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Home again, Home again, jiggety-jig

May 25, 2008

We went on our excellent adventure yesterday.  Even though we have been cutting back on grain eating animals, we still haven’t weaned ourselves off of pork.  Normally, we bought 7 -10 weaners and would use them to work our compost piles, or to turn the deep bedding in our feeding sheds.  Re-thinking this portion of our business/life, we decided we could just stack the deep bedding and wait, at no cost to ourselves.  So we cut off pork orders early, and just sold 2 pigs in addition to the one we wanted to raise ourselves.  The next piece of the puzzle to solve, was should we drive 40 miles one way to our usual pig farmer?  Or find someone new, closer.  Weaner pigs can be hard to come by in the spring at any price.  We did find a farm closer and made a deal  to pick up the pigs two weeks after weaning.  We will miss our other pig farmer, he was a throwback too, he lives just west of Portland and I don’t think he has been to the city 10 times in his life.  He raises all his grain for his pigs, and he is not wanting for orders. 

We took the scenic route heading through the woods on the backroads, making our way towards Mt. Hood.  The new (to us) pig farm has been in the same family for over 100 years also.  We were looking forward to the short trip.  The pigs were a little higher in price, but we saved the difference in gas and time spent.

On the way, we stopped at Roslyn Lake, a man-made 160 acre lake, that has been drained recently.

This lake was fed by this 100 year old wooden flume.


This flume is 3 miles long and fed the lake which then fed a hydroelectric powerhouse.  This has all been de-commissioned after nearly 100 years, because it is too expensive to maintain.  The pig farmer told us that, Portland General Electric can make more money generating power by burning coal.  That’s the real story, but the story behind all this and removal the the dams that was spoon-fed to the public is that this will make it easier for the salmon and steelhead to navigate these rivers.  Here in our neck of the woods, hydro makes sense, coal does not.  But, quite a few people want to remove all the dams on the Pacific Northwest Rivers.  I can almost bet that the most vocal people who want to remove the dams, use more electricity than I do, and would holler the most if it wasn’t so readily available.  It was sad today to drive by these relics, but we wanted our daughter to see these sights before they are gone.

Bull Run Powerhouse.

Window at Bull Run Powerhouse.

Bull Run River adjacent to the power house.

Bull Run River from the bridge.

Spanish moss, or lace lichen at the Bull Run River.

Licorice fern at the powerhouse.

These ducks know that this area is safe now.

We were down here with the ducks – the powerhouse is out of commission now.
But, the warning sign still remains.

Echinacea field – Oregon’s Wild Harvest.  This herb farm is on the way to the pig farm.

Finally, we got up onto higher ground near the pig farm.

DH preparing to terrorize piglets.

The three little pigs all strapped in. 


We didn’t get as many pictures of Rainy Mountain Farm as I would have like, due to low battery issues… , I absolutely fell in love with their guard dog, she was beautiful and stuck to me like glue until another customer arrived to look at the Boer goats.  When they went out in the field, she went too, to make sure everything was OK. 

We headed home and my daughter was getting silly, because we were going to pass the farm where her “true love”  lives.  We didn’t see any sign of life on the first pass by, but she was secretly hoping for a glimpse on the way home.  As we crossed the county line, back into our county, we passed a cop sitting in a driveway.  We remarked that we hoped he would catch all the speeding motorcycles that road race in our area.  Ha Ha!  As we were nearing “true love’s” tribal area, (his whole extended family lives on the farm) I just happened to look in the rearview mirror.  “Oh, look honey, the cop is behind us with his lights on – I better pull over and let him pass.”  I pulled over.  He did too.  Uh oh, all the images of teenage-hood pass through your mind, open container, speeding, etc., etc.  In a conversation before we had left, I was wondering out loud where my drivers license was.  Usually, when we go somewhere, I drive, but I give DH my license so I don’t have to carry my wallet.  I had realized earlier in the week on my town trip that I didn’t have it.  So of course, the first thing the sherriff wants, is your license.  The only occupants of the pickup wearing seatbelts were me, and pigs in the back.  In a farm pickup, you don’t go reaching around between the seats looking for missing seat belts.  You never know what you are going to come up with.  I should probably describe Coral, my pickup – we are only his second owner, but he spent his early years sitting in a backyard, with his box full of acidic leaves.  Subsequently, his box is shot and his tailgate is missing now.  Top that off, my husband rear-ended a truck on the freeway while pulling a load of market steers.  Have you ever noticed that your trailer brakes choose to go out, on 100* days, while you are in a freeway construction zone, and some idiot stops dead in front of you?  So, Coral who is 33 and only has 65,000 original miles, looks like a piece of crap!  But, I love him anyway.  He is the replacement for Brown, who my husband fell a tree on while “showing” two young fellas how to fall timber!  (Believe me, that is a post in itself) 
Coral’s feather holder, speaker, no wonder he doesn’t want to leave the farm!

