Sunday, June 5, 2011

Go Where the Road Leads You

After we got home from a long motorcycle ride yesterday (260 miles!) and after walking Missy, I took a stroll out to the weed patch and discovered the cactus are blooming all over the place. When we first moved here, I didn't even know I had cactus as the weeds and other stuff had grown up over them. When I discovered the beautiful prickly pear, I was thrilled to pieces. It's kind of like having a little bit of Arizona right here in Washington. They have spread out now so I have quite a few. Very low maintenance ~ my kind of plant!

I really enjoyed the ride yesterday. We left at 9:00 a.m and headed towards Oregon. We had in mind that we were going to Ukiah, Oregon.  We stopped to get gas on the freeway before turning off towards Lexington and Heppner. A gnarly guy on a motorcycle pulled up to me and asked if we were part of the group doing the "Ironbutt". I laughed and said no. He then said, "which way  to Boise?" I pointed east. In my mind, I had to question his intelligence. For those of you who don't know, the ironbutt is long distance endurance riding. Some of their rides are 1,000 miles in 24 hours. No, thank you.  As we rolled out of the gas station, we spotted him on the off-ramp pointed towards Idaho but it appeared he was looking at his map. Good man. Wouldn't that just be the pits if he went the wrong way on my account?

When we ride, there is no wrong way. So, we headed towards Heppner. They have a lovely little city park there and we stopped to stretch and see a man about a horse. There were two ladies sitting at a little table they'd set up. They asked if we were in the poker run. What poker run? Seems there were a bunch of bikers headed to Heppner and they thought we were first to arrive. No. We weren't on the poker run.  After visiting a few minutes, we found out the road we were to travel to get to Ukiah was closed due to flooding.  New plan.

We gassed up in Heppner and headed towards Condon, Oregon to stop and eat the picnic lunch I packed and watch the Starlings. We headed towards home and down a road we've never been on before which took us into Arlington and another beautiful city park. While on that road, I spotted two dead snakes and two deer eating grass. I really liked that part of the trip and would love to do it in reverse next time. If there had been a spot to pull off, you'd be seeing a photo of a dead snake here. My favorite kind. Dead.

I was totally fascinated with the starlings. They are mean little birds and they'll take a raven down to the ground and peck them to death. As we were eating lunch, I noticed they kept landing on a branch near us. At one time, there were 3 of them and they all had a mouthful of stuff. It wasn't until I got home and looked at my photos that I discovered they each had several dragonflies in their beaks. They looked at us as if to say "you're next!" Wicked little birds.

We also stopped so I could snap some pics of this old truck and equipment that I see every time we roll down I-84. I'm intrigued by it. I was super happy I had my leather boots and pants on as I had to walk through snake country to get a good shot of this. I can hardly wait to go back in the fall and winter to snap follow-up photos. If these rusty old parts could talk, I'll bet they'd have some great stories to tell of the good old days.

It was an awesome day.  Wonder where the road will lead today?

love, susan 


  1. Your road trip sounded so fun! I had to laugh when you described the birds. I never knew they were so ornery! And I love the picture of the old truck. :)

  2. I love that old truck and equipment photo. I think it's so cool to stumble upon items from the past - especially when they've become a part of the landscape.

  3. Every time I read your bog it is like you are talking to me in person. I wonder if you can hear me reply?

  4. You should earn a living as a biking travel writer. Very descriptive writing Susan. I feel like I'm peeking over you shoulder. Have to wipe bugs off my teeth at the end. :) Lovely trip. Thanks for taking us along.

  5. Wow! Thanks for the terrific comments everybody! I'm so happy I had something to write about. It's been a little funky since I quit working. The weather if finally nicer so we'll be out and about more. Today, I spotted a really intriguing shop I had never seen before. They sell koi fish. You can bet I'll be taking my camera in that place when I go. There are so many things to see and do ~ hope I don't run out of time before summer is over. Hope you stay tuned!

  6. I love the picture of the cactus. I have never actually seen it in person and didn't realize that the colored flowers were so beautiful! I,also, love the old truck/equipment picture. I also love old buildings, old barns, old houses...they all tell a story of some kind. Thank you for sharing your travels. It is fun for those of us who don't get that opportunity.

  7. Really good trip.. lots of fun. Oh Susan didn't mention that a Washington State Patrol stopped to see what was what, as we had the bikes on the shoulder of the road, when he pulled up. He just asked if everything was okay of Susan and she told him she wanted to take a picture of those trucks and such for a long time... and he was okay with it and just said have a nice day. You really aren't supposed to park there except in an emergency, but I guess we just lucked out with a good cop. That let me know that the day might be a good one as that was only about 20 miles from home. It was!!

  8. Thank you, Limner! Trust me, I would love a gig as a biker/travel writer!!!

    @ Gene ~ Thanks for adding your comment about the WSP stopping us. It's not easy to write a blog post that's short enough to keep everyone's attention and at the same time get all the details in too, so I appreciate it when you comment. Love you ... me


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