Another Chief Joseph Days has come and gone probably marking the midpoint of summer for us. The week of CJD is pretty frantic for a lot of people in the county. Hard to believe a bunch of committee men and volunteers can pull it off. Thanks to all, it wouldn’t happen without you and brings a lot of money into the county. Pendleton goes through a week of mayhem during the roundup and after the festivities are done you could shoot a cannon down main street and never hit anyone. I recently read that Hamleys has gone broke and been sold to the Indians. I hope they can make it work. Hamleys has been an icon in the Northwest for many years and it would be like closing a museum if it failed. Parley Pierce and his partner had a great vision for Hamleys and the great steak house they attached to it. They did a wonderful job building a destination spot for fine dining and top notch cowboy gear. It seems they were just a little too big for a town the size of Pendleton to support. Best of luck to the new owners, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla.
Unlike Pendleton, Joseph and the rest of this county do not turn into a ghost town after the rodeo. We still have another two months of lots of visitors and then a month or so of hunters. At my house we have had three weeks of visitors. Two weeks before CJD our daughter and son in-law along with 2 grandchildren ages four and seven arrived for a visit. After two days the daughter and son in-law left for a week in Montana and left the kids with us. The kids were great till their parents returned and then became evil. The first wave of visitors left and the next one began arriving with CJD week approaching overflow. Five grandchildren ages 19 to 22, one friend of my grandson, one rodeo family and old friends from California camped here for the week. I guess it was a lot of work for my wife but I thought it was a great time. Scott McCulough from Idaho and his wife and two boys aged 4 and 7 were the rodeo family visiting and the two boys had a ball. They spent mornings fishing at Kinney Lake and the afternoons floating the ditch above our house. Evenings they built a fire in the teepee I set up in the pasture and roasted marshmallows. Ryle, the seven year old, stood on the deck with his hands on his hips and looked around. He smiled and declared he loved this place and Oregon was his favorite place. The boys brought bows made out of half inch PVC and arrows and pretty much shot up the place. Ryle proudly showed me his new teeth coming in the front of his mouth. I have heard of pulling teeth by tying string to your tooth and then to a doorknob and slamming the door to jerk the loose tooth out. Ryle has a great imagination. He tied the fifteen foot string to his tooth then to an arrow and shot the arrow which took the tooth with it. The first one was a success so he did the same for the second. Ranch kids are pretty tough but it’s a wonder any of them survive.
It appears this might be a pretty good year for irrigation thanks to a not bad snowpack. I feel sorry for the ditch walkers when the water starts to get short. They have a bunch of irrigators they have to juggle water to and the logistics can get tough. Unfortunately, people can become pretty irrational about irrigation water and an otherwise sane neighbor can become a hated enemy. As they say whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting over.