The Persona Behind The Lens, With A Glimpse Into Our World.
Photographer: Anita Cross
Photographer Anita Cross & husband "Llama"
Amusing stories of travels throughout Oregon's beautiful–and sometimes not-so-accessible–scenic areas, from the perspective of a not-so-athletic photographer.
"These people live again in print as intensely as when their images were captured on old dry plates of sixty years ago... I am walking in their alleys, standing in their rooms and sheds and workshops, looking in and out of their windows. And they in turn seem to be aware of me"

~Dorothea Lange

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Sumpter Oregon has been around since the 1860s, when it was first settled by gold miners on their way to California. Finding gold in the area, they decided to seek their fortunes in the shadow of the Blue Mountains.

The entire town retains the flavor of it’s history. Old and new structures stand side by side, yet the new buildings reflect the colorful heritage of the past.

As we were driving out of town, we saw the beautifully restored old caboose, cars and steam engine of the Sumpter Valley Railway. This narrow gauge railroad has been rebuilt and continues to grow. You can learn all about it at the Sumpter Valley Railway website.

A few miles later we were on Highway 7. We turned East, heading for Phillips Lake. Only a few miles out of our way, we hoped for a look at the Elkhorn Ridge from across the lake. We stopped in at the South Shore campground and found a nice unobstructed view. Unobstructed except for the clouds, that is.

It was readily apparent why we were rained and snowed on while we were up in the mountains.

We still don’t know, first hand, what the Elkhorns look like. Here and there the snow on the mountains shows through thin clouds, but for the most part, they were hidden from view.

We got back on Highway 7 and headed Southwest to Highway 26. It was after noon and we decided we’d stop in Prairie City for a late lunch. There are several places as you come down out of the Blue Mountains where you can clearly see another mountain range across the valley and the John Day River.

The Strawberry Mountains were also capped by clouds. We stopped twice to take pictures, and the clouds seemed to be lifting, just not soon enough for me.

In Prairie City, we ate at Chuck’s Diner. LLama had heard they had “the best” hamburgers. Being a junk food addict, he just had to give it a try. I must admit, it was pretty darn good. In fact, I highly recommend Chuck’s, should you be in the area.

It was pushing 2:00 when we left Prairie City. We hadn’t gone but a few miles when we found the first convenient place we could to pull over. While we were inside enjoying our food, the clouds had lifted from Strawberry Mountain, and I was able to get the first really good shots of mountains since we started.

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