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Babies, Birthdays & Bovines

Huntington, Oregon:  Hello from Oregon... via Nevada and Idaho. My morning started at 2 o'clock. I was up - off and on - all night, checking the interweb for updates on our friends in Portland who were in labor with their first baby. We had no cell service in the middle of nowhere, so relied on our rooftop internet dish to keep us connected to The Real World.

Olympic Track & Field Trials in Eugene in 2008. Just a few weeks after the trials were over, Tony married Jessica and we were honored to be invited to the ceremony. Two years later, Baby Caleb was born this morning in Portland. Eight pounds, one ounce. He is perfect and is blessed to come into an extended family of grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins who will love him to bits.

Lisa, age 3

Hmmm... kinda reminds me of what I was doing 29 years ago this weekend, in The Philippines... I think I was about 12 years old at the time... giving birth to The Lovely Lisa. What was I thinking, giving birth in a Third World country? Who knows? Anyway, it all worked out. I was in labor just a few hours and our little 6.6 pound baby was born. This weekend, our little girl is in Las Vegas with eight of her friends celebrating all my hard work. Have fun kiddos, and don't forget your Momma at the craps tables!

The Magna Peregrinus in the morning light on Wild Horse Crossing Lake

With all my late-night interneting, we were a bit delayed leaving Wild Horse Crossing Lake this morning. After Little Cabeb was born, I kept checking for updated photos. Okay, possibly constantly. Then we went for runs along the great paths around the lake. But I asked My Driver to "get me outta here". After two weeks over 6000 feet, I needed to get to a lower elevation.

Why I needed to get to a lower elevation:

1. I can't run at 6000 ft.

2. My skin is dry.

3. My lips are chapped.

4. My shampoo bottle keeps exploding.

And so we headed north, towards Idaho through the Duck Valley Indian Reservation, the nearly 300,000 acre home of the Shoshone Paiute Tribes. As I wrote last night, Wild Horse Crossing Reservoir was created to conserve snow melt for the tribe to use for irrigation. The Owyhee River leaves the lake and the road immediately plunges down along the river past the dam, through steep cliffs and sage-covered hillsides. Spectacular, and one of the most beautiful canyons in the west.

The speed limit through the canyon is very slow. There are no turn-outs and no passing lanes. No worries - there is no traffic out in the middle of nowhere. Just beauty.

And cows.

Lots of cows.

There is no fencing on the reservation. Cows go where they choose. Road signs remind you to be on the lookout for "stock".

Momma's and their babies are a theme in my column tonight.

And we can't forget to give props to the Poppa's... bringing up the rear, making sure his ladies and babies are safely across the road.

DT wants you all to know the Duck Bus turned over 20,000 miles on the Duck Valley Indian Reservation! (Other readings are transmission temperature 174 degrees and the MP was in 5th gear.)

Our route today took us through the reservation and north to Bruneau, Idaho on Highway 51. We then headed up to Marsing on Highway 78 and then into Oregon and continued to Huntington, Oregon on Highway 201. (You will need a good map and a magnifying glass to follow this obscure route.) Nearly every crop we saw cultivated today was for animal feed. Hay, Alfalfa and corn. Mile after mile after mile of baled hay. We did see (very little) potatoes growing and as we came close to the Snake River, we started seeing a few fruit orchards. Mostly, we saw sagebrush desert. It was a beautiful drive!

Which finds us - at a more tolerable 2000 feet elevation - in the Oasis RV Park on the shores of the Snake River. Just a basic campground - though with full 50-amp big-rig-friendly campsites and no cell service - but we feel we are in Paradise. Look at the view across the river to Idaho! So peaceful. So relaxing.

We only finished one lamb shank last night, so I removed the meat from the left-over shank, thickened the gravy and served it all over chunky Yukon Gold garlicky mashed potatoes.

A lovely Shabbat celebrated in the glorious beauty of Oregon. We dined outdoors and watched a family of beavers (of the critter variety, not the Oregon State University variety) on the shore of an island in the river across from the campground. Not our usual dinner view. Lovely!

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

PS: The Mariners beat the Yankees 6-0 in New York tonight.

RV Park: Oasis RV Park. Apparently there is some fabulous cat-fishing right here on the river. Full-service 30 & 50 amp pull-through and back-in sites. Laundry and bathhouse. Boat ramp. No cable TV, but limited antenna, propane, bait, tackle, ice, fish cleaning station. Very quiet, right on the river. No cell service. Sites 1-4 are long pull-throughs with views directly over the Snake River. We paid $18 with Good Sam discount. Owner, Allen, is very nice and friendly (even though he is a Oregon State Beaver fan.)