Thanksgiving has just been celebrated and I know that the main topic of conversation at everyone’s family table this year must surely have centered around the silence that has been the Little Cunning Plan blog lately. Fear not, thankful readers. We have not yet drowned or gone insane, although there are days when we believe the end times must surely be nigh. High winds and heavy, pelting, disgusting never-ending rain are part and parcel of November in the not-so-pretty-anymore-is-it? Pacific Northwest. Bring out the dawn simulators, treatment lights, and 5-HTP. Winter is descending. In a previous life I must have been a bear who killed some innocent tourist as it is my karma to be born human and NOT be allowed to hibernate during this most apocalyptic time.
But, nasty weather and fallen limbs aside, we’ve had some actual activity here that might be of interest. There was a trip down to Boardman, Oregon, on the Columbia River. Would I like to travel to the eastern side of the mountains, where there is no rain? Why, yes, thanks! I would! My sister and her family are moving there for 18 months so we took the long drive down to check it out. It didn’t take long to see the town, since it’s one of those towns where if you blink you’ve missed it.
However, they have a lovely marina park and hotel right on the river, complete with a heated outdoor pool and a really great outdoor hot tub. Just what the doctor ordered for this bone cold body. MMMM! The marina is worthy of note due to the price of the slips: $385 for a 35 foot boat. That’s per YEAR! That’s right. $385 per year. It’s killing me. Except that it’s too far from the salt water for me, and there is a waiting list. Still.,..
I liked the River Lodge and Grill in Boardman not only for its terrific pool and hot tub. The managers there must be quite nice people because they personally take care of a colony of feral cats on the property. Upon arrival, guests are greeted by Buddy, a friendly black cat who showed up at the property some years ago.
About 6 other cats live in and around the work shed on the property. They are all feral, and some have been there longer than the 7 years these managers have been in residence. There were about 14 cats when they took over the property. They systematically live-trapped each one and had it spayed or neutered at their own expense. Over the years they have been able to find homes for many of them. They installed a cat door leading into the shed, and also a separate structure for the cats to get out of the weather. These cats are well cared for, even though they remain feral and will not approach people.
Next time I am in Boardman, I will stay at the River Lodge and Grill again. The rooms are nice, the managers are cat lovers, and the hot tub calls my name, even from afar.
On the way home we crossed the river to the Washington side, traveling through the Columbia River Gorge, one of the most scenic areas in America. We stumbled upon this place of worship high on a rock overlooking a winery and the river. I stopped to invoke the will of the sun god. It didn’t work.
Actually this is a complete replica of Stone Henge, built as a monument to fallen soldiers in WWI. Apparently it’s quite popular, but I had never heard of it.
Another exciting sighting: Big Horn Sheep. You have to look carefully as their camo is better than anything a hunter can wear. Only their white rumps give them away. We saw a herd of about 30 of these. It was my first time seeing them.
Stay tuned as there will be other news forthcoming, including chickens. Yep, chickens. That’s what’s known as a ‘teaser’, folks.