After five days at our sweet little camp off Hwy 244 beyond the little town of Ukiah, Oregon, we head east to La Grande. The only appeal this city has for me is their dog park at Riverview Park. The Chiweenie Brothers are treated to two different play times on Sunday, July 8th and another romp the next morning. The weather is warming up and it’s quite a complex decision on which way to go from here. Mileage. Elevation. The availability of shade. All play a factor, and I spend a very warm afternoon making that decision.
Tuesday morning, July 10th, I bounce out of bed just before sunrise, the boys get a quick walk to relieve themselves, and we are on the road by 6:00 a.m. heading southeast toward Unity. The boys are excited to be on the road, Fries doing his usual front-paws-on-the-dashboard thing when he’s excited about going somewhere. It’s only a hundred miles, but it’s twice as long as our usual driving days are. I nose Freedom onto I-84 and we head to our halfway point, Baker City.
Sticking to today’s “It’s a Wild Wiener Dog Day” (a nice ride, the dog park, McD’s) we head directly to the dog park. Waggers going ninety, the Chiweenie Brothers are beside themselves with this delightful surprise. And …. They have the place to themselves. After about an hour of running, wrestling, and hiking (of legs), I load them up and head to McD’s for a large coffee and a sausage biscuit to share, and we are on the road to our destination, Unity, Oregon.
I follow the GPS’ directions which takes us down Main Street into the historical section. I had no idea what we would find and am dismayed that I am not prepared for the historic old buildings here. I am oooing and awwwing and totally forget about photographs.
Once out of town we drive through a beautiful valley
and then onto Hwy 7 and into the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. It’s a two-lane, tortuous, snaking road of about 25 miles with a speed limit the same, and it takes us for a climb before throwing us downhill through what is left of the forest after the Rail Fire swept through here in 2016.
What’s left is terrible and fascinating at the same time. The recovering undergrowth of grass and bushes is lush and green, the blackened skeletal remains of the burned trees jut upward toward a brilliant blue sky.
Although a terrible tragedy it is interesting to see the underbelly of a forest now gone. It allows one to see just how rugged and steep this mountain range really is, and seeing the road ahead in places where it twists and turns, actually makes for a very interesting drive.
As we come out of the mountains we travel along the irrigated green valley with some interesting old barns. We’re still a ways from our destination, but the drive is lovely, taking us through some bald, rolling hills; an interesting backdrop to the lush green of the valley.
To be continued …
Thanks for stopping by! Hugs, Shawna