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How I Arrived In Eastern Oregon

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Mountain Cowgirl

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OK, so it wasn't in a covered wagon as many younger folks might think when they see what is left of my gray silvering hair. However, I did travel a short portion of the Oregon Trail.

I was born in Colorado and as a young adult saw that state being overrun and controlled by wealthy developers and I couldn't afford to stay there and achieve my goals. I packed up and looked around Wyoming and had an interview at a radio station in Lander Wyoming for a station engineer position. My goal was to work there while building a ranch. I wasn't impressed with the station or the area so I moved on and found nothing that spoke to me in Wyoming. It didn't offer any more than Colorado, maybe less.

After working for a log cabin outfit in Montana and living on a former horse ranch in exchange for looking after and feeding cattle and an old quarter that was there, I realized that was a dead end as land prices were soaring so after a summer working as a wilderness survival guide for a Montana dude ranch, I met an old lady from Eastern Oregon that said the sweet words I will never forget.

"Think of Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho as being the beautiful parade princess queens, then know that Eastern Oregon totally a different world than Western Oregon and compared to the other states aforementioned, is the ugly little sister that is ignored and stays home on Saturday night."

In a fury of excitement, I packed up everything, sold off what stock I had, and headed across Lolo pass, down Idaho to near Boise, where I took the highway up to Baker. That first stretch of highway had me questioning my hasty departure from Montana. It was reminiscent of crossing the Apache reservation in New Mexico. Calling it ugly sister was sugarcoating it. I got a motel room at the Western, not the Best Western, but the Worst Western over on 10th street. My starter went bad the next morning, so while waiting for the auto parts to open, I read the newspaper over breakfast at the Inland Cafe.

I found a place to rent and a job at the forest service doing thinning. Within two months and after a phone call home to sell off the few cows I still had there, I bought mountain property that had forest service allotments on three sides. While I sold that place, I am still in Eastern Oregon and it looks like I will be until I am called to the big final roundup in the sky. I can't believe I have been here for 47 years.
 
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webfoot

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I got here a little over 4 years ago. I was living on the Washington coast. My wife and I had just got married. She said she never wanted to live on the coast. I said neither had I. We searched around eastern Washington and couldn't find anything that would work. So we started searching eastern Oregon. Ended up with a broker who we really liked. I must have looked at 30+ places with him. So I retired. We sold the place on the coast. My wife had a place in south central Washington. She had given two old ladies a life time estate there. But there is a single wide on the property which is where she lived before we married. We moved in a camped there while still looking for a place. Late January we were at the post office and the phone rang. It was our broker. He said that he had just listed a place which we should see. About three times in this conversation he said these people really need to sell. We were going to Elko in just a couple days to the cowboy poetry gathering. So we stopped on the way to look at this place. We really liked it but it was way bigger than we were looking to buy and about twice the money. But pieces just kept falling into place. Made them an offer (exactly what they had paid 10 years earlier) They counter offered. We accepted. It closed in late April. They had 60 days to move so we started moving in late June. We could turn it for a lot more then we paid but neither one of us wants to leave. I wish I had moved here 40 years ago. They can bury me here when that time comes.
I only live a couple miles from the Oregon Trail. The closest neighber's G G Grandparents did get here in a covered wagon pulled by oxen.
 

Faster horses

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You guys have better stories.

I was born here.
Being born where you have lived all your life is a blessing.
You know your neighbors and they know you. I left my heart in SW Montana.
We've made a lot of friends in many places. Probably some enemies too. 🤣

We came back 'home' to retire, I always knew you could return but you could never go back.
I was right. Old friends we knew here years ago have passed away. That's to be expected. We were gone for 42 years.
But it's okay to be here. Family is close.
 

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