Category Archives: Adventure

Wordless Wednesday: Snaffle Bit

Hey, baby let’s go to Reno. 

I have never said that, and I don’t think that’s how the saying goes…
But either way, we went and had a ball.

Terrible photo, but we had a blast this weekend in Reno at the Snaffle Bit Futurity. It was an amazing weekend laughing with old friends, making new ones, attempting to sell some horses and learning a ton.
  

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Totally Ridiculous Opinion Needed

“Wait, what did you do with Paula?”

I would guess that 97.9 percent of people that know me, know that my beast of a car was better known as Paula. I often referred to her as such, and that the inanimate object that she was or is, was pretty much my consistent partner in crime. And I say crime, because she had several runs in with the law.

The day came last week, that I decided that she needed to go see greener pastures or whiter lines. So, with that, I bought a new car. It has sport shifters, and multiple other features that are making my weekly gypsy life seem almost like a life luxury. And yes, Mom and insurance agent Kerri, I promise to use the cruise control.

Either way, I took a little sampling via, SnapChat last week to determine the possible names for the actual poll. This poll as you guessed it will determine the official name for my new car. As you can tell, this is highly scientific, and you should answer the question below as such.

With that, I need your opinion, and I will take additional suggestions.

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SAGE CENTER TOUR

SAGE of Sustainable Agriculture and Energy Center

SAGE, in much of the western United States the first thought of the word sage is joined with brush. It’s pretty when it’s green, it provides habitat for sage grouse, and multiple other animals. But the sage I am talking about is the SAGE of Sustainable Agriculture and Energy Center in Boardman, Oregon. This I-84 visitors center provides hands on learning, graphics and experiences to visitors about modern agriculture and how western Umatilla and Morrow Counties. This region has grown to be one of the most unique and diverse agricultural regions in the world.

I have been back in eastern Oregon over a year, and have been talking about taking a guided Port of Morrow tour with my friend Anna and making a stop at the SAGE Center for months. Finally, I did it. I wanted to show a college friend who was in town from Texas, and equally as passionate about agriculture what we do in eastern Oregon, and how and what people are doing at the Port of Morrow.

Heather and I loaded up with Anna as she drove us around the port describing the processing facilities, energy resources, wood and ethanol plants, freezing and shipping buildings and grain export terminal that is shared by two local grain marketing cooperatives.

Heather and I taking it all in.

Heather and I taking it all in.

As we are still in the midst of the west coast port crisis, the importance of agricultural product transportation finally slapped me in the face. Have you really ever stopped to think what it really takes to move raw and finished products to the consumers of the world?

View from the Port of Morrow offices looking on to the Columbia River.

View from the Port of Morrow offices looking on to the Columbia River.

The cost for either moving products by truck or train are ridiculous than barge. The Columbia River is a priceless asset to Oregon and Washington agriculture not just for the small trickle of water that is used for irrigation, but for moving products in a timely, cost effective manner. There is an awesome display, that was my favorite part of the SAGE Center tour, unfortunately I didn’t snap a picture of it… Here are the facts though:

Barges move 1 ton of grain 500 miles on a single gallon of fuel. Compare that to semi trucks that moves 1 ton of grain only 60 miles on a single gallon, and you’ll see why grain barges still hold the keys to grain export.

Needless to say, I loved the SAGE Center and our personal tour of the Port. (Thanks Anna!) Here are some of my pictures and video from our adventure in Boardman.

Some farmers, ranchers and food production plants are accessing water from the Columbia River currently. There is current plans to utilize more water from the river to support agricultural production in the region. This will only be done with strict management practices. Currently, the river (the gallon jug for visual reference) is flowing at he average annual flow for the Columbia River at The Dalles, Oregon is approximately 190,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) (1 cfs = 448.8 gallons per minute). And the amount of water that is removed from the river for irrigation or energy purposes is less than one half of a percent, or represented as just over a tablespoon.

Some farmers, ranchers and food production plants are accessing water from the Columbia River currently. There is current plans to utilize more water from the river to support agricultural production in the region. This will only be done with strict management practices. Currently, the river (the gallon jug for visual reference) is flowing at the average annual flow for the Columbia River at The Dalles, Oregon is approximately 190,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) (1 cfs = 448.8 gallons per minute). And the amount of water that is removed from the river for irrigation or energy purposes is less than one half of a percent, or represented as just over a tablespoon.

