Friday, 1 August 2014

Day 67: McCAll ID to Sumpter OR

The time has come to say goodbye to Anne and Joe and to McCall.
We ride out with Mark and are soon in the dry lands of Idaho as we head west to Oregon.
One of the main crops is hay. Bales of hay are stacked higher than houses.
The barns are smaller because stock are not kept inside during the winter.
Paddocks are bleached.
A Ford pickup in 70s colours.
We ride through the back roads...
Along the Snake River.

A group of cyclists is gathered near the Snake River bridge on the border of Idaho and Oregon.
They are the Portland group of 4kfor cancer.
They started from Baltimore two months ago. 26 riders have raised over $300,000 for young adult cancer programmes. They are a mix if high school and college students all of whom have had some link to the cause. They are riding 4,000 miles to raise funds.
Meet Brady a college student from Oregon. Almost home after a very long ride.
Welcome to Oregon.
We are enjoying being on the road again with Mark.
We are seeing more RVs and motor homes now. Most farm houses seem to have an Rv or a caravan parked nearby. There are plenty of scenic places and backcountry roads to explore while the crops are growing.
Anne urged us to stop at the Baker Museum. We are glad we did. Jeannie offered to show us some of the highlights.
I think Jeannie was the highlight!
There was an amazing geological collection bequeathed by two women who had collected rocks over their lifetime. It is the largest collection in the west.
19th century threshing machine built in Missouri then shipped round Cape Horn and up the Columbia river reassembled and did many years of threshing duties in the district.
We rode on to Sumoter and decided to stay for the night.
This Sumpter Valley Gold dredge - and two others have turned the valley meadows into masses of heaps of tailings.
This dredge was launched in 1935 and ceased operation in 1954. It yielded 128,571 troy ounces of gold which would be worth $51 millionUS at today's gold prices.
These dredges were invented in New Zealand. The Kanieri dredge on the West coast if NZ has been resurrected after ceasing operation in 2004.

Let's go for a walk around the town.
Sumpter has the appearance of being an old township.
Lots of places have closed signs.
Like many gold towns it had its heyday last century.
Posters at the motel. There were keys for motel units in a container in the office door. We helped ourselves to the only two sets of keys in the box. I guess we got the last two rooms.
While we were settling in we met a chap who was looking for the moteliers. They were away and he said they were probably setting up there bear hunting lines. The bear hunting season starts here on 1 August.
He said bear meat tastes better if it is soaked in milk for an hour or two and dried off before it is cooked.
The quad bikes -ATVs here- have rifle mounts in front of the handle bars. Hunting is a major occupation.
Later we saw deer walking up the Main Street.
Salmon patty with Jojos which turn out to be potato fries.
The special of the day was meatloaf with mashed potatoes was sold out.
A fellow in the bar told us his philosophy for life...
"Eat what you can,
Can what you can't,
Live till you die"
Meet Kirstin our bubbly waitress at Sumpter Saloon. Her grandparents own the establishment and ...

her father Garrett is the cook.

It has been a great day for a ride and a history filled day.


Ken said...

Hi guys
What's that red flash on Mark's shoulder? Can't quite read it.

Diana said...

It's an extra special lapel on his custom Motoport jacket for storing 'Emergency Information'. A cool idea.

Ken said...

What a great idea. I must look into that.