- Fizzy Thoughts: Bee Eff Eeeeeeeeeee

Bee Eff Eeeeeeeeeee

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I did a lot of different things while I was off gallivanting around Portland and northern Oregon. I had dinner with my college roommate, who I don’t see often enough. I watched dragon boat races on the Willamette River. I walked all over downtown, and Old Town (not that there’s much there, except for lots of empty old buildings and a distressing number of homeless people…I say distressing because this seems like an awfully damp place to be homeless) and Chinatown (ditto on the empty buildings) and the Pearl District (hello, Powell’s). I spent a day looking at gardens, which is normally something I’d never do. But the Chinese Cultural Gardens were gorgeous, and the Rose Gardens were full of roses, and the Japanese Gardens were beautiful (although not very tranquil thanks to the kids running around screaming). I drove down to Salem for a quick peek at the Capitol and dinner with bethany (but not Francesca). I had dim sum with Ali and her two wonderful boys. I read (The God of War, The Hunger Games, A Widow’s Season, The Only True Genius in the Family and The Last Beach Bungalow). I bought so many books I had to buy a duffel bag to get them home (and yes, I promise a post on the books later). I even met Herman.

I also drove to Dufur (say Doo-fer, not Duff-er). I believe I’ve mentioned before that I lived in the middle of nowhere when I was a small drink. The middle of nowhere being outside the teensy town of Dufur, which is just south of The Dalles (side note: the “The” is part of the name. If you think that sounds awkward, get this…the west part of town is West The Dalles.).

Anyways, back to my story. On Saturday I decided to drive along the Columbia Gorge. Why? Because it’s absolutely beautiful and Multnomah Falls was calling my name. Can you see why?

I had decided that I would drive to Hood River and back. But when I got to Hood River it was still early afternoon and Dufur was only another 30-40 minutes east and south. So off I went.

At this point it would be really helpful if you cued the banjo music in your head. You know, to provide kind of a Deliverance soundtrack as you picture me driving through Dufur and out into the boonies in search of where we used to live, in the area known as Friend. After driving miles down a gravel road, past quite a few No Trespassing signs (on driveways, not the road...I'm not that stupid) and old, rusted farm equipment, up a very steep and winding one lane road, across more dusty gravel roads with not a house in sight, I finally came to this:

The street I grew up on. I kid you not. This is where I lived, although the little blue farmhouse has been replaced with a modular home. And this is the view in the other direction:

Actually, that’s the view in all directions. And this is the old town of Friend:

Not much has changed. Friend was dead before we lived there.

After that I drove back to Dufur (on a paved road this time, although there were still few signs of life) and then out to Boyd, on the east side of town. There was more driving through hills and up and down dusty roads. To give you some idea of what’s happening in and around Boyd…

I never did find the old farm that we lived on out here. I also didn’t go in search of the old barn we lived in back by Friend…the barn that had no indoor toilet, but did have an outhouse. Some things just don’t need to be revisited.

16 comment(s):

Literate Housewife said...

You have now redefined BFE for me. Pretty sad when Friend is friendless, wouldn't you say? It could be another pet project for when we're independently wealthy.

heidenkind said...

We traveled through Columbia Gorge and into Portland one year on vacation. It is really gorgeous! I think we missed Friend, though....

bkclubcare said...

I do like but am saddened by the abandoned buildings. One of these looks like it would be a cool house, if...
I've been repeating out loud "Dead End Friend on Friend Store Road." It has a nice cadence.

bermudaonion said...

Wow, Friend is so desolate, but has beautiful views. I wouldn't want to live out in the middle of nowhere like that.

Ti said...

I often dream about living out in the middle of nowhere. There is something very appealing about it. The solitude, perhaps?

I love the pics of the dilapidated buildings. The signs of a past life. Always an interesting subject.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I forgot about the Chinese Garden! (even though I took 3,000 pictures at least in there!) What a great city! And great pictures from Friend! I guess we probably don't need to schedule a stop there now on our next trip to Portland! :--)

SuziQoregon said...

But did you stop and have lunch at The Dufur Tavern? When my parents lived in The Dalles we used to go out there all the time. And yes, I have attended The Dufur Threshing Bee.


Beth F said...

Super photos. Thanks for the recap. I miss OR. I lived in Eugene for 2+ years. I loved driving out and about and around the Pac NW.

softdrink said...

heidenkind - You missed Friend?!? I don't see how. ;-)

Care - Dead End Friend would make a great book title. Or country western song.

Kathy - I actually miss it, although yeah, I don't think I could live out there if I had to drive someplace else to work.

Ti - I drove past many more abandoned buildings...I wish I would have taken pictures of them all.

rhapsody - I have tons of pictures from the Chinese Gardens too! It was so peaceful.

SuziQ - woo-hoo!! Someone else who knows about the Threshing Bee! My brother actually won the contest for the poster/t-shirt design one year when we were kids. I bought him a current t-shirt so he can relive his glory days. :-D I skipped the Tavern though.

Beth - You always surprise me with where you've lived.

Staci said...

The Falls are beautiful and I can see why you like it so much. the rest of your pictures are awesome. I enjoy taking photos of old buildings.

Ali said...

I love your pictures of the buildings around Friend.

Thanks for having Dim Sum with us! My boys wanted the leftovers for dinner that night, so I made a pot of rice and we were good to go. My husband and I decided afterward that a lot of the food wasn't as good as other Dim Sum we've had in the past, though.

Ali said...

P.S. I had to look up BFE on urbandictionary.com, I've never heard that expression before! I feel so sheltered. LOL

Melissa said...

Sounds like you had a lovely time. I adore Multnomah Falls, too.

Joanne said...

Oh my god those old building are gorgeous! Seriously I love finding old abandoned barns and buildings. The best thing is when you see how they were built and with what materials - and they seem to stand up to time better than how new ones do!

I think I would love living in a place like where you grew up. The whole middle of nowhere thing works for me, as long as I've got a vehicle.

Love the Deliverance reference! On road trips, when we pass through the boonies me and the boys make up stories about crazy people (mainly named Bubba or Clem) who will torture us, eat us for supper and of course there will be squeeling in there somewhere too. Hubs says we're all twisted :P

Heather J. said...

woah ... now THAT is the middle of nowhere ... how did you ever get away?! ~LOL~

chartroose said...

I went to college with some brothers from La Pine. They were the most bassackwards people I ever had the displeasure of meeting.

(Cue Dueling Banjos)

Oregon IS beautiful, though.

In a real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot or will not read. It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish. ~S.I. Hayakawa

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
~St. Augustine

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.
~Mark Twain

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