August 21st ~ Baker City, Oregon
It has been smoky the past two days due to all of the fires currently active in Oregon, but today we saw some noticeable improvements where we caught patches of blue sky here and there.
We are in North East Oregon, and most of our drive today was along the Journey Through Time Oregon Scenic Byway.
There are 16 different Scenic Byways in Oregon. You can click here for more information.
Predominately a farming and agricultural area, we passed many herds of cattle and even more large plots where hay was being grown and harvested.
Passing through several small towns was like a trip back in time. Now the signage “Journey Through Time” was starting to make more sense.
We signed up for Harvest Host a few months back, and this was the first time we had an opportunity to stay in one of the sites. Harvest Host is a membership program where you can stay free of charge on someones property. The most common properties we see here on the West Coast are at wineries. A behind the scenes tour and wine tasting may be offered. It is a common courtesy to purchase some wine in exchange for them hosting you.
There are usually no hookups.
Tonight we are staying at the Copper Belt Winery, about 25 miles from Baker City. It required traveling down a gravel road that was in need of being grated, the entry gate was broken, there was no on-site vineyard, and the building was under construction.
Their main tasting room is on Main Street in Baker City.
Our initial impression was “Oh my, this is not what we expected”. But soon the owner, Travis, arrived. He was warm, friendly and quickly made us feel at home. After giving us a tour of the operation, he poured us samples of four different wines. He had studied Viticulture and Enology (vines and wine) at Oregon State University which is where I went to college WAY back in the day.
We settled on a Syrah, paid $26, and wished him a good evening.
The good news is that it is extremely quiet and the location is good to set us up for our journey onward. I look forward to sharing the wine with my sister and brother-in-law when we meet up with them in a couple of days.
GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful that we are completely self-contained, have a good solar set up, can be off the grid for several days and still quite comfortable. I’m also thankful that we did not allow our first impression of our Harvest Host stay to sour our experience. It turned out just fine…
COMING NEXT: Hell’s Canyon