Posts Tagged ‘timber’
Posted on July 6, 2010 - by Nadia
Day 32: July 5, 2010
Joseph to North of Elgin, Oregon
I felt a pang of nostalgia for something I never knew as I pass the bustling Boise Cascade lumber mill outside of Elgin. It’s a hum that defined the Missoula area for many of my friends, but was more of a culture than an employer by the time I moved to town. The truth is my personal connections to the western landscape were formed by the wind, prairie and pronghorns of Casper, Wyoming. All these trees press in on me, and can make me feel anxious. Yet, at the rest stop at the confluence of the Wallowa and Grande Ronde rivers, the garbage contained Starbucks to-go cups and tags off of new river gear. This is not foreign soil. Oregon is at once novel and familiar, and it is going to be a challenge to see the land ahead of me with fresh eyes in the moment, and not take the familiar for granted or shrink from the closer, more pressing landscape.
Michael and Sarah and I parted company around noon as they headed back to Missoula and I to finish my trip. I took an additional hour or so to update the blog, as we were out of cell range at Lake Wallowa over the Fourth. So it was that I just rode for a few hours and didn’t take time along the way to get to know people or places. The towns came up quickly, and were small but tidy and busier than the small dots of Idaho or Utah: Enterprise, Lostine, Wallowa. Each had a store that was still in business, a church or two, a bed and breakfast.
I’m still in hay country, of course, but noticed for the first time the spindle balers turning out round bales. Round bales are banned in many states. (Why?) Because the cows were having a hard time getting a square meal out of them! (Sorry, had to.)
The landscape is filling up as I approach busier urban centers such as Walla Walla. My maps no longer show dirt roads or river rapids, and route finding is getting trickier although there are more people to ask.