Sunday, July 8, 2012

Days 41 to 43 -- Cornucopia and Portland, OR

Mom, Dad, Katlin, and Me on July 4 playing Pinochle and waiting for the fireworks
Katlin, Lisa, and Scout on the U-C mine tailings

Old mine cart at U-C Mine

July 5 we decided to go on a horse ride.  At first a few of Lisa's boys were going to go, but it ended up being just Lisa, Katlin, and me.  So all three sisters got to go on a ride together up to the Union-Companion Mine.  We rode up there and then got off our horses and went exploring.  We went over the side of the tailings (creating small rock slides as we went) and then went down by the ponds that were created by the water coming out of the mine.  We found all sorts of old metal and glass objects -- nails, spikes, a squashed mine car underneath the edge of the tailings pile, and even a metal gear which had to weigh 40 lbs.  Then we looked through the tailings pile to see if we could find any gold and Katlin and Lisa both found some.  We couldn't get into the mine itself because the entrance collapsed during the last major snowstorm a few years ago.  But, we could ride up to the old manager's house (what the mine workers referred to as the mansion).  Its foundation is still standing and you can see the chimneys which still reach 3 stories into the air.  We also looked at where the other old outbuildings used to be and found lots of historic debris (bedpans, springs, porcelain pieces, etc.).  Then Katlin took us down the mountain via another route which was in the trees and very pretty.

The next day Dad put us to work on the zip line.  He has been wanting to get the zip line up and running so that we can ride it before we leave.  There have been several major challenges though -- one of the most difficult to conquer has been trying to get it tight enough to not drag the person on the ground.  So, this time he was trying a location where it didn't matter if there was some slack -- over a large ravine.  Daniel, Katlin, Dad, and I worked for several hours to try to get this zip line to work.  We got the starting point finished (finally, after many attempts) and then tried to get it so the line would run to the end point.  Our problem was that the drop wasn't steep enough.  We tested the line using the fence post driver and heavy metal pipe and they would only go down about half way before they'd stop and we'd have to climb down the ravine to fetch it and bring it back.  Finally we though we had it about right for a person, so we sent Daniel down it.  Unfortunately he still didn't go far enough and I had to go pull him up.  The harness was also too tight on him and now he's slightly worried that we won't be able to have children (he said the ride down was "painful.").  So, I guess we need to put some more slack in it or tie it off on a lower tree.

Grandma Ream and Heidi
July 7 we headed to Portland to get Moritz.  We left Cornucopia after breakfast and gathered two loads of dirty laundry to do at my parents' house in Union and then drove to La Grande.  We stopped there to visit with my Grandma Ream.  When we stopped she had a project for me -- try to figure out where her camera was saving her pictures and where it was making new folders for those pictures.  I tried to figure it out, but I'm not sure I was successful.  We also got to see some of the old pictures from when my mom was a kid.  My Uncle Kenny had them stored in his attic and they were all on slides.  My grandfather had numbered and labeled every single slide in the box (all 480 of them), but they had gotten out of order.  So, David and I volunteered to help put them in order and then take them to Walmart to be put on a disc.  I was quite impressed that they would be able  put them on disc so quickly and that it would cost so little - around $15).  We ordered 6 discs so that all of the kids in the family could have one (Uncle Michael, Uncle Kenny, Aunt Diane, and my mom), she could keep one, and we could keep one.  There were pictures of when my mom was a kid, Yosemite (my grandma and grandpa climbing some of the exact trails we just climbed at Yosemite), and their big cross-country trip which is similar to ours.  The main differences is that they were much more careful in taking their pictures because film was much more expensive than digital.  I mean, I've taken nearly 7,000 pictures thus far on our trip.  Not all of them are great, but I can just hit the delete button if they don't turn out.  They didn't have that option back when my mom was little (or even when I was a kid)!  Daniel and Erin only know digital and have no concept of film cameras, much less slides and slide projectors.  My how the times have changed!

Rainbow colored soap at the car wash
Also when we were in  La Grande we got the car washed (it was filthy from the dirt roads in Cornucopia) and the oil changed (since we just passed the 7,000 mile mark).  They said everything else on the car looked fine, so I guess it is holding up on this trip!  After finishing up in La Grande and dropping off my Grandmother's slides to a Walmart person (who said they planned to pawn off the very tedious job of turning slides into digital photos to someone else), we drove over to Pendleton.  We stopped at the Pendleton Woolen Mill to look and see if there were any more wool socks that would fit Erin.  We found an outlet store in Seaside and had bought several pairs of socks for me, David, Daniel, and my mom, but Erin insisted that she'd never wear them because she didn't like long socks.  I still bought a pair for her and insisted that she take them to horse camp with her.  When I saw her at the 4th of July celebration I asked her if she had used the socks and she said that she had worn them several days and really liked them.  But, David and I came up dry -- no socks in her size.  After that detour we headed to Portland to meet up with my mom who had driven down earlier in the day to drop off horse camp girls.  By the time we made it down there she had finished up her Walmart run and was ready for dinner.  We went to Shari's because I know David loves their pies.  He got the last piece of blackberry lemon sour cream pie and was in 7th heaven!  It was a very good pie piece!  Mom and I shared a chocolate lava cake with ice cream which was also quite good.  Then we checked in to our seedy motel (a very cheap Travelodge) and went to bed.  Mom had to leave early in the morning to get two girls from an 8:15 flight and then leave Portland by 9:30.  We were going to be a bit later because Mortiz's flight wasn't scheduled until 11:25 am and he would have to go through customs which would taken even longer.

Also, we heard from the girls that were leaving horse camp today that they really liked Erin and that she had made several friends who planned to keep in touch with her.  So, it seems like she is having a really good time!

Lisa on Rex

Old building at Union-Companion Mine

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