We enjoyed breakfast this morning with Gina and Stan before Nate got on the road–a late start for him around 8:30 a.m.!
Michael packed up while intermittently chatting with Gina about cats, dogs, food, observations from the road, and more…resulting in a much much later start for him! (Although he didn’t mind in the least, enjoying the conversation more.)
We’ll be crossing into Oregon, our last state, today!
Look for updates later…
Update (Mid-ride): Michael stopped to take a picture of this corn that is 10-12 feet tall. (Unfortunately the overcast skies and diffused frontlighting washed out the photo.)
Meanwhile, Nate secured a spot to camp in a city park in Vale, by stopping at the sheriff’s office. We’ll be able to use the showers at the city pool nearby to clean-up, as well.
Update (Day’s end): Today’s ride was an easy roll through Idaho’s farmlands–featuring corn, onions, something minty, and other field crops.
Leaving Caldwell, Nate crossed paths with Kathy from The Sweet Spot, who happened to be heading into work. Just a few miles later, her father, Bob intersected Nate; He had seen the bakery’s Facebook post and recognized Nate on the road!
Farther up the road, though, Nate got scolded for nearly running over a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Well, he actually wasn’t in any way endangering her, and in fact she wasn’t harmed in any way, but she read him the statutes, chapter and verse. Safety first, Nate, safety first.
The staff at the Malheur County Sheriff’s office in Vale is awesome. Nate stopped by to get permission to camp in the city park a block over from the department. They ok’d camping, and gave him a bag lunch to go. Cool enough. They asked for Michael to also stop in when he arrived. When he checked in, they gave him bag dinners for him and Nate, as well!
So, we’re camping in the city park, and took showers at the city pool immediately next to the park. It’s a great setup.
Along the historic Oregon Trail, Vale is a busy western town–with people passing through east and west–but its economy has been hit hard. Still, at some point, the Vale Mural Society commissioned various artists to paint a couple dozen murals on buildings around town. The paintings depict pioneer life, when Vale was being settled. Although the paint is fading, it’s nice see the appreciation and preservation of the area’s history through their investment in public art.
Another cool thing in Vale, but curious: The park in which we’re staying has an original USAF F-86 (Sabre) jet–not a shell or replica. Its tail indicates Idaho National Guard, so they presumably donated it to Vale, but why? Also, while it’s visible to anyone who visits the park, it’s positioned behind the swimming pool building, with nose facing the concrete wall, boxed in by a chain-link fence. It serves as a backdrop to a small skate park. In other words, it is not fittingly displayed.
We went up to the main street in town for a beer. Afterwards, Michael is going to get dessert at Starlite Cafe, which Stan recommended for their pies. (Update: The strawberry-rhubarb was excellent!)