The Western Landscape…and a PARADE!

When you get all the way to the west coast, you almost feel like you’ve gone a little bit back east, lots of trees, rivers, prettiness.  But you have to go through the REAL west to get to the west coast…and it is an elegant landscape in our state.  Friday, the start of a promised warm and sunny weekend, we met up with Doug and Marie in Government Camp on the slope of MT. Hood for a huckleberry milkshake, before heading on to Dufur on a very beautiful drive (take HWY. 35 north around Mt Hood, turn right on the Dufur road and head east) and ultimately to the Balch Hotel…a favorite escape spot for these two Portlanders.  The hotel is on the National Register of Historic Places, and is a lovely wedding venue…

leaving Giovt Camp

Balch  last

Balch grounds

We weren’t getting married, so we quickly stowed our stuff in the two very nice rooms…each with a view of Mt. Hood…and headed out to the old grange out of town a ways, to watch the sun go down…wow.

Grange 2

There is nobody out here…the quiet was amazing…no motor sounds of any sort. (R and I were reminded of the Charles Heaney “trail” trip we took in 2004…)

Grange 1



It’s wheat country…not many trees out here…a few remaining old buildings…the “ring of fire” mountains all around you…

grange and Mt Hood

it was a sensationally beautiful moment…

grange medium

Dark was coming on…early days of hunting season and a few carloads of hunters around so we headed back to the Balch…

Balch Lobby

where dinner had been laid for us four….in the breakfast room…

dinner for 4

We turned in early, as the next day was to be busy…and we woke up to this view when we raised the shades…

Mt Hood

At breakfast we learned that it was high school homecoming weekend in Dufur, and there was a parade!!  And furthermore, the grand marshals (they departed Dufur in 1968 for Lacey, Washington) were staying at the Balch…what fun!


Here they are posing nicely (actually Doug was taking a picture of them with their own camera and I jumped in…)

Grand marshals 1

Though we had an agenda for our day, we couldn’t miss the parade, so we walked downtown…passing this relic…

Fort Dufur

and took up our places across from Kramer’s…


parade 2parade 1

and here comes the parade!

parade 3




horse aftermath

And the grand marshals!

Grand marshals in car

Candy was thrown out to the kids…(and the sheriff stopped especially to give a personal candy bar to the tall blond young lady…)

candy delivery

and then the fun part, the kids…dressed as their most favorite hero…the kindergartners got to ride…


but everybody else was on foot (and ALL nicely avoided the “oops”…)

kids 1

kids 2


thank a farmer

very fun…and after the parade we nipped into Kramer’s to grab a lunch to go…more fun.


back bar

Table Kramer'svoguecountry chic

dead animals

We got our lunches and headed to the road to “Friend”…Friend a once thriving community with a rail spur, now a ghost town…with this beautiful and obviously still loved (and used) school…

off to Friend

Friend school

Friend School D:RFriend rfoundation

Friend back in the day...

Friend class

Friend school 2

R plays

room with a view

school room FriendFriend picnic 2009

and then on to White River Falls…which had a flour mill as early as 1850, according to park host Charlie…

White Rover Falls sign

White Rover Falls

and then to Shearar Falls on the Deschutes River on Warm Springs land….where the fishing platforms are still in use…

Deschutes at Sherars falls

fishing platform 2

fishing platform3

but by NOW, we needed a coffee so tookoff to The Dalles where there was coffee, seating, and reading material…

Petit provence


little free library

and then across the river…


and on to dinner at Henny’s (sun dog reflected in restaurant window…) before yet ANOTHER art opening…

sundog in Henny's window

and finally, blissfully, home.  Get out and see this beautiful state if you can…

dusk sunflowers













  1. Totally cool! I’ve always wanted to take an Eastern Oregon swing. The John Day area is high on my list. Les Zaitz , an Oregonian stringer, has a ranch over there with a rental. I want to swim in the John Day River, weird as that seems.

  2. I didn’t give the history, which is fascinating…4000 apple trees planted by developers and the land sold to people from the east who didn’t realize it was wheat country and that apples wouldn’t thrive…eventually (10 years later) all the trees were cut down and burned and it smelled like applewood smoke for days…and in so doing, the land developers missed the biggest wheat harvest yields
    ever in the area….EVER. The yields were huge. The locals knew apples wouldn’t thrive but the land boom brought them the railroad, jobs, etc. so they kept quiet. What a story. It still is a beautiful little town…wheat country (ahem)….

  3. Dufur was where my Dad lived while he courted my Mom, a Portland girl. He was the Methodist minister there for one year. I’ve got all her letters from that year. Jane and I stopped in Dufur a year ago, on the day of the 40 something Annual Threshing Bee! It was an amazingly lively place, similar to Homecoming I’m sure 🙂

  4. This is wonderful Bonnie! Felt like a trip back to childhood home. Having grown up in Canyon City and spent my youth traveling around the high, dry country of Eastern Oregon, camping rough, looking for rocks with my Mother and Dad, looking, looking at the landscape, birds and animals. A movingly beautiful entry. Thank you!

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