Tuesday, May 15, 2007

200 Mile Difference

I’m sure you’re all tired of all the writing I’ve been doing about my recent trip to Bend, but I’m constantly looking for blog fodder. Spending long evenings in a hotel room gave me a lot of time to write about the things that were around.

One of the cool things I always forget about when visiting a higher elevation area is that when you open a shampoo bottle you packed at sea level, the content blasts out.

I was amazed by how many Native Americans I saw hitch hiking on the back roads.

When I left Astoria, I listened to KMUN, 91.9. When the first Ken Nordine tape was finished, 91.9 was a Portland Christian station. In Bend, 91.9 is the Community Radio Station of the Warm Springs Reservation. They would play Native drum and chanting music in the early morning. Every hour they would teach you a new Native phrase.

Though Bend is only 200 miles away, the geography, plants and culture are so different. At times it was like visiting another country. One can easily be distracted from the culture when you see all the national shopping chains stacked up on the roadside. And they are putting in a new Wal*Mart about 20 miles away from an existing one. It is so sad to see this uncontrolled franchise growth. Soon the sage brush and the scrub jays will be all that is left of the old Bend, and you’ll have to go further out to see them.


Blogger Jeff said...

My favorite part of that area is the lava beds that are around Bend. It really is amazing to think of the volcanoes that used to spew their guts out.

6:39 AM  
Blogger Auntie said...

I have only been to that part of our state a couple of times, but I loved looking at the scenery, the rocks, the plant life and loved the weather.

Though I would never give up living in Dried Salmon County (I dont think anyway), that side of the mountains might be a good place to land some day. However, I hear that not many people can afford to now.

7:07 AM  
Blogger Jaggy said...

I have vacationed over the mountains every year that I can remember... and having explored days upon days of natural wonders, I can honestly say that very little of central Oregon pulls me back.

My parents are always urging me to see the beauty of the landscape, the culture, the people... you know what? Juniper smell like cat piss, the people are overwhelmingly snobby, and everything is too damn expensive.

My only positive memories of central Oregon are of my two hole-in-ones playing golf at Eagle Ridge.

7:14 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Jeff, and they may return some day. Geology is cool that way.

L, another thing was getting out of the shower and drying quickly without a towel. I really see no advantage to living there. Too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer.

Jaggy, you golf, too? What is it with these young people having old people activities? Do you do shuffle board and bingo?

8:51 AM  
Blogger Jaggy said...

I don't golf: I just putt really far, and poorly at that. I have played both shuffle board and bingo, and I'm quite good at cribbage. During the summers, my family has holey board championships (it's like horseshoes, but throwing giant washers into boards with big holes drilled into them). I also like taking quiet drives through the farmland, and sometimes I knit. Did I mention I worked in a retirement facility for five years? :P

They're not "old people activities," they're "traditional."

12:39 PM  

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