Anyway, Mr. American Gladiator walked up to the truck and told us that the reason he was stopping us was because our license plate was too worn out to read.  Yeah, well kinda – we had to agree.  He then asked for my license, “I don’t have it with me, but here is my number.”  He was sizing us up, pigs in a pet carrier, grunting their displeasure, hawk and raven feathers sticking out of the dashboard, Coral looking like the Wreck of the Hesperus, and of course, us… .

The funniest part was, that we were in front of “true love’s” aunts house, and she was outside peering skeptically at the whole show.  I remember being mortally embarrassed at the age of 14, especially anytime a crush was involved.  So what’s a kid to do?  Just die, slouch down in the seat, or just start praying you can come back in your next life with different, and cool parents.

To make matters worse, Mr. AG didn’t know where he was, because he had crossed the county line, so I had to help him, so he could tell the dispatcher, in case he needed backup!  Then he had to ask for insurance papers.  Well, I had been dreading that, if you think Coral looks bad, his hygiene and paperwork filing system is terrible.  DH fumbled with the glove box latch.  Usually, it flies open when you go around a sharp corner and everything spews out, only to be stuffed back in.  A farm pickup’s glove box is like a magicians hat, you never know what will come out, ear tags, elastrators, burnt out tail light bulbs,  leg and jaw bones of animals, and insurance papers for the previous 15 years, just not the current one.

After much checking, and us assuring him we needed to drive this grunge bucket (sorry Coral, I still love you) to haul bacon in, he let us go, and told us he wished he could live in the country just so he could have a beat up rig too!  Thank you Mr. American Gladiator!

It was all serendipity, though because as soon as we pulled away, “true love” was backing his pickup out of his driveway.  So of course, we had to stop in the middle of the road and chat, until a car came by, wanting through.  There was a smiling, silent teenager sitting next to me.

DH wondered out loud later, “Why didn’t she talk to him?”  Silly him, how soon we forget that feeling of a crush – you want to see them, but words just won’t come out.

We had a very eventful and enjoyable day!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 25, 2008 4:09 pm

    So nice to let us go on your trip with you. Coral should really meet our Red:)

  2. May 26, 2008 3:46 am

    Beautiful country that you live in. I especially love the photos of the flume and the moss. My DH built something similar in VT and we spent many wonderful hours exploring there when we were dating 🙂
    Sounds like you really had a great trip and met a “smart” man in uniform 🙂 When we first moved to Maine we used to take sunday drives just to explore. We haven’t in quite some time – we were just talking about how much we miss them. Doesn’t seem to be enough time and with gas at $3.90 you try to justyify going anywhere 😦

    Enjoy your piggies – will be watching for photos.

    Have a great Memorial Day….


  3. May 26, 2008 9:18 am

    What a great post! So glad AG let you go. Isn’t it awful when you don’t have all the stuff. When I got stopped for my deer/headlight issue we couldn’t find the registration. Even though we were right at the bottom of the driveway the trooper made us wait half an hour while he called in (apparently with tin cans and string). Also love the post on making the calendula salve. You never fail to amaze me!

  4. matronofhusbandry permalink*
    May 26, 2008 8:48 pm

    Linda, you can tell we don’t get out much! Coral is pretty bashful – but he and Red would have alot to talk about. We have a Red, Green, White and Sled. Just like the dogs, they have two names also. I think I’ve said too much… .

    Debi, what a small world about the flumes. We too did a fair amount of exporing this and a nearby river – much fun picking your way upriver on huge moss covered boulders.
    The gas is $4.00+ here, so no unnecessary trips like we used to!
    The pigs are dolls, and very friendly. Hopefully, pics soon.

    Threecollie, I think after all was said and done, AG was a little embarrassed. I know he was just doing his job, I was polite and we went on our merry way. Why would they detain you on the deer incident? It could not be helped.
    Thanks for the glowing compliment, but you guys amaze me!

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