Wednesday, January 21, 2009

September 14th, 2008 - Pendleton, OR

Pendleton, OR

As one drives to Pendleton, OR. you can't help wonder at the work it took for people to travel here and establish cities. The sheer distance between places has always been pretty awe inspiring to me, and between Pocatello and Pendleton, there's a lot of nothing punctuated by the rare scrub brush or farm. (Including a huge tree farm, that has always intrigued Lindsay and I, both what the trees are used for, and how hypnotic they are to drive past, all the same sized trees in perfect rows...) There's one section of the road, just before you reach the Indian reservation outside of Pendleton where the road circles up and down a mountain, and at the top, there's a little lookout station, that gives you a view of the valley below. I always get nostalgic there, wondering what it was like before "civilization" came to the west.

Pendleton is a very charming little western city. The downtown area in particular is quite nice, with gorgeous old houses and big brick buildings along the main street. One of the things we really like about Pendleton is the way they celebrate their history. Their underground tours, something I'll have to do a separate post on sometime is a singular pleasure, and something I wish Pocatello, with similar tunnels and history would have embraced.

As we arrived in Pendleton, we decided to cruise past it, and check out the Rodeo City Motel, one of the places for sale that we considered looking at.
The Rodeo City Motel

To put it mildly, The Rodeo City was a dump. Apart from it's name, which I found clever, there were no redeeming qualities about the place whatsoever. Broken down cars, beer bottles, and a clientele that quite frankly, were creepy! Our first sign that Mike was looking out for our best interests here in Pendleton.

A Bed & Breakfast/Catering service (whose name I've forgotten...)

After we fled in terror from the Rodeo City, we spent a very pleasant morning just driving casually around Pendleton.

One thing we love about Pendleton is the abundant old churches. While my wife and I aren't big church goers, we love old buildings, and between the houses by the river and the churches scattered across the area, we had plenty to enjoy.
We arrived after the last day of the Round-Up, and Pendleton was just starting to slowly empty out, and everywhere we looked there were signs of the population-tripling crowd they get everywhere. It was interesting to see that while some businesses obviously capitalized on the rodeo, some took that opportunity to flee the town, closing up shop and going fishing for the week rather than deal with the insanity.

Pendleton's Charming downtown.

Their faux wooden sidewalks

Around 1, we headed to Mike's house, and Bed & Breakfast, to meet him before visiting the locations he'd chosen. While we weren't overly optimistic about Pendleton, and our chances there, we were looking forward to looking at the Rugged Country, and chatting with Mike, who
seemed like a very friendly and enjoyable person.

If you look closely, you can see Mike's B&B just to the left of the pink house, another B&B in Pendleton.

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