Saturday, July 5, 2014

Transition days

DAY THIRTY-SIX: It's the day after the 4th of July and we are in Salem, OR at the home of our friend, Joanne Elizabeth Seibert, or "J.E." as she is known. J.E. fell on a hike a month ago and broke her patella and is recovering from surgery. She is getting around amazingly well, considering, but is not yet able to drive. But she can bend her leg enough to get into the front seat of the car! So we can help take her some places, help with shopping, etc.

Thursday was a pack up, clean and load the car morning at Alpine. Ellen did several loads of wash because we needed to leave our bedroom ready for a new set of guests arriving Thursday evening! We got off from Alpine a little after 1pm, heading for Boise, ID. It's about a 6 1/2 hour drive, so we felt we had time to stop at one of our favorite places, the Camus National Wildlife Refuge near Hamer, ID (north of Idaho Falls). Every time we've gone there, we've had it to ourselves, as far as humans are concerned, and this time was no exception. Spring and fall it is a center for migratory birds and I guess it is much more popular then, human-wise. But on a July day there are still many birds and water fowl to be seen and heard. I wished I had my old Yashica, with telephoto lens, but alas, it is a film camera, which is virtually obsolete. So I'm just using my iPhone as a camera - quite a come down, but it sure is convenient. I did get this photo of a yellow-headed blackbird, but it would have been spectacular with the telephoto lens.

Yellow-headed blackbird at Camus N.W.R.

We got to Boise after 10pm, but it was still light. Susan and Christian graciously made their loft apartment available to us even though they were not there. We saw them in Alpine, we'll see them in Boise on our way back, and we'll see them in August at Julie's! We love their loft:

The loft apartment in Boise
Friday was the Fourth of July, and we were in no hurry to get up and get going. As we left Boise in the late morning, stopping by the famed Boise Coop for a few items, we could see a parade going on down the street. We choose the "southern route" through Eastern Oregon, along Route 20 through Burns, then to Bend, Sisters, and on to Salem - a really lovely drive on a lovely day. We stopped for a picnic in a nice little city park in Burns, and the table we sat at was covered with rather sophisticated graffiti, including this quotation from Emerson:

"The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization"
This quotation fits nicely into a dialogue I have been carrying on with my son, John, about the sustainability of life on our planet, given the level of human consumption of resources by the western, highly developed societies like our own. I tried to find where and when Emerson made this rather prescient statement, but it turns out to be one of those quotations that is widely attributed to someone, but no one can actually find it in that person's writings. Evidently this is a common phenomenon. (E.g., Humphrey Bogart never said, "Play it again, Sam." He just said, "Play it." And Marie Antoinette never said, "Let them eat cake." It's a quote from Rousseau attributed to an unnamed princess).

Eastern Oregon is mile after mile of sugar beets, alfalfa and grain, until it just becomes a sagebrush desert. It is all beautiful. And then the mountains emerge in central Oregon, - the Three Sisters, Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington, Three-fingered Jack, Ragged-Top, even Mt. Hood could be seen in the distance.

Wheat? in Eastern Oregon

Mt. Washington
We stopped in Sisters for a bite to eat, and looked for synthetic oil for the car, because the oil light had come on, but every place that sold oil was closed. We need to carry an extra can of oil with us - seems odd for a new car.

We got to Salem at about 9pm. J.E.'s neighbors were enjoying setting off fireworks in the street - it's a dead-end. We went to sleep with the sound of fireworks as a lullaby.

1 comment:

  1. I sent you a message on Facebook as I saw your photos of my Langley ancestors on the Epsom History website. My grandmother was Grace Langley Hall. I'd love to connect and learn more.