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Wandrin 2001

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by Lloyd Treichel

Wandrin - October 2001

Dateline: October 2, 2001 -- Portland, Oregon

September started ... in Salt Lake City. During the month I traveled and toured Oregon.

Genealogical research ... While in Salt Lake City, I did some genealogical research at the LDS Church's genealogical library. My search for the missing Treichels remained as elusive as ever. I had expressed my dismay to another researcher. He responded that "witness protection programs" were not new to the 20th century.

Road trip to Oregon ... began when I picked up Rich Goscicki at the Salt Lake City airport. Rich is a long time hiking partner and former co-worker with Hitachi Data Systems. He joined me for two weeks after which I left him at the Portland, Oregon airport for a return to Denver. 

There is a lot of open space in the USA and much of it is between Salt Lake City and central Oregon. There was a lot of sage brush and hills and arid terrain. Even though I love that terrain, I was hoping to see a tree now and then or at the very least some evidence of human habitation.

Once Rich joined me, we started to eat our way through the next two weeks and the first stop was for lunch at a freeway exit with the name of Snowville, Utah. The restaurant's menu included "Curlew Burger". Asked what a Curlew Burger was, the waitress assured us that it was not road kill -- Curlew was the name of the valley. (For those not in the know, a Curlew is a large bird.)

Driving across Idaho I didn't find nirvana, but I did find Bliss in Paradise Valley. Actually, what I found was the town of Bliss.

Eating across Oregon ...  Both Rich and I like to experiment with food so I cannot say this was an unpleasant trip. 

One particular day, we were staying at an Oregon state park south of Waldport. That night we had Chinook salmon (off the dock), Chantrelle mushrooms (from a farmer's mart), Kalamata Olive bread (from the same farmer's mart), tomatoes (from another farmer's mart) and blackberries right outside our campsite. Does it get any better than this? I am just glad that I could enjoy it! 

Each day was a variation of the same eating process including fresh oysters, tuna and salmon. It continued like that until Rich returned to Colorado. I then fasted for a full day.

Oregon stops  -- besides the eating ... While Rich was with me, we toured the Newberry Volcanic Lava Beds near Bend Oregon where the volcanic rock evidence is available in many rock forms including this large obsidian out crop. 

Crater Lake is a must stop with lots of photo opportunities and so of course here is one.  After the hike that started at the Crater Lake Lodge, we stopped there to check out the food.  The fish and chips on the menu were outstanding -- it included lightly battered salmon, halibut and oysters.

Traveling up the Oregon from Coos Bay to Astoria, I was able to ooh and ah over a most scenic coast line.  Then it was up the Columbia Gorge to The Dalles for more scenery viewing Mt. Hood and others in the distance.

Over the years, I had seen many 

 

Who was John Day? ... That was the question we pondered as we crossed central Oregon. There was the town of John Day. There was a John Day river, John Day Fossil Beds, John Day Dam and numerous other geographic sites that were named in his honor. We guessed a lot of possibilities and I had even come up with some ridiculous story about "the john" was a day's journey from another city. 

Truth is stranger than fiction. John Day was a hired hunter to provide meat for a fur trapping expedition following the Columbia River in 1811. He and another hunter were attacked by Indians and left naked and wounded at the mouth of the river that bears his name. That much of the story agrees regardless of the account. 

Some stories say that he was insane when he died in Astoria a few years later. One source joked that it may have been the only time that a town had been named after an insane man. ... Or was it?

The world is small category ... became evident when I met Jack Purdy and his wife at Fort Clatsop (a National Memorial) near Astoria, Oregon. Jack is a part time instructor at StorageTek in Louisville, Colorado. The last time I had seen Jack was mid 2000 when I was still employed at StorageTek. It is an amazing coincidence to think that we could be in the same out of the way place on the same day and within the same hour. ... And I still have not won the lottery. For that part, Jack hasn't either.

