As a new writer, finding out of the way and interesting places is of top priority. Having procured a position with a website dedicated to everything Oregon, it was time to explore. The mission? To re-visit a location my daughter’s and I had visited just the year prior. This time with a writers mind.
La Grande is a four hour drive east of Portland and about two hours west of Boise Idaho. Since I only had one night, I decided to take my oldest daughter with me and her boyfriend met us there (he lives in Boise). http://www.cityoflagrande.org
Upon arriving, we checked into our hotel before exploring the nearby thrift store. I walked out empty handed, but my daughter purchased a book for ten cents. Can’t beat that!
When her boyfriend arrived, we jumped into my car and off we went. Straight to downtown La Grande and the Crazy Days Festival. As it turned out, the Festival wasn’t in full bloom until the next day, but we were able to visit a couple booths and found a community shop that sold local wares. “Oh my gosh”! I heard my daughter gush. As I walked over to see what she was gawking at, she was already reaching down to pick up a baby pig.
“What’s her name?” I asked, “We call her Pig” the merchant told us. “She is four weeks old, here’s a bottle if you want to feed her,” My daughter jumped at the chance and grabbed the bottle without hesitation. As she was feeding the pig, I asked the merchant if she was a pet, “No, we are raising her to eat her”, “the happier the pig, the better tasting the bacon.”
Now growing up around animals, none of us flinched at the thought. Later that evening we ended up in the local pub for a beer or two and nachos. Just prior to that, we found an old firehouse turned into a museum, free to explore.
The following morning we headed to the local firehouse for a pancake breakfast. The beauty of small towns like La Grande, everyone is so friendly and welcoming. The delicious breakfast consisted of Pancakes, Eggs and Sausage, all for only $6.00 per person. From here we ventured down the road a mile or three to find a real gem, Hot Springs Lake Hotel.
Hot Springs Lake Hotel http://www.hotlakesprings.com is a Bed & Breakfast which also houses a Spa/Salon. Italian Restaurant, Hot Springs Soak Tubs and an Historic Museum including ancient Fire and farm equipment. For $10.00 per person, a self-guided walking tour around the property consists of the fire museum as well as the History Center showcasing exhibits from the Civil War to Vietnam. Plenty of Native American artifacts are also to be found. David Manuel, a well renowned Bronze Sculpture, and his wife own the property. You can see David’s work throughout the property. If you are lucky, you will have the opportunity to visit with David, and possibly even purchase a piece of artwork for yourself.
Once through here, we headed back to La Grande in time to see the Classic Car Show. No this is where my daughter’s boyfriend shined. In his element, he relished the chance to show my daughter his knowledge and longing for the classic vehicles.
As our weekend came to a close, it was tough saying goodbye. But back to the daily grind of the working world we went. Oh we will go back again and again and yet again, as the country life becons each of us to return.