Sun, Sep 30, 2007
We were going to leave on Monday, but we got to looking at how far we have to drive, and
decided that maybe we would get a little jump on the driving and leave Sunday afternoon.
Which, of course, is pretty much the rainiest day in the history of the entire world.
It's pouring down rain, the creek is rising, and the guy across the way just stopped by
to ask if he could borrow two ants for his "project." Ugh.
But, we finally get the car packed (although everything's a bit damp) and we pull out
of our driveway eating cottage cheese and bananas (we had to clean out the frig and we
couldn't stand to just throw this stuff away).
On the road! The very wet road.
Ah! We're in Lebanon! Break out the flack jackets!
Oh, wait. This is the Lebanon that's in Oregon. Apparently, Oregon ran out of cities to
name its cities after (Dallas, Salem, Portland—to name but a view) and decided to name
a few cities after other countries.
Ironically, the motto of Lebanon, Oregon is "The City That Friendliness Built."
While in Lebanon, Laura discovers the perfect use for Wal-Mart: a great place to pee!
Because we teach a class on starting your own business, we're not fans of Wal-Mart (whom
we tend to view as spawn of the devil, destroying the livelihood of small-business people).
So we feel no guilt whatsoever at walking in, using the facilities (yes, we pee where
we're supposed to pee, not in the cash registers), and then walking out without buying
We recommend it to everyone! Pee in Wal-Mart!
As we wind our way through the rain and up through various passes, we notice we're
on a Scenic Highway (if we could see anything but rain on the windshield). In fact, we're
on the (no kidding) "Over the Rivers and Through The Woods Scenic Byway." Now we know
where to go come Thanksgiving.
We've spent the last fifty or so miles driving off-and-on
through the remains of a forest fire. It looks to be a couple of years old, but there's
still lots of crispy trees (and "Interpretive Kiosks") along the way.
Right now, it's hard to imagine anything burning.
We're at our first destination! The Fun Farm, or as the sign outside has it:
Farm Fun The.
This is, um... Well, it's actually kind of hard to sum up The Fun Farm in a sentence. It's
sort of an antique store plus junk shop plus art installation. Here's a few of the things
we saw (most of it outdoors):
A giant heart-shaped pool (visible
Google Satellite Maps). There's a couple of giant arrows sticking out of the heart.
And on the last Saturday in June, there're Free Weddings! They'll provide the minister
and you can get hitched (or renew your vows). And there's a potluck wedding reception
A vast carpeted outdoor art raw material market. There's neatly sorted rocks, old modems,
kitchen sinks, driftwood—anything you might want to create your very own art installation
(and all for sale!). We were getting inspired just looking at it!
Laura (left) and Robert (right) explore the raw material market
Fortunately, the rain held off for the first time all day (see—God likes this stuff,
too!), so we were able to savor the works.
Gene, the fellow that runs the place, does have one thing he'd like to make very
clear: there are no longer ANY fainting goats. They used to have a bunch of them, but
they've placed them all in good homes (apparently, whenever the goats get excited, they
have a sort of epileptic fit and faint). There's still lots of goats, but none of them
faint (although they do seem to pee a lot and not in Wal-Mart).
Also, the Officially Correct Name of the place is "The Fun Farm" not "Funny" (somebody
else owns that name) and not "Buffet Flats."
And we found out that the inside of a bowling ball is pressed wood. Yup, sawdust and glue
formed into a ball and then covered with an inch or so of resin. And Gene says that the
price of used bowling balls is beginning to climb as more people use them to decorate
(since he's got several hundred of them on the property, he's up on the market value of
His advice: "Invest in bowling balls."
We buy a packet of bowling ball seeds ("Plant in an alley," Gene suggests) and head for
our next stop in Burns, Oregon.
The Fun Farm
64990 Deschutes Market Rd (just off Highway 97)
Brothers Rest Area
Okay, you know how sometimes we'll say "Boy, there's nothing here!"?
Well, we haven't seen nothing, yet. THIS is nothing. Since we left Bend, we have seen
a whole heaping mess of nothing. Desert with scrub brush and sometimes pine trees. More
desert. And then some desert.
Once we saw an old worn out General Store, but it had been closed for many years. Not
a 7-11, not a gas station, not nothing. Nothing, nothing, nothing.
And, according to our mapping software, it'll continue like this until we get to Burns.
Not a good place to run out of gas.
Laura likes that this particular rest area has a "Horse Exercise Area."
We saw a lot of this for a long time
Whew! We finally reached something! After the last two hours, Burns strikes us as some
kind of massive metropolis, but really, it's a smallish town ("Look! My God! There's a
BILLBOARD!" hollers Robert).
Burns is the home to the only Indian Casino in Oregon that loses money. So we thought
we'd stay there, and help them out.
We found out why they lose money. It took us about 10 minutes to find it. There's a huge
sign for the casino on the road, but no actual casino near the sign. You have to follow
a series of tiny sandwich board signs (not easy in the dark) through some back roads until
you reach the casino. Which is in a temporary-looking building. And turns out not to have
So...we head back to town and check into some kind of motel that has an Internet connection.
Tomorrow: Idaho and beyond!
Robert & Laura
Square State Tour