Sunday, June 24, 2012

Tiller, Oregon 97484

I was in Klamath Falls attending the Kruise of Klamath and stopped by a couple Post Offices on the way home. I was coming from the east and the drive was beautiful between Shady Cove and Tiller, Oregon.

I was sorry I wasn't able to visit this Post Office during business hours. It was very clean and well kept.
I left a post cards for the Postmaster to hand cancel and return to me.

This board was next to the property of the Tiller Post Office.
Nice the see the locals standng up for their Post Office.

The Days Creek Post Office wasn't on the USPS original closure list but
I stopped by anyway since it was in a small town along the way. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Rufus, Grass Valley, Kent, Shaniko & Antelope Post Offices

I decided to visit these five Post Offices in one long day (411 miles) instead of 3 day trip combined with other Post Offices as previously planned. The weather forecast was sunshine and temps in the mid-70's, which is perfect riding weather.

I left Stayton at 8am and stopped for a breakfast (Biscuit & Gravy) in Mollala at Jill's Hitchin Post.

I then rode through Estacada and next to Corbett where I followed the Old Columbia River Hwy 30 to Cascade Locks and crossed over the Columbia River on the Bridge of the Gods.

I rode on the Washington side of the Columbia River on Hwy 14 passing through small towns along the way. Just outside of Stevenson, Washington I spotted a large bald eagle circling overhead. I pulled over and by the time I had the camera out the eagle landed on top of a tree by the river. I wish I had a 30x zoom lenses bit the best I could do was 3x zoom.

Bald Eagle

I crossed back over the Columbia River on Hwy 97 and rode into Rufus, Oregon. It was lunchtime and the Rufus Post Office was closed so I snacked on peanuts I had packed in my saddlebag until the Postmaster (John Exley) returned. John and I had a nice talk and I learned some of the history behind the town of Rufus.

John - Postmaster - Rufus, Oregon

Next stop was Grass Valley, Oregon. The Postmaster here was David McAlister, but not for much longer. I learned the Postmaster General decided instead of closing these small Post Offices the USPS would instead reduce their hours. Since David can't make ends meet working half time he's moving to another Post Office (Odell, Oregon) where he’ll be able to work more hours. I am glad to hear these Post Offices aren't being closed but my quest to visit all the Post Offices which were on the original list will continue.

Forgot to get a photo with Postmaster David. :-(

Just down Hwy 97 a few miles was Kent, Oregon. The only business left in town is the Post Office where Belinda "Bo" Anderson is the Officer-in-Charge. There are few old buildings still standing in Kent but they are all boarded up. Just a few homes remain in town but the Post Office still serves the ranchers in the area. I took photos of the two previous buildings that served as Kent's Post Office.

Bo - Officer-in-Charge - Kent, Oregon
This pink Bridal Shower notice for Hannag Jefferies was hanging in most of the Post Offices I visited today.
Old Post Office Building - Kent, Oregon
Previous Post Office Building - Kent, Oregon

I rolled in Shaniko, Oregon at 2:30pm, which was 15 minutes after the Post Office closed for the day. I took some photos and left a postcard to be hand canceled and mailed back to me. Shaniko has an old hotel and a few stores but overall the town seemed too much of a tourist destination for my taste.

Main Street & Hotel - Shaniko, Oregon

Check out the road (Hwy 218) between Shaniko and Antelope. It's doesn't get much better than this when you are riding a motorcycle.

Love these curves!!
My last Post Office for the day was Antelope, Oregon. As I was sitting on their nice bench (why don't more Post Offices have benches?) writing out my postcard, I was greeted by Postmaster Ellen "Missy" McNamee. She was born and raised near Antelope and first started working at the Antelope Post Office back in 1977 before becoming the Postmaster in 1988. She was here during the years of the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and Rajneeshpuram. I really enjoyed hearing first hand what it was like to be in the area during that period of time. As Missy and I were getting ready to take a photo together the Postmaster for Shaniko, Vicki Ashley, walked into the lobby. Vicki took a photo of Missy and me. Then Missy took one of Vicki and me. We talked for a few minutes and then I stopped for lunch at the Antelope Cafe.

Missy - Postmaster - Antelope, Oregon

Vicki - Postmaster - Shaniko, Oregon

While eating lunch Vicki shows up at the cafe and we visited along with the cafe’s owner. These small towns have so much to offer. I wish more people would stop and get a meal at these places instead of just driving through these towns so we don't lose them forever. You can find a Subway or McDonalds anywhere in the world and they all look (and taste) the same. These small town cafe's are all unique and you never know what you might find.
Note: I did not take this photo - It came from their Facebook page.

It was time to head home so I hopped over to Hwy 97 and rode to Madras and then on to Redmond where I fueled up the motorcycle. I would have gotten fuel at one of the small towns but none of them had retail fueling stations. By the time I reach Redmond I’d rode 300 miles but still had 1.6 gallons of fuel left. I sure do like the fuel capacity of the Honda ST1300 (7.7 gallons). After Redmond it was Hwy 126 that led me into Sisters where I got on Hwy 20 then Hwy 22 back to Stayton.

It was a long day but I thoroughly enjoyed everyone I meet among the way.

High Gas Prices in Oregon!
 I had to pay $4.59 per gallon for clear (non-ethanol) premium today.
At least I'm geting 48 mpg with my motorcycle.

Click Here to view the route I rode this day: 411 miles - 12 hours total time including stops.