Unusual Places

Ruth and I have been to some not-so-typical places in our travels. Three of them are Imnaha, San Marino, Qingdao.

Imnaha is very small and quite remote. There is only one highway into this tiny town in eastern Oregon on the edge of the Hells Canyon Recreation Area. I was thinking about Imnaha yesterday as I watched a video that included a canyon overlook not too far from it. Imnaha is the kind of place where it’s not unusual to see a herd of cattle running down its main street, and the main fun its residents enjoy is to ride up and down nearby roads looking for rattlesnakes to run over and eat.

Why did we go there? We went to Imnaha to visit neighbors of our daughter. They had a 2nd property there. We had never been to this part of Oregon called the Eagle Cap Wilderness and wanted to see it after moving to The Northwest. There are only 2 towns of any size in this rather empty part of the state, Enterprise and Joseph. We visited both on the way to Imnaha.

Imnaha is unincorporated. It sits rather high at almost 2,000 feet at the confluence of a river and a creek. It’s name is Native American and 159 people live there, making it big enough to have a post office and a couple of businesses. There’s not much to do in Imnaha, so we drove to a remote b&b and back almost to Joseph on Highway 350 to find the road to the overlook. The road was unmarked and a surprise because it was paved all the way to Oregon 86 with Idaho not too far away. Most of the roads around Imnaha are unpaved, so we did not have the time or try to drive to the Buckhorn Overlook. We thought the other overlook would compensate, but we could not see much of Hells Canyon, North America’s deepest river gorge, from it. The unmarked road to it, however, was enjoyable; and we descended several thousand feet to see the Snake River and the Hells Canyon Dam, which surprised us by having a number of campers and boats visiting the area for fishing and recreation purposes

San Marino is a tiny country, all urban, that is surrounded by Italy. It’s often described as a microstate and is. It was once a Medieval walled city that evolved into an independent country. Some claim it’s the world’s oldest republic. Its manufactured products include glassware, wrought iron pieces, furniture, and jewelry. Ruth & I wandered about admiring its cobblestone streets and being shocked by the sadomasochistic nature of some of the art on display in San Marino’s few museums.

Qingdao is a city in northeastern China that was settled by Germans and still has some German-influenced architecture. The main business in Qingdao today derives from this European background, a brewery that offers a tour and makes a popular German-style beer called Tsingtao, which is exported to more than 90 countries around the world. Qingdao is the port city on the Yellow Sea that had the sailing events when China sponsored the Summer Olympics several years ago. This city sponsors an international beer festival each year.

Hank

About roadsrus

Since the beginning, I've had to avoid writing about the downside of travel in order to sell more than 100 articles. Just because something negative happened doesn't mean your trip was ruined. But tell that to publishers who are into 5-star cruise and tropical beach fantasies. I want to tell what happened on my way to the beach, and it may not have been all that pleasant. My number one rule of the road is...today's disaster is tomorrow's great story. My travel experiences have appeared in about twenty magazines and newspapers. I've been in all 50 states more than once and more than 50 countries. Ruth and I love to travel internationally--Japan, Canada, China, Argentina, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, etc. Within the next 2 years we will have visited all of the European countries. But our favorite destination is Australia. Ruth and I have been there 9 times. I've written a book about Australia's Outback, ALONE NEAR ALICE, which is available through both Amazon & Barnes & Noble. My first fictional work, MOVING FORWARD, GETTING NOWHERE, has recently been posted on Amazon. It's a contemporary, hopefully funny re-telling of The Odyssey. View all posts by roadsrus

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