Leaving Benton City and the Klipsun Cottage. Views along the road, some spectacular and some sad. One place that we have now driven through twice without stopping is Lime, OR. in Baker County, OR. The geology of the area is fascinating. The abandoned cement plant looks like a great place to explore and take photos. It is officially a Ghost Town. If you check the link above and subsequent link to the page that lists those towns of Oregon, you’ll find details.
As manufacturing and mining raw materials has gone from our country to ‘developing’ countries, the small towns that housed the employees of those companies have been deserted, leaving a ghostly presence. We saw a lot of that in 2016 when we drove back to Peoria, ILL and then made our way back to the SW via I-40 and old Route 66. I think, until you get out there and drive the country, you don’t really see the full impact of political and economic decisions made by corporate America in the past 50 years. It’s not a subject you will see on the evening news or even news magazine-like shows on TV. It’s not an uplifting story, what happens to workers who move to these remote places to find employment, only to have the company chase the raw materials or cheaper labor to other countries; it’s a race to the bottom and our fellow citizens are just a disposal resource to Politicians and the corporations that line their pockets. Working in tandem for decades that have methodically stripped this country of its ability to support itself with the materials/ skill and even infrastructure ( to some extent) to be self sustaining as a nation. Drive around the country for a month or two, get off of the Interstate Highway System and see what is really out there, beyond the strip malls of fast food and convenient gas stations.
We all live in bubbles and our perceptions are formed through the lens of those bubbles/personal experience. If you can, step out of your bubble. Dare to venture beyond the asphalt arteries that crisscross this country. You’ll find out something about America first hand, something that may alter your perception of life in America.
Both times we have driven right by/through Lime, OR. I have felt a nagging thought in my head: I really need to stop and get a good feel for this town and what took place here. I’m just as guilty of racing from one perceived destination to another and not taking the time to explore. The times I have pulled off of the Interstate system and gone on the secondary and tertiary roads I’ve been rewarded to such a rich history of the people of this country.
Didn’t sit down to write an essay or screed, but it appears something inside needed getting out.
Travel safe and be adventurous, the two aren’t mutually exclusive!
From the Mothership
docked in Seattle!