Note: Fort Clatsop is the place where the Lewis and Clark expedition party spent the winter of 1805-1806. According to Lewis' diary, it rained every day but 12 of the 106 days they stayed at the site. Doesn't sound like a very pleasant winter.  

Just wondering ... Is Oregon different? ... There are no self-serve filling stations. There are people manning the pumps who take your credit card and put it in the machine and fuel your vehicle. It's against a state law to fuel your own vehicle. If you are caught, it is a $10,000 fine for you and the station owner. -- And they don't do windows.

Something else that took getting used to is that you can get beer and wine most anyplace -- grocery stores, drug stores, etc.  But liquor is only sold at liquor stores -- and they do not sell beer or wine.

I have been used to washing my own vehicle for years. There are lots of manned drive through car washes. In my searches, I was not able to find any "wash it your self" sites -- although I was told they were there

With things so very different, was it possible I was in some kind of time warp? I was sure of it one day as I approached a grocery store and there was a neon sign in the window that said they were "open 25 hours a day". Then I knew things were different in Oregon.

Stalked on a hike ... After Rich headed back to Colorado, I stayed in Oregon to continue my explorations -- and hikes. I bought a book describing hikes in Northwest Oregon. I opened it to a hike that was near Mount Hood and decided that was it. 

I was over a mile up the switch backs of the Hunchback trail when I noticed a dog on a lower switchback. But there was no one with the dog. It actually looked more like a coyote. I knew it wasn't a wolf. I continued to walk the switchbacks. It took only a few more switchbacks to realize that this animal -- dog or coyote -- was following me up the trail. Either I was the meal or it associated me with handouts. I stopped and headed back down the trail. The animal turned and headed down the trail. I turned around to resume the hike. The animal followed me again. 

Paranoia set in. Rabid dog -- or coyote? I am being followed into an ambush. I was spooked! Upon reaching the upslope for the next switchback, I just headed down hill to the switchback below. The animal stood and watched me as I went through the brush down to the next switchback. I could still see it sitting on the trail where I left it. No doubt it decided that it didn't want to follow me bad enough to struggle through all the brush and fall like I did. As I headed down the trails, I was happier, but not breathing any easier. It was a fast hike and -- it was a good workout.

A forest ranger station was right by the trail head, so I decided to report the incident. "Yes. That was Sara. She is a malamute-husky-something cross. The rangers have been trying to capture her without success. She has been reported on several trails in the area. This is the first time she was on the Hunchback Trail." 

Great! So I pick one trail out of a book and it has the resident coyote (cross that) dog that stalks people. If it weren't for these experiences, what would I have to write about.

So I continued up the road in search of another hike. The book described an easy hike to Mirror Lake. It was a good hike and very scenic and I took a few pictures of Mount Hood reflected on the surface of the lake. It was a easy relaxed hike. It also had no coyote (cross that) dog on the trail.

Visited with ... brother Dennis and wife Karen in Dallas, Oregon. Dallas is a short drive west of Salem. While we dined and visited, we managed to catch up on our respective lives and families of too many past years. 

Cinnamon Roll Search ... I haven't stopped trying to find the greatest cinnamon roll. Driving up the coast of Oregon, I checked out several bakeries. Lots of bakeries with lots of different pastries that I had not seen before. Some did not even have cinnamon rolls. 

Latest Read ... "A Hell Of A Place To Lose A Cow" by Tim Brookes.  In 1973, he hitchhiked from New York to Vancouver and back.  Then in 1998, on the 25th anniversary of the travel, he repeated the trip visiting the stops and the acquaintances along the way to see if memory of the original trip was real. ... I won't reveal the source of the title, but if you really want to know, e-mail to ask me

Vanity Plate ...  NWYRKA was one seen in Portland, Oregon. Hasn't forgotten his/her roots. 

Bumper sticker ... I've finally got it altogether, but I can't remember where I left it. 

Quotable quote ... 
"Everyone travels, but not everyone explores." Tim Brookes in "A Hell of a Place to Lose a Cow"