Baker City could be right out of one of the TV-shows like ‘Gilmore Girls” or “Once upon a time”. It’s neat, clean, got all shops and entertainment that you want, just a bit smaller and quainter than your average city. We enjoyed our stay and the motel here very much.

On our way to Portland, we were again overwhelmed with the emptiness that the USA can offer. Hours of straight stretches of road and no house to be seen. If it weren’t for the occasional pickup and the telephone posts, you could think we were alone in this state. Still greener and more interesting than New Mexico though.

Slowly the scenery started changing and the meadows and hills changed colour from red or green to darker colours and into black. We were heading in the direction of the city “craters of the moon”.

Apparently, this area was volcanic rock and the name was actually quite apt. It looked surreal and nature has a heavy task in taking back what belongs to grass and shrub.

Next to craters of the moon, we also found a strange testing site. All around the area are signs posted, that grazing is prohibited beyond these signs. I was amazed at reading these signs, they must have literate cows, horses and sheep in the USA. Or do people graze here usually?!

As closer we get to the Oregon border as less straight the roads become. After driving through a village, that has huge numbers painted on the rock of a huge hill, we followed the riverbed and the state line in between Washington and Idaho for a while. Despite the river, the land is so dry, that we were witnesses to a wildfire. Very uncomfortable in a convertible, we now know.

At the end of the day, we reached Portland. The next day we ventured into the city and the first thing we found on the waterside was “the taste of Oregon”-food festival. Delicious wine, med, cocktails were offered alongside food delicacies as BBQ, Mexican and a cooking competition of a few local celebrities. On top of the mouth-watering program, the festival offered also live music.

We still had some errands to run. My neckless we bought in Taos Pueblo broke in Denver and we wanted to let it be fixed. We found a silversmith on Yelp and walked to the shop in order to see also a bit more of Portland. The silversmith was able to salvage the pendent, but not the neckless itself. They usually do jewellery on demand and as we got informed were also featured in a book for Steampunk jewellery. The silversmith gave us along with the ring to hang the pendant on, a wealth of information about silversmithing.

Next on our list of errands was our travel log. Though we don’t really get around writing the days down anymore, I at least add pictures, coins and stickers we bought. Therefore it gets bigger and bigger and the spiral binder can’t hold the pages anymore. Now we have to get to a copy shop in order to get something to bind the pages. I know some of them to have big metal rings for binding reports and I have the silent hope to find some. It won’t be ideal, but it will work until we are home and I can come up with a more adequate solution.

Unfortunately, the shop was closed 20 minutes as we finally arrived walking. Fortunately, though, the owners were still closing up and had mercy. We showed them the book and he actually had exactly the rings I was hoping for. We got talking and he and his wife gave us tips on things to visit and asked us questions about Europe and fed us with chocolate in the process.

All in all a very nice day again.

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