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Eastern Oregon abounds in natural beauty

The area hasn’t changed that much since the wagon trains trekked down the mountain.

Published on July 10, 2018 4:27PM

It was a pleasure to read the column by Chris Rush on Eastern Oregon. My bird-watching ladies and I go out every Wednesday to seek birds, wild flowers and enjoy the fantastic scenery in Eastern Oregon.

I was also happy to notice Chris included my hometown of Joseph in his travels. When I grew up there, it was a small ranching community, but now is an art center. My mother was an artist, so I believe she would approve of the “new Joseph.”

I suppose it is the school teacher in me, but I can’t help but make one correction to Chris’s piece.

The area called Poverty Flat is more south of Deadman Pass. The old road that winds down the hill is “Old Emigrant Road.” This road was known locally by many and still is often called Cabbage Hill.

I always thought it was because the road wound around the hill like a cabbage, but learned later it was named after the wonderful cabbage raised near the top of the hill.

People in the valley often made the trip up the mountain in late summer to buy the excellent cabbage. Much of the crisp cabbage was sliced into crocks for sauerkraut for winter meals.

Eastern Oregon hasn’t changed that much since the wagon trains trekked down the mountain. My hope is it will retain its wild beauty, with many birds and animals to enhance it, for future generations to enjoy.

June Whitten



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