Thursday, May 20, 2010

Day One Road trip...

     I did not leave Eugene until almost one o'clock, admittedly a late start on a 13 day road trip which would take me about 1000 miles away from home.   I got on I-5 south long enough to pick-up HWY 58 which crosses the Williamette Pass.  I jumped out of the car only once and took a few shots, knowing there would be a lot more snow shots to come on this trip.  (and yes there was that anxiety about my late start).
     After that I drove south on HWY 97 till I got to Klamath Falls.  Cute town.  Wouldn't wanna live there.  (Didn't even take a photo).  Good cheap place to get gas though.  South of Klamath Falls is this little road called HWY 140.  I had never been on it before and was not sure whether it was passable or what elevation the summit was at.  It was a dreamy, easy ride because on that weird little road I found a small town called Bly just loaded with the sorts of things I am looking for on this trip.

     This great little bldg was constructed in 1899.  I love that they repainted the 'Wild West Show' mural.
     And right around the corner was a second hand store that probably hasn't been opened in years.
 All this stuff was just sitting outside.  (Maybe it's worth more 'gone' than anything else).  There were several old glass fuses,  3 old clothing trunks and even an old bathtub rusted beyond repair.  Quaint but basically worthless except to summon up that nostalgic feeling some of us adore.
     Next place I stopped was on the outskirts of town.  Two abandoned buildings caught my eye, one right across the road from the other.  How could I not stop?  Yes I did see the 'no trespassing' signs but I figured if I am just taking pictures I am not hurting anything.  The first one was cute and small.  The huge old handmade yellowstone bricks and the signage caught my eye.  "South Fork Trading Post" the handpainted sign read...

     I looked around the back and found the door had already been opened by someone else.....and inside was an old piano.  Does this say Jeanette Wall's 'The Glass Castle' to anybody else?  If you haven't read that book it's a short, intense read featuring several old shacks and a scene with a piano that you will never forget.
   The place across the street was once a beautiful country style home with a huge inviting porch.
      It too had an obvious 'No Trespassing' sign.  (I take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints).  I peeked into the hole where the window had once been and found the remnants of a life once there.  Perhaps several lives now located on the other side of town or some new horizon several miles away.  The turquoise chair says 1970's but I have no idea whether this place has been squatted in after it was abandoned by it's owners.
     I took a little hike around the back and came upon this... (the next big windstorm is going to take this down.) 
     After traveling for a hundred or so miles I finally got to HWY 395 and a little town called Lakeview.  Must of been the same guy that owned this place because they too had several 'valuable' items just sitting out there on the dirt sidewalk.
     and around to the side more junk presumably for sale....

    I continued down HWY 395 till about 9 that night.  Tired, I found a Super 8 motel in Susanville.  It was Friday night and I forgot that high school kids in small towns often rent motel rooms to party in.  There was a group of them hanging about smoking cigarettes around the entrance to my room.  I did get some good sleep after the bozo next door turned his TV off.  But the wireless internet was so bad I couldn't download these pictures onto my blog.   But that did give me time to post some pictures on Facebook and mull over Day Two.   (to be continued) Yona c. Riel


  1. looks like you had a great day- love the pictures.

  2. Hahahaha! Will was born and bred in Susanville. Take pictures of the state prison before leaving town. His fondest childhood memories are of making turkey sandwiches, leaving the house before sunrise and hiking in the desert. Have a blast! How long did it take to travel from Eugene to Susanville?

  3. i was going to mention the prison... first time i got cell phone access in several hours.. course it was much better at the prison then in my hotel.... it was funny.. the town of two choises, prison or school..

  4. i the best internet access i got was passing by that prison... i called it the town of two choises, since there was a prison and a school and that was about it...

  5. I'm brushing my teeth while reading your post - it's great! I like armchair traveling with you.

  6. Yo, there are lots of very cool places out there along no. calif 395.Loved your finds. good for you to venture from the valley. CB

  7. Thinking of you as you parade along the two-lane blacktops. XO CB