turbines are going up. (Sorry for the pixelated iphone image.)

Oh yes, and our trip to LaGrande would be disappointingly incomplete if I didn't show you the video of how Mike keeps himself awake on a long drive.

If you can't see the video, click right here.

This is Hot Lake next to the RV park where we are staying for two nights. Far across the lake in the upper right of the image, you can see the Hot Lake Resort.

We've stayed at this park many times. When we were here in 2013, I wrote a blog post about the history of this place. It is fairly interesting, and you can read about it right here, if you're curious.

While Mike took a nap, I went out for another walk. Here are some things I saw. Of course, the reeds always capture my photographer's eye. I wonder how many pictures I have that look just like this.

Please look both ways before crossing.

Make a wish. I'm wishing for no mechanical troubles on this trip.

Mike said the image below reminded him of a Monet painting.

For those who like their fresh catch of the day already pre-cooked. Also...there's a reason it's called Hot Lake.

Also, I came upon this somewhat feral cat. She wasn't at all interested in letting me get close to her.

I'm assuming she's a mama cat because of the kitten under the picnic table to my left.

I thought possibly, I could pet the kitten. Nope. Nothing doing. If looks could kill...

When we were in LaGrande last year, we took a wrong turn off the freeway and ended up taking the scenic route to the RV park. Along the way, we passed a barn quilt. We were towing our flatbed trailer loaded with ATV's and so Mike didn't want to back up or pull over, and I missed this barn quilt image. It's always felt like the one that got away. Also, we had a long day of driving ahead of us the next day, and so we didn't go back. Getting in early yesterday afternoon, we retraced that route, and there it is! My life feels complete now! And check out that year...1910.

Here is the whole structure.

The light was good for barn photography, and so I took a couple more pictures.

So that was our day yesterday. Not a bad day at all. The kitties are doing well, although they're still a little nervous. Smitty dearly wants to go outside on his leash, but we're waiting until he's bold enough to go out on the catio. It's a little unusual for him not to go out right away, but we're fairly close to our neighbors, which gives him pause.

The weather is beautiful here today, and so we're going to tour the little towns of LaGrande and Union. The only "quilt shop" in town is closed today. It's called Sew & Soak...they sell sewing machines and spas. Funny combination. So off we go.

9 comments from clever and witty friends:

sunny said...

Love your "Monet painting". Have a fun trip.

quiltzyx said...

I have never thought about how those huge turbine blades were shipped. That was a cool shot! And on my phone, it doesn't look pixilated at all.
At least the cats let you get close enough to photograph them.
I laughed so hard watching Mike's video! But as long as it helps him stay awake, why not? I usually go between rolling the window down (especially if it's cold out) and singing at the top of my lungs. :)
Thanks for taking us along for the ride. I always have such a good time on vacation with you, Mike & the cats!

Lyndsey said...

Love your photos and the video of Mike staying awake is hilarious. Whatever works for you is important. If I'm driving with the family I don't have a problem trying to stay awake as they sing and make up silly stories so it would be impossible to fall asleep but on my own I have to stop and take a nap.

Barbara said...

How did you know I needed to see a closeup picture of a cattail? They're in the applique block I was working on earlier today.

Mike is so funny.

Teresa in Music City said...

That is really a rather unique barn quilt block, and I've never seen the date with one before. Well worth looking it up! You got some great photos - love the lily pads on the water. Wonder what Smitty would say if you brought that mom and kitten home? LOL!!! I laughed out loud at Mike barking! My husband once had to fire a guy who barked at another employee because he was mad at him. We still shake our heads and say, "whaaaaaaaaa?"

Quilting Babcia said...

You're well on your way to having enough images to make your own Oregon barn quilt. Have you seen Julie Sefton's build-a-barn book? I think the western barns are so much more interesting than most of the ones we see around here, though my camera is usually sitting on my desk when I do spot one - sigh.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

The barking was too funny! Thank you for sharing your day with us thru your photos.

gpc said...

Oh yeah, we watched the barking video over and over and over again . . . still processing this information. :)

Kate said...

Looks like you got off to a good start on your trip. Love the video. However, the barking thing isn't unusual around here. My Guy uses his "big dog" bark to scare off the mean doggies that chase him when he's out for ride. Have fun!