The drive from Billings, Montana to Oregon is ruggedly inspiring. Rural highways, old-growth forests, wide rivers, and grand mountain ranges...absolutely stunning.

Crossing the Snake River into WA and heading South, we climbed a steep grade to be greeted by intense heat and distant views of rolling fields of wheat and prairie. 106 degrees in an old Ford pickup truck - windows down, vents open. Next stop - Joseph, Oregon. A long-overdue visit with friends at the Jennings Hotel was in order to celebrate our arrival into Oregon.

Spending the weekend in "The County" was the perfect respite from time on the dusty road trip trail. Wallowa County - "The County" - is aptly described as a mountainous hinterlands - a place where the high prairie collides with alpine mountains. Visit and you will encounter a genuine mix of gracious hospitality and practical self-reliance. To cap off our first day back in Oregon, we drove out to a prairie to share a slow meal as the sun took its sweet time dipping below the horizon. We were guests in the countryside, home to the bear, elk, and deer that shared the evening with us. If you need a break on your journey - look no further than the country. Get there as quickly as you can, and settle into a pace of life predicated by the world around you.

Special THANKS to our hosts at the Jennings Hotel and the crew at M. CROW COMPANY - your hospitality and friendship are truly valued.