On Saturday I traveled east over the Cascades to visit my very good friend Joan Bowling in John Day. My first teaching job after graduation was in Canyon City in the John Day School District. In all, I was there for 13 years!
Joan was a teacher’s aid and was responsible for the Chapter One program at our school. She needed a space where she could be “supervised” by a teacher to do her tutoring. In truth, she needed no such supervision as she was an excellent teacher in her own right. She set up her space in the back of my classroom and we became quite close over the years. She and I have the type of relationship where it doesn’t matter how much time passes, when we get together, it is like no time at all has passed. In many ways, visiting her is like going home, but even better because it isn’t home. (Figure that out!)
Eastern Oregon is a territory all of its own. It has its own character and is so very different than the western part of Oregon. The eastern side of the mountains is made up of high desert country and prairie.
One of the best, if not the best, views in Eastern Oregon are the Cascade Mountains. The range is made up of volcanic mountains; many which are snow capped year round. The seem to rise up off of the prairie floor and are so magestic!
Two unique sites in Eastern Oregon are the “shoe tree.” Who knows when it started or why it started, but out between Dayville and Mitchell Oregon, you come across this tree. There are literally thousands of shoes hanging on this tree. And this is literally out in the middle of nowhere!!
Eastern Oregon has a lot of juniper trees. These are being harvested for many things; furniture, floors and even cutting boards for you kitchen. Along highway 26 you come across this shop selling juniper furniture and products.