"Generations of our family have cared for this ranch and its natural resources an in turn the ranch as cared for our families, livestock, wildlife while providing quality beef to feed many people. It is a privilege, a challenge, and at times a burden. But we do take a lot pride in what we do and produce. Ranches are an essential part of a successful economy for our county, state, and country." -- Mark and Tami Rietman, Triangle Ranches, Heppner, Oregon

“Generations of our family have cared for this ranch and its natural resources an in turn the ranch as cared for our families, livestock, wildlife while providing quality beef to feed many people. It is a privilege, a challenge, and at times a burden. But we do take a lot pride in what we do and produce. Ranches are an essential part of a successful economy for our county, state, and country.” — Mark and Tami Rietman, Triangle Ranches, Heppner, Oregon

Want to learn how french fries are really made?

So this beauty of a tog boat was one of the last to sail the pre-dammed Columbia River. Check out the movie Sagebrush Sailors for more history of this brave or slightly crazy river cowboys!

So this beauty of a tug boat was one of the last to sail the pre-dammed Columbia River. Check out the movie Sagebrush Sailors for more history of this brave or slightly crazy river cowboys!

Next time you a driving through Boardman, take an hour or so and check out the SAGE Center, and keep supporting Oregon agriculture!

30,000 Miles and Counting

It’s been a whirlwind year to say the least! 

When I left Kansas City, I had done only 11,000 miles on my car in a year and a half, which still basically breaks my heart. My gypsy soul had been crushed. That has been solved, and Paula is much happier not sitting at The Ethans. I think on last count, I am over 30,000 driving miles and a few cross country flights have energized my gypsy ways.

The first tourist stop...

The first tourist stop…

Firstly, moving to rural America is difficult, especially in a town consumed by an older population and a small community college. Clint and Darcy so kindly took me in for what we all thought would be a month long stay. One month turned into seven, and I can’t thank them enough for all of their amazing hospitality. Late nights, random weekend trips and a never ending house project lead me to probably earning worst roommate award… If you ever get the chance to be greeted by Darcy laughing first thing in the morning followed by recorded Superior sale commentated by Clint, your day will be made!

My first week at work included Round-Up, which might as well been my own welcoming party. Only kidding, but it was a great excuse to see friends I hadn’t been able to connect in a while. Even the endless cups of Coors Light couldn’t drowned out the fact that that living in Pendleton was still going to be a struggle. So decided to buy a house, which has been a never ending adventure. Lesson #89,836 don’t by a house…ever. Just kidding, just make sure the seller is not a pot smoking, indoor cat owner. Or just install a kegerator, it’s cheaper than bottles, and you’ll need some of the finest brews to make it through a major renovation. Actually, skip the beer and hit the whisky.

Here is it, make an offer, I might part with it. Hugh just may not left me after all the work we have done.

Here is it, make an offer, I might part with it. Hugh just may not left me after all the work we have done.

One of the greatest things about being back in the PNW, is leaving the PNW. No offense, but in Oregon specifically, the speed limits suck, you can’t pump your own gas, and goodness all I want is some fresh green chillies and live music. I have enjoyed doing some cross country travels for the National Hereford Women, helping the Colyer family and see some of the best friends a girl could have. 

The Cowboy Rides Away Tour -- Tacoma.

The Cowboy Rides Away Tour — Tacoma.

The one and only Miles McKee.

"Who is that girl wearing pearls at the derby?"

“Who is that girl wearing pearls at the derby?”

If you know my story, you’ll know how fortunate I have been to draw a family that has given me a passion for good cattle. I haven’t been to the ranch or even my mom’s place as much as I’d like, but it’s comforting knowing I can have supper any night of the week with any member of my crazy extended family. I just might have to drive a 100 plus miles.

Christmas afternoon with the ladies.

Christmas afternoon with the ladies.

My favorite place in the world, somewhere down Chandler Lane.

My favorite place in the world, somewhere down Chandler Lane.

I thought settling into Umatilla county would be no big deal, but let me laugh and realign my mindset. It’s been a bigger deal. The state line might as well follow state highway 11, because growing up a county over seems like a foreign country to most. I have learned to introduce myself more ways than I ever have living in various place throughout the country.

