La Grande, Oregon

Yellow Headed Blackbird

La Grande, Oregon was a place on the map where we agreed to meet up with our friends Paul & Judy.  They were driving up from the Bay Area to spend about 5 weeks traveling with us.  Our plan had been to go to Glacier National Park, but the fires and smoke in that area nixed that for this trip and we ended up going to Idaho and Wyoming.  The countryside outside of La Grande turned out to be quite beautiful.  We spent August 27-29 in La Grande.

The skies over this part of eastern Oregon were a bit smoky part of the time.  This actually made for some beautiful pictures.




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This day the wind had cleared the air

This campground had a resident osprey couple.  They had a platform set up to attract a nesting couple.


Its interesting to see all the stuff they collect to make their nest


Dinner is served!


So easy to get amazing close-ups

This is a sunflower farm close by.



A persistent little wild flower that escaped the blades of the lawn mower on the campground lawn.


I was again visited by a hummingbird moth.  They seem to be abundant in the Pacific Northwest and are partial to my verbena and petunias I move from place to place.


White-lined Sphinx Hummingbird Mo
Note the movement in his wings and how he puts his tongue in the flower
He curls his tongue when in flight

The old Hot Lake Hotel is next to the campground.  It now is a bed and breakfast and museum.  It was once a beautiful hotel where people came for rest and relaxation and to soak in the hot spring waters.  After that it became a hospital for TB patients.  The current owners have attempted to bring it back to its former splendor but one gets the feeling that its never going to return to its Glory Days.



Water lilies grow in the small lake (a pond really) where the hot spring water comes out of the ground.



Ducks swim in Hot Lake, but avoid the hottest areas
Lobby of the Bed & Breakfast and museum
A photo of the hotel in its prime
Photo of an original mud room where people came to “take the waters.”
A fire partially destroyed the building in the 1930’s
A ward for TB patients
An old X-Ray machine. If the TB didn’t kill them, the radiation probably did later on.
Present owner, David Manuel, working on a prototype for his latest bronze statue. A friendly, warm man who welcomed us to watch him work.
Close up of piece he is working on presently
One of David Manuel’s sculptures in his museum

Leaving here we headed to Idaho to see Craters of the Moon National Monument.  While there we visited Silver City, an old mining town way back in the mountains, we toured the place where atomic energy was first used to make electricity, and took a day long jeep trip up a mountain where copper was mined.  Those will be the next journal pages I do.  Trying to catch up after a wonderful month visiting with our dear friends Paul & Judy.