Friday, February 13, 2009

September 14th, 2008 - Pendleton, OR - Part V

Lindsay and I have always had a hard time deciding on where to eat so we asked Mike where a good, non-chain place was and he recommended the Casino. I'd eaten at a few casinos before and was pretty impressed with their food, but Lindsay was kind of leery. Eventually, we decided to head there and took off East. Now, as we travel, my wife and I are notorious for getting lost. It's not that we're adverse to asking directions so much as we're really bad at following them and in a way, we kind of enjoy the adventure of it. One time we got lost for around 5 hours, ended up in a different state than we had been in previously and scared our family to death, but the gravel road I took eventually led us back to civilization. This trip was no exception and I managed to blow clean past the Casino and ended up heading back towards Idaho, weaving up a gorgeous mountainside with absolutely no way of getting to the lanes heading the other direction.

However, at the top, we did stop at a viewpoint and I snapped off a few photos in the dying light.
Farmland and desert, not something that springs to mind when people mention Oregon

Somewhere out there is Pendleton, OR....

Or maybe its out this direction....

At any rate I eventually found a way back to the interstate heading West back into Pendleton, upon which we blew clean past the Casino again, around Pendleton and ended up on the opposite end of town. We stopped in for a soda at a gas station and noticed a pizza joint across the street, so we headed there. We ordered a Greek pizza of some sort with grilled feta and chicken and some breadsticks, and decided to head back to the Rugged Country, and book a room. We paid full price and got a single in the basement and settled in to eat some pizza, which turned out to be quite excellent, and discuss our thoughts.

After a lot of talking, we decided that the RCL would not work for us. Not only was it much larger than we wanted, but there wasn't really any easy way to live there, especially with our dogs. We would have needed to commandeer a couple of rooms above the office, and to get the dogs to the backyard would have been an ordeal. We were still very confident that if we took over and converted a few of the rooms to more romantic, specialized rooms, we could attract the bored, stranded locals, and really increase our income, but we were pretty sure that it would be a LOT of work, and that we wouldn't enjoy living there much. However, it was a step that would make us enough money to move on to our dream place, so we didn't discount it completely, We decided to wait and talk to Kris at the bank the next day. The bed was pretty comfy, though I can't say I
"Dreamed Soft" like their logo wanted me to. Their shower was hot too, and while the shower head wasn't at full height, it didn't hit me in the belly button like a lot of other hotels either.

All in all, a pretty full and busy day. We really enjoyed meeting and spending it with Mike, and while we weren't utterly enchanted with Pendleton, we decided we could learn to enjoy it's unique mix of small town & wild west craziness. The Rugged Country Lodge was a great motel, well run, clean, unique in the city, and quite frankly, too good for us as a first attempt. That knowledge would make us less nervous the next morning, as we met the bank people......

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