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Let’er Buck!

Pendleton, Oregon: Yes, we are still in Pendleton. Too hot to move. Nearly hotter than Ghana and we all know - that's hot. Not to mention, we only have 30 amp service and even using one air conditioner occasionally pops the breaker. Fun times!

We were up at an early hour, but it was still too hot for our runs. The heat didn't stop us from running, but it did stop us from being very productive the rest of the day. We revisited the Tamastslikt Cultural Institute on-site here at Wildhorse Resort & Casino & RV Park. Pronounced Tah-musk-tah-lick, the museum is having a special exhibit honoring the 100th anniversary of the Pendleton Round-Up, one of the largest rodeos in the world and one of Oregon's most famous events. The slogan of the Pendleton Round-Up is Let'er Buck and this phrase is all over town - on tee-shirts, posters, Pendleton blankets and souvenirs of all sort.

We visited the Tamastslikt museum just after it opened several years ago and were a bit disappointed as they had so much on display, but there was little signage - looking at an old photo of a group of Indians with US soldiers, but no "caption" to tell about the event or the participants. What? I am happy to report the Pendleton Round-Up 100th Anniversary display is heavily captioned! Fascinating rodeo and interesting history. (Sorry, no photos allowed inside.)

After naps (seriously), we drove into Pendleton to visit the Pendleton Woolen Mills - home of the famous Pendleton Blankets. The mill offers guided tours through the blanket-weaving process and has a great shop on-site where you can purchase the famed blankets, jackets and other items of (really expensive) apparel.

Next, we had a stroll through the historical downtown district before touring through another ancient (for Oregon) institution - Hamley's Saddle Shop. DT thinks this shop must be for real cowboys, as the cowboy hats go for about $400. The store itself is a treasure - stamped copper ceilings! Ornate chandeliers, carved oak and brick walls. Stunning.

You are not going to find artwork like this in The Wal-Mart. This bronze statue is Attitude Adjustment by Oregonian Austin Barton.

Hamley is a western outfitter and saddle shop. Most saddles seemed to be around $4,000. I have never shopped for a saddle, so I can't tell you if this is a good deal or not. I can tell you there is no sales tax in Oregon... if this helps at all in your decision.

The saddles are made on-site, in a small back-room, by a real live Oregonian.

Next door to the saddle shop is Hamley's Steakhouse. DT had been here before for lunch (in the bar) and thought we should give it a try. I was so excited! The restaurant is just stunning - again stamped metal ceilings, ornate carved oak larger-than-life bar - so we settled ourselves up to the bar and ordered a drink.

This guy was staring at us during our cocktail time. I couldn't decide if he was wanting a martini or was begging us to please order chicken, please order chicken. Who knows? I wasn't dining at Hamley's Steakhouse to eat chicken.

We moved into the dining room and were seated at a nice booth. We ordered salads and steaks. Our salads came on such teeny plates that were piled to the brim with greens. One move of the fork and the entire thing went flying off the plate. This stuff really upsets me, Dear Reader. Could they please serve less food or use a larger plate?

And look at the gorgeous 12 oz. New York strip steak. Look at it closely, as it only looks good. It did not taste good. It did not taste bad. It just had no flavor. The menu reads "USDA Prime Graded Steaks - Hamley Prime Steaks, custom prepared for a taste experience you won't soon forget & worth every penny. Treat yourself today."



I was so disappointed. $34 and they served me frozen green beans (in Oregon, in August?) and food-service roasted potatoes. There is simply no excuse for this. I think we were ripped-off in a tourist trap and though I do not do this very often, this website (and I may go to hell for saying something derogatory about anything-Oregon) cannot recommend Hamley's Steakhouse in Pendleton. Forgive.

And while I am on a bitch fest rant, when did it become socially-acceptable for men to wear hats - including baseball caps - inside restaurants, shops and businesses? Man-up and remove your hats indoors, gentlemen!

Okay. I'm all better now.

Until my next update, I remain, your hungry correspondent.

RV Park: Wildhorse Resort Casino RV Park. Long pull-through sites. Pool. Hot tub (in season). Laundry. 30 & 50 amp, but make reservations if you need 50 amp. Walk to casino or take the shuttle. The tribe has a nice museum on the property also. About eight miles east of downtown Pendleton.