An abortive attempt at reaching "the family homestead"

Discussion in 'Photos' started by caponerd, Apr 29, 2011.

  1. caponerd

    caponerd Kickstart Enthusiast

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    A photo of my Caponord parked in front of Paulina Well, near Hampton Oregon, while I was taking a detour the first day of a trip to Salt Lake City in the summer of 2005 to find this place, the family homestead, where my dad was born in 1910 (generations are long in my family, I was born in late 1949). The homestead is one section of land forming the square directly in the middle of the picture.
    The mountain directly North of the homestead is called Glass Butte, because it's mostly obsidian. I spent about two hours wandering around there, and after ending up on a dead end in the middle of a herd of cattle, gave up and headed the 10 miles back out to highway 20 to resume my trip. The next week, I bought a GPS.
    Haven't been back since, but it's still in my plans.

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    This road was very difficult to ride on due to the fine, deep dust covering most of it. The bike became very hard to control at anything over 15 mph or so. At one point, I nearly lost it, went off the road, and was saved by being wedged between two large sagebrush. There were many chunks of obsidian scattered around.
    I couldn't imagine a more desolate place to live.
    The property ended up being owned by my cousin Don, who sold it to get money to buy this BSA Golden Flash.
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    Don was a good rider, and after the usual modifications, ran this bike in desert events in Southern California, and at Catalina one year. I haven't spoken to him in years (he moved to Texas, and never was much on contacting his relatives), he's 20 years older than I am. I would have been maybe 3 years old when this picture was taken in Lynwood, California.
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  2. AustinJake

    AustinJake DR650 - Versys

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    Thanks for posting, I enjoyed seeing the pics and reading your short story.
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  3. caponerd

    caponerd Kickstart Enthusiast

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    Oh, one thing I did find while on this trip.

    My grandfather's grave. I never met him, since he died in 1918, the year my father was 8 years old. My grandfather was 44 years old at the time, and was killed when a wagon load of lumber he was hauling to a construction job rolled over on him.

    This is in Pilot Butte cemetary in Bend, Oregon. The groundskeeper at the cemetary told me that there are many graves of Oregon High Desert homesteaders in that cemetary, and she told me stories of people who died in the flu epidemic of 1918. My father was gravely ill of the flu the year his father was killed.
    Life was hard for the people who lived up there. The homestead is a good 100 miles from the nearest real town. Nobody had cars, and a trip to Bend for supplies would have been a weeklong expedition.

    After the death of my grandfather, my grandmother, my father and his two sisters moved to The Dalles, Oregon, where they found work in the fruit canneries that were in the area.

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  4. rufus

    rufus We're burning daylight...

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    My wife has spent several years now working on family history. I don't have the enthusiasm for research that she does, but I like to hear these stories. The last time I saw my grandpa alive (about 25 years ago) he told us some stories of his early life. There is an amazing difference in the lives of people born 100 years ago and people born 50 years ago.
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