Welcome to Oregon

Sunday, we crossed the border from Idaho and into Oregon.  This is the greeting at the first ‘Rest Area/Welcome Center’ in Oregon.  It gave us a good feeling about this place.

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Notice the ‘Free Coffee’ sign?  Oregonians like their coffee and their beer.

IMG_1075You can even hang out here and ‘work from home’.

IMG_1076The greetings are written in many different languages.

We are hanging out in Bend, Oregon for a few days.  This place has 20 breweries and is host to the Bend Brew Festival every year.  Ray and Eileen would love this place.   🙂

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Not Yet…

We looked at a few houses today and then we met with a mortgage broker.  After reviewing our current income, the broker told us that we don’t really qualify for much right now.  We will need to wait until Lou starts receiving Social Security which will be in October.  This means that we can get serious about making an offer on a house sometime in mid-September.  I’m hoping that we can get into a place before the winter snows shuts down the passes as all of our belongings are stored in a POD in Eugene which is across the Cascades from Bend.

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Twin Falls

We stopped in Twin Falls, ID on Saturday to have lunch and to see the place where Evel Knievel attempted to jump over the Snake River.  There’s not much left of the ramp that was built.

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However, there is a different sport taking place over the Snake River in Twin Falls.  It is jumping off the bridge, opening a parachute and landing on the beach on the other side of the river.

IMG_1059IMG_1069It was certainly worth spending our break time in Twin Falls, Idaho.  I wouldn’t recommend stopping there.

IMG_1058(Lou took these pictures and I don’t think he knows how to use the ‘zoom’ feature)

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Nomads

Today felt exhausting.  We finished our drive through Northwest Colorado, past Dinosaur National Park and into Utah.  The main highway is Route 40 which is mostly two lanes with an occasional third ‘passing’ lane for climbing hills.  The traffic was heavy and the sun was hot.  Both Lou and I were glad to make it to the hotel in Park City, Utah.

Now for the nomads.  There were a few interesting nomads back in Craig, Colorado.  The first person was a man carrying all his possessions walking along the road with his dog that was required to carry his own items such as food and bowls and other things.  Then there was the couple sitting along the side of the road with all their earthly belongings.  The most interesting was the young man walking along the road carrying his things and his companion was loaded with more things.  At first, I thought the companion was a donkey and then I saw the horns and realized it was a goat.  This nomad was on the move with his pet goat.

Tomorrow, we will be contacting a realtor in Bend, Oregon to set up some appointments to look at houses on Monday.  Our settlement was finally completed yesterday afternoon.  Good thing we didn’t have to wait around just to sign a few papers.  The buyer’s realtor signed with our permission the new paperwork.  Lou checked and the money is in the bank.

One last thing, there is a relay race happening today and tomorrow in Park City, Utah so the hotel is full.  We are staying at the Holiday Inn Express and they are pet friendly.

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Colorado: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Spent the last two days in this state and got a feel for the place as I have not been here for what might qualify as an eon. Here’s a synopsis:

The Good: Lots of spectacular scenery. The Front Range and the semi-arid Colorado River valley both offer incredible flora and fauna. Tops on the list were mule deer and elk. First up close glimpse of petroglyphs.  Had a great tour of the area by local guide whose hobby is history, geography, photography, and fly-fishing. Goes in the blogosphere by the name of  One Fly (though truth be told he uses a dry and a dropper).

Did manage one 16 incher on the Colorado River .

Nice fish! (as they all say)

Nice fish! (as they all say)

All the people we have met are very nice. Many in the Front Range are from someplace else. New Jersey was the unofficial winner.

The Bad: Vermont gets it, Colorado doesn’t. Access to fishing streams is very limited, restricted to public lands. The rest of the state appears to be ‘privatized’. Vermont landowners get it. Fishing recreation is a big tourist draw and infuses the state with a lot of cash. Anglers go there because there is abundant access. Only the moneyed get access in Colorado. Why turn everyone else away?

The Ugly: Northwest Colorado is an extraction zone. Coal is the main commodity, though gas and oil are in the mix. This is a place where I have encountered more wind, and more sun than any any other place I have been in America. There may be better places, but this would be in the top 10. Yet not one solar cell or wind mill to be seen. You know who controls the politics up here.

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What a Difference A Day Makes

Yesterday, I was complaining and today was a wonderful day.  We met up with a local person, a blogger known as ‘One Fly’ and he gave us the best tour of this northwest part of Colorado.

Our first stop was at a butte overlooking Craig that had petroglyphs.  Unfortunately, only one of my pictures came out clearly.  There was too much sun glare for the others to show up on my camera.

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The next stop was the Cowboy Museum in Craig.  It was a fascinating place with all kinds of cowboy and cowgirl stories and memorabilia.  There were plenty of old guns on display along with the leather holsters.  Carrying a gun in a holster must have added an additional 20 pounds to a person.

One Fly then took us to the Wyman Museum.  Oh, this is a must visit place.  It is a privately owned museum located east of Craig.  The owner is a collector of mostly machine memorabilia.  Here are some of my favorites.

I loved this lawnmower as it was probably one of the first riding mowers.

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Many homes may have had one of these..

IMG_1005And I got to see my first elk today.

IMG_1008Then there was the ‘REO Speedwagon’ (tee hee)

IMG_0998 IMG_0999And my favorite shop in Craig, Colorado.  Notice, there is a ‘No Smoking’ sign on the door.

IMG_0991 IMG_0992We ended the day with a really good dinner at an Italian restaurant.  The food could compete with any Italian restaurant in South Philly.  We were surprised at how good it tasted.

All in all, it was a banner day.  Thank you, One Fly.  We will visit again as we can’t stay any longer.

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How Messed Up Can Things Get

Don’t visit Craig, CO.  It is a less than 1 horse town.  We are staying in a place, the Rocky Mountain Inn that looked fine when we booked through Priceline but it has the slowest Internet service. It smells like stale bleach in the room so I sprayed the room with essential oils just to kill the smell.  I had to hack into another hotel’s wireless just so I can post to this blog and comment on Facebook.  Lou is fishing today and he plans on fishing tomorrow.  I guess I will take a trip to Meeker as there is nothing to do in this stinky room.

Homer is on his own.  He is hiding under the bed.  His food and water is available and so is his litter box.  If he can’t deal with that, than too bad, too sad.  I’ve done all that I can do.  I’m beginning to think that I should have brought Synnie with me and had Homer adopted.  Synnie is friendly and is less fearful.  Any new noise or any new sound upsets Homer.

To top things off, our settlement on our house is not completed as once again, Wells Fargo “forked up” so now we have to sign onto another extension.  The settlement on our house is fine.  The problem is with the buyers of our house as their buyers are having problems with Wells Fargo.

This is becoming a test of my endurance.

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