Hi, I am Maddee, I am from Cove…oh you don’t know where that is? It’s about 65 miles from here…known for cherries, Moss Springs trail head and Red’s Horse Ranch?
I just moved to town, pardon me, my name is Maddee. Did you go to Blue Mountain Community College? No, nope sure didn’t, I did my juco time at Linn Benton Community College…Ohhhhhh….
You go to Idaho on the weekends? Yes, it’s closer than Portland. You know people over there? Yes, I grew up showing with a lot of people from there…ohhhhh wow…who are you again….

It is also suprising to most that I had never attended a Round-Up prior to moving to town. Crazy, I know, but the world does keep spinning even. But if you dont have plans the second weekend in September,you better make plans to be in town, it is real fun!

We have hit almost every rodeo -- it's a tough job but someone has to be my date for work events.

We have hit almost every rodeo — it’s a tough job but someone has to be my date for work events.

Mom comes too...

Mom comes too…

The saga I left KC with is still continuing. My insurance company is battling the Kansas City Police Department. So hopefully by the first of September 2015 I have a clean record again… And remember kids, don’t get hit by a KC Police Officer on his way to a domestic dispute with 10 other officers. In the meantime, Paula is racking up the miles and we have been busy learning about “how great state of Idaho” is from probably the proudest member of the state and beyond.

It’s been crazy, I miss my KC pals, but it is sure good to be home for the time being! And if you ever get a wild hair, let me know your travels lead to Pendleton!

Correction: And as Tiah said I have been blessed with several news friends! 

Wandering the Country Side

 

They say you don’t get to choose your family,
and for that I am thankful everyday.

I have been blessed beyond measure to have not one, but several amazing cow families (cow joke!). These families have not only opened doors for me, but have taught me more about the industry and myself than I could have ever imagine.

 

I had a great trip to Idaho this weekend, but it was kicked off my Mother bringing the ladies home from the ranch. The calves look awesome and it doesn’t get much better than having an amazing family who is always looking out for us and sent her home with a set of calves that are ready to head into the fall. Followed by an excellent sale and time spent with people made my cheeks hurt from smiling. The four hour drive home took more like ten, and that was just fine. Reading a book to Kalli and getting to laugh with some of my oldest friends make this one of the best weekends in a long time.

 

Here are few snap shots from a fast 660 mile weekend.

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Closure on a great day.

Closure on a great day.

 

The evening view.

The evening view.

 

Focus.

Focus.

 

Durbin Creek Ranch fillies

Durbin Creek Ranch fillies

 

Junk Gypsy–Wanna Be

When I moved to Kansas City in May, I packed everything I owned in my car and headed to the Midwest. Coming straight out of college meant what little furniture that I did owe was a Target special and was not worth packing 1,100 miles.

When my sister and I arrived we went on a mass search for bargains and treasures of furniture. We found an amazing original Sears and Roebuck dresser and mirror. It needed some love along with the end table and small bookshelf I found.

I ran with a junk gypsy theme of brown, turquoise, and mismatched knobs. My headboard took some serious time to put together. I couldn’t find the materials ceiling tile (under 50 dollars) and windows with glass that would fit the ceiling tin.

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Dresser and mirror.

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End table

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Bookshelf. This piece took a total transformation, it was an awful green.

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This is my pride and joy!

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This is the start of the major refinishing of the dresser and mirror.

Moving in the Impala…

Just encase you were wondering how to move all of your worldly belongings in an Impala…
Pack it tightly, neatly, and well like a puzzle. 

No, I can’t I am really going to be rollin’ in my Impala, unless there is a tail wind, watch out! I can say this is not the first time I have done this either, my multiple long distance moves have added another skill to my resume such as, gypsy like moving abilities.  

I am making my first trip with my belongings to the Midwest this evening. Just so turns out my one of my best friends and little sister is graduating this weekend from K-State. So the timing is perfect!

Lessons learned from pulling a trailer completely apply in this situation.

  • Stopping distance due to weight as completely decreased.
  • Blind spots…EVERY WHERE…make wide turns.
  • Signal early.
  • From hauling livestock, sudden stops were not allowed by my mother…”Don’t you even think about setting” those cows up would be my mothers favorite line…drive slow if needed.

Needless to say, this could be a long trip to Manhattan. And I am thankful for limited traffic, and straight roads between Lubbock and Manhattan. 

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Mom “check the air pressure in your tires!” Done.

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My co-piolt…suitcase.

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My roommate said she was impressed with my puzzle packing abilities, and that we got my room put into my car.