Lane County, Oregon

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


Lane County, Oregon

Small RV to larger RV;
"I heard this was a good place to camp?"
Larger RV to smaller RV;
"Yeah, except for the cougars, they're not very friendly."

Will be off for several weeks exploring.
See you when I get back.
Have a great summer.
~ ~ barbara

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


Red barn found in Waco area

Living in rural Kentucky for six years, before I moved here to Oregon, I was astounded by the beauty of the old barns that still remained on their landscapes. Some were decaying and some were in fine shape as seen by the red barn above. During my Kentucky stay I took many photos of barns and plan to scatter a few posts over the next few months featuring them. All are from the central part of Kentucky. All the barns are diverse, no two alike, large and small giving us a glimpse of the talented barn builders of yesterday.

Have a seat and enjoy the beautiful day.

Decaying barn with old advertising painted on its side.

Barns have many uses today -- here are stored rolled bales for feed

Old "sentinel" barn watching over the hillside -- slowly aging.

Old and in fine shape

Monday, June 8, 2015


My granddaughter

I very seldom mention my grandchildren. They are all special to me. But I thought since my granddaughter is graduating this week from high school I would share a few things about her. 

So here goes my "braggin rights."She has had a successful tennis career so far. She recently was recruited by an eastern college to play on their college tennis team. Then she was accepted into their business school which is unusual for a student's first year of college where she is attending.

When she was six months old I was living a thousand or so miles from her. I sat down and wrote this letter to her. I knew she couldn't read it then but some day she could. 

I am still many hundreds of miles from her. 

So if you, my granddaughter are reading this post please read on -- it is the letter I wrote to you so long ago.

~ ~ ~
Today, I sit before a computer writing to you my six month old granddaughter wondering about our relationship, how we can connect together, you being so young and I much older with many miles between us. I want to be part of your life yet, for now it is not possible. Your mother and I have always been so close and she is so wonderful that I feel although I am not there with you she has enough of my love locked in her that she can share it with you.

How can we be soul mates? Fifty seven years lie between us. I ponder this dilemma and realize that we have collective philosophies contained within us established by the women in our blood lines that will surface with you in both small and grand ways. This will be our key to being soul mates. 

Perhaps when you make a decision to fight a battle based on intellectualism you will feel your strength arise from your family women source. Perhaps when you stand still on a hill feeling the wind drive hard against your young adult body you will know a sense of peace as family women felt on similar hills in previous generations.

Joy will come easy to you in small ways, laughter will spill out spontaneously, tears will come quickly over animals, small children and lost loves. We are an emotional bunch of women that dive into life with the zest of a marching band. We have gentle spirits and open hearts. So with this legacy you will be one with not only me but your grandmothers and great-grandmothers and back through all your family women of past generations. 

So when you find yourself sitting on that hillside feeling peace -- know that I along with all your family of women have silently gathered in spirit with you to soothe your soul.
~ ~ ~

Friday, June 5, 2015


1819 Rockcastle Homestead Barn

When I lived in Kentucky I was taken in by the spirit of barns. They represented so much of our rural heritage and our past personal individualism. Central Kentucky still has many of these ancient barns crouched on the land. The barns seem to speak to many folks -- as they fly by on the road in their vehicles -- saying to them  "remember when." 

Log granary section of 1819 barn

Vintage barns are like genes -- all different. Built by folks that toiled on the land yet had a certain freedom that is not known today. The above 1819 barn began as a log granary and as the farm grew, plank board additions were added.  The final barn was a "beacon" of a coming together within a family to produce the best they could.

1819 barn --  Plank Board Door

Strength and endurance paid off. No rules and regulations to tell them what they could do with their land. No federal fees to pay or forms to fill out if one wanted to grow organically and no corporate overseers of your farm.  No animals with white tags punched in their ears. Not in the early years. 

1819 Barn --  Tin  Roof

Hundreds of "beacon" barns still stand in Kentucky. Many of them alone and decaying. And yet  they have many stories to tell us. If only we would take the time to listen to them.

Sunday, May 24, 2015


Along River Road in Mapleton, Oregon you will find these "painted ladies" old store fronts -- now standing as reminders of a time long ago. Then this small business area left and moved to highway 126 in Mapleton. However the "painted ladies," remained along the river front even though they no longer served the community of Mapleton for commercial wants. Located in a scenic riverfront area I'm sure these ladies are content -- they played their part in establishing Mapleton long ago. 

Mapleton population census 2000 -- 918 people

This is a portion of the storefronts that moved to highway 126  --years ago. In the background at the top right one can see the second story looming of the old yellow painted lady on River Road. So essentially the painted ladies sit on the old commercial River Road while the stores that replaced the painted ladies now reside on the old but updated highway 126. The old ladies sit back to back with the not so old. Confusing? Come to Mapleton to see how it all works.

Thursday, May 21, 2015


Look for the woman on the dock in the above photo, she has a fishing pole in her hands. She has the place all to herself. I spotted this woman not to long ago, fishing leisurely along the Siuslaw river. She must be a dedicated fisher-woman I thought. So I walked down the long non-skid metal ramp in order to get a bit closer to her  -- hoping to get the "skinny" on why she was out near the river in a non-populated area. 

She told me that she just bought her fishing pole and was learning how to use it. It was a beautiful day and the river was calm so why not try it out. She was perfectly content as she plied the waters with her pole. 

Now, if you are wondering how to spend your holiday this weekend just try a relaxed approach like this woman. Find a hammock or a picnic table and make it simple. Walk a trail in the city or in a natural area and take your camera or a notebook and record your findings. Or just sit on a bench or rock in some quiet area and notice your surroundings. So many ways to have a good holiday without the rush, noise, and shoulder to shoulder people. Make it your own special holiday. Enjoy.

Saturday, May 16, 2015


This structure is looking rather cozy on its present location. It is now and has been in retirement since the early 1970s -- around forty years ago.  This very large structure is known in Oregon as a wigwam burner -- named for its shape of course. 

Burners were used to burn waste wood and/or sawdust at the many wood mill plants around Western Oregon. The burning created a lot of polluted air around mills and neighboring areas which led to their demise. A law was laid down that these burners could no longer be used beginning in the early 1970s. 

Now the few that are still standing are like large lawn ornaments on the landscape. I don't know how many are actually still in place. I took this picture at a former mill site named Davidson Mill Industries near Mapleton, Oregon.. I am glad the wigwam is still there as it represents a historical period when logging was a major industry in Lane County, Oregon as well as other counties. Although logging the land had its positives and negatives, it forced us to take stock of our clean air and develop laws to protect it.

Here is an old photo of a mill site with a wigwam burner that is in Oregon's Salem Library archives. The photo was taken by Ben Maxwell in 1963 in Independence, Oregon. Notice that nasty plume emanating from the wigwam burner.

AND -- Get a look at those fins on what appears to be an old Chevy (or Oldsmobile)!

More information:

My South Lane - Mapleton Wigwam Burner

The Columbia River -- Wigwam burners (great history)