Wallow Lake, Nampa, Oil Trains

As I write this portion, I’m sitting in a 26-31 foot travel trailer in Wallowa Lake State Park with my First Wife, Diane. The 26-31 foot reference is because Oregon DMV and the seller were at odds as to how long the trailer really is. Of course we went with DMVs 31 foot guess because that allows us to pay more for license plates. But, I tricked them because I invoked my right of licensing one vehicle using my VA entitlements and chose to transfer them from Diane’s pickup to the trailer. Saved me $200.

For those of you who aren’t acquainted with Oregon, Wallowa Lake is just south of Joseph, Oregon in the NE corner of the state, and the Wallowa Lake State Park is at the extreme southern end of the lake. Unless you want to travel on some unchartered roads, there’s one way in, and one way out. On that road is Joseph, Oregon which is named for, and the burial place of, Chief Joseph of the Nez Pierce tribe. We stopped to ponder our shadows in the stream that runs through the town. That’s Ziva on the left, Diane, then me.IMG_3500

The lake is beautiful, surrounded by mountains known as the Little Alps by locals. From the distance, say I-84, the Little Alps are always visible and almost always topped with snow. Very pretty. They are also visible from the lake and I’m here to tell you that the nice warm days don’t turn into nice pleasant nights. I gets down to freezing this time of year. That’s true because the Ranger told me so, and I went out side at night to see for myself. It was cold. Made parts of me shrivel right up.IMG_3504

The trip to get here from our designated domicile took about 9 hours. In a car it would have only been around 6 hours but we were towing a trailer, and we had Ziva, the big black dog, with us. So, 3 hours were spent stopping for gas, stopping for the bathroom, and stopping to eat.

Ziva is a very good traveller who didn’t whine one time for us to stop, and never once asked “are we there yet?” Then, after we arrived, she was perfectly content to just lay on her new cushion in the trailer all night and didn’t wake anyone up at all. Because of that we figure that Ozzie is the culprit who instigates the 5 am rise time. The big girls are OK, but he wants out so everyone has to get up. Here in the wilderness, Ziva finds the dog exercise area lots of fun. No leash to ruin whatever mood may strike her.IMG_3489

She also thinks hanging out in the trailer is pretty OK.IMG_3508

Here at the lake, Diane’s been treating me with some very fine meals. No doubt I’m going to get fatter. Currently, I don’t care. It’s all very tasty. All meals have been totally consumed, then today we had hot dogs and chili. The chili was all consumed, but there was a minor accident when I discovered some mustard had spilled on my Dickies. Fortunately, I was able to scrape and scrub it off before our trip to Joseph this afternoon. I was happy I wasn’t wearing Levis because Dickies is far more fun to say.

… here’s a pause …

It’s been a few days since I started this so please forgive me if specifics get a little jumbled and out-of-order. Then, again, it’s kind of normal that way, isn’t it?

Since I messed up my Dickies, things have happened. If I’m lucky I might remember some of them.

From Wallowa Lake we motored to Nampa, Idaho where we wound up parked in the driveway of a long-time friend of Gracie H. It’s my understanding that they’ve known each other for more years than most people have been alive. I’m sure that’s true because our hosts were pretty specific about that. Now, I’m saying Gracie is old, but it doesn’t matter, anyway, because she’s at least older than me. Considering my limited seniority, that leaves a lot of wiggle room for corrections.

We’ve been here in Nampa for two days and think our hosts are trying to tell us it’s time to move along down the road. Instead of sitting on their back patio, our chairs were moved to the front, next to the trailer. Looks like a pretty specific suggestion to me.IMG_0425

I took three naps on Friday (yesterday), and had a great dinner at Honkers to celebrate Bob’s birthday.  No one knows how old he is so I’m just going to guess he’s 40-something. He just has the look. I ate steak, Diane and Daniel had French Dip, and everyone else had Steak Fingers. Sadly, Gracie was unable to make it so we just sat around and talked about her.

After dinner we returned to the trailer and began the process of shutting down for the evening. It’s getting really hard to visually determine bedtime because it doesn’t get dark until 10:30 pm here.

Around noon on Friday an oil train, the kind that explodes and kills people, derailed in Mosier, Oregon which sits next to I-84, the desired way to get home. Reports are that the freeway will be closed for at least the next 3 days while officials can deal with the fire that ensued after the derailment. Fortunately, no one was injured. One person, it may have been Bob, speculated that some oil official probably caused the accident so they could raise the price of gas. Wouldn’t surprise me.

Today, Saturday, Diane discovered that I-84 has been opened to traffic both ways, “with restrictions.” Perhaps by tomorrow, our required departure date from this driveway, those restrictions will have been lifted. We’ll see. Our hosts are going to church in the morning and we have been instructed to be gone before they return.

Perhaps next time we come to Nampa we’ll just stay with Gracie.

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