The Happyish Homestead

Sunday, July 20, 2014

How To Not Travel Through Eastern Oregon

I love my family.

I do.

Which is why, every single year, I go visit them.

And travel through the desolation know as eastern Oregon.

People who think the world is over populated have never driven those sorry stretches of state high ways.

I mean, it’s pretty barren.

Which is exactly why I was pluggin’ along {going roughly 30 miles over the speed limit} earlier in July.

And also why I got pulled over.

In Christmas Valley.

Actual name.

Actually as lame as the name implies.

I had just driven through the center of town.

And by center of town I mean I rolled through it’s one stop sign and glanced at the one store. 

And I picked up speed. 

And then quickly slowed down as I saw the Sheriff that had just passed me make a U-turn and flip on its lights.

Officer: Hello.

Me: Hi.

Officer:  Do you know how fast you were going?

Me: Yes, sir.  I was going 60.

Officer:  Did you know it was 35 mph?

Me:  Are you kidding me?  I thought it was 55 mph.  {I really, and truly, thought I had hit the sign that said 55.}

Officer:  Nope.  It doesn’t turn to 55 mph till that sign right back there.

Me.  I’m sorry, I had no idea.

Officer:  Where are you headed?

Me:  Idaho.

Officer:  What for?

Me:  To see my family for the 4th of July.

Officer:  I’m from Orofino.

Me:  Are you really?  That’s such a nice area.  {Never been there in my life.}

Officer:  And a guy I trained and is now my friend is working in Meridian.

Me:  That’s amazing.  I grew up in that area.

Officer takes my license and registration.

Officer:  Normally I would ticket anyone that was going 25 miles over the speed limit…..

Me:  I can understand that.

Officer:  Ten over the speed limit…?  Wouldn’t have even batted an eye.  Twenty-five over the speed limit…?

Me:  Totally different story.

Officer:  But I’m letting you off with a warning.

Me:  {Obnoxiously thankful}

Officer begins to walk away and comes back:  I’m also letting you off because you only have one more kid than me!

Thank you, Officer


And on the way home…

we got to see this beauty:


How you might ask?

Because our tire had shredded.

Forty miles on the east side of Christmas Valley.

And we weren’t breaking 50 mph.

Driving with a spare tire.

Which we had no idea we had in our car.

{P.S. it wasn’t in the trunk.  Discovered only after we had unloaded all of the luggage for seven people coming home from a week long trip to Idaho in 100 degree weather on a deserted highway.}

The trip home took two hours longer than normal.

I love you, family,

so much, that I’m letting you come visit me from now on….



  1. I've been through Christmas Valley and it doesn't remind me of any Christmas I've ever had (thank goodness!) I'm glad you got off with a warning...truly a blessing. I'm not so sure I would pick July (or August or even September) for a visit to Utah or Idaho...I'm beginning to see that the desert can be pretty in the Spring but, summer...not so much.

  2. I am sorry you had such a rough trip. I am even more sorry that we didn't get to see you guys. What are your plans for Thanksgiving?

  3. a bald eagle in the wild... totally worth changing tires for.

  4. I think we're totally worth else would you get such wonderful material for your blog? :)

  5. I think Emily is right on this one!! Hopefully next year I will get to see you.


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