Monday, May 18, 2009

The Big Shop

Have you ever heard or read how the pioneers in the olden days would- twice a year or so- hitch up the horses to the wagon and make a trip to the nearest town to stock up on supplies? It was something that took planning and preparation and sometimes days of travel. They'd get their flour, salt, sugar and beans as well as their nails, axes, leather and cloth.

I live at the end of the Oregon Trail in the Cascade mountain range.
And around these parts we still make infrequent trips into town- or actually the big city- to stock up on supplies.

Whenever there is occasion to drive to Portland, I immediately start making lists of the necessities that can be brought back to our little country home from all those fancy city stores that we don't have out here in our mountain hamlet.

The trip on a sunny day is nothing to complain about. I drive along the Columbia River Gorge between towering basalt cliffs studded with fir trees divided by splashing waterfalls.

The occasion for this most recent excursion was to take one of my sons to the dentist so that he could have a hideous and bloody assault made to his jaw bone.

Well, that's what it seemed like anyway.

So once the poor guy was snuggled into the chair in the chamber of horrors, where there were sharp and poky instruments ready for duty, I proceeded on my merry way....

...gleefully dropping wads of money at warehouse establishments that are most appreciated by families with hordes of hungry children.

Here's a tribute to those pioneers of olden times- a mill where I was able to buy bags of freshly ground flour, salt and molasses - and a strawberry smoothy.

It's a good thing I got lots of room in my covered wagon.

After the mill was the bread store. I know the pioneer women didn't go to a bread store but...

...they would have if they could get bread like this for $2 a loaf!

I guess I should say that this stuff wasn't all just for me and my horde of hungry children.
Like a good neighbor should, I was getting a few things for some of my mountain town friends who also needed some provisions.

About four hours later, long after I ran out of money, I picked up my son at the dental office.

He was a little grumpy.

But since all he could do was grunt and drool, it was a fairly quiet trip home.

I was immensely glad to get out of the city with it's four o'clock on Friday, headlight to taillight, get-me-home congestion.

Back along the route that Lewis and Clark took on the Columbia River.

And aside from the drooling and spitting of blood, the trip home was pleasant and uneventful.

Yeah, I knew you would like this one.
This is definitely NOT a strawberry smoothy.


  1. Ok I know where the Red Mill store is, where is that bread store at?

  2. Directly across the street, my dear!

  3. Yeah, I was gonna say that the strawberry smoothie sure didn't look very appetizing...

    And that's a hurkin' lot of flour you bought! Opening a bakery?


    They're not only going to have to put a ban on people driving with a cell phone stuck to their heads, but they're gonna have to ban those kooks who take pictures at 75 miles and hour as well...

  4. Hey wait- what about the kooks that are taking photos while sopping blood outta their kids mouths at 75mph?

  5. I had to. Neal would complain and dribble blood if I pulled over! And anyway, it was only 72.


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