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Celebrating our two-lane highways of yesteryear…And the joys of driving them today!
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Keep the Show on the Road!

04282008 A Classic Country Store On The Hypotenuse Trail

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Another great day on the Hypotenuse Trail. I had to divert a little south of my intended route. Snow is predicted over White Pass in the Cascades, so I will miss the Yellowstone Trail part of my route (it didn’t go over White Pass, but the route between Walla Walla and Yakima toward White Pass was the original Yellowstone Trail.)

 

The route today was from the village of Stanley, Idaho, along the Sawtooth range, through Emmett Idaho, and into Oregon, through Vale, and John Day into Prineville. A beautiful drive.

 

Starting with the last stop first….I took US395 south from John Day so I could take a road I knew 40 years ago, through the villages of Paulina and Post. I think I found the quintessential general store at Paulina! Actually it is a general store, saloon , and post office. If I were ten or twenty years younger, tired of the rat race, and wanted to live in the real west, I would sure look at Paulina. It sits in a stream fed valley surrounded by green hills, where the horses and cattle outnumber the people 10 to 1.

 

Candy, the young woman in the store, was happy to share a bit of the history of the store, built in 1916. So many of these authentic places are failing, it is nice to see a healthy example. I suppose they are doing well because the drive to a bigger town is 50+ miles in either direction, and it may have something to do with the cozy feeling the store exudes. I think I would buy there just to enjoy the ambiance, including the mounted elk heads and the wooden floors and sidewalks, worn and smoothed by thousands of boots over the years,

 

“Shep” had his place in the sun by the front door, and I hated to get the old dog up, he looked so comfortable. Candy was too shy for a photo, but “Shep” didn’t mind posing. You just don’t find these stores anymore, in this condition. Candy has been there only 3 years but I’m thinking she has put some real effort into preserving the best of the past, while providing a modern service. I’ll let the photos tell the rest of the story….but drive to Paulina if you can.

 

One little touch I hope you will note. The General Mercandise sign on the store is, I believe, a Chevron (Standard Oil) version from the late 1940’s to mid 1950’s. You see them from time to time still, but usually on long gone businesses. I can’t see one today without recalling the old Chevron maps that so well described the two lane roads of the day, including little drawings and descriptions of sights along the way.

 

The other major highlight was waking up in Stanley, Idaho and stepping out to see the Sawtooth Range in all its glory. Next to the Grand Tetons, I have always considered the Sawtooth and Stanley to be one of the most spectacular areas for breathtaking mountain scenery. I first visited the area 40 years ago, and the place I stayed is still in business…but was closed until May 15, as were many other tourist operations. It is still too cold!

 

The other surprise appeared as I drove through the small town of Emmett. The local education association was holding a car show along the main road, and Dick had one of the nicest vehicles….a 1929 Dodge. We compared notes and he mentioned he was driving the Dodge to the small town of Enterprise, Oregon in August, at about the time Sheila and I might be there. Maybe we will meet again.

 

 

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ARShep.jpg

 

 

ARDicksCar.jpg

 

 

ARStanleyBasin.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

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I'm not sure which photo I like the best - the truck, the store or the dog. Ok, ok, I'm an old car nut - but the dog and the general store tie for 2nd. LOL

 

What would be really neat is to have made your drive in the '29 Dodge!!!!

 

Safe traveling and enjoy.

 

 

Hudsonly,

Alex Burr

Memphis, TN

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There's an awful lot of working and paying and living and dying going on in places like Paulina! And they do it without a bit of attention and fanfare, except when someone happens through, blazing a trail. jim

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I'm not sure which photo I like the best - the truck, the store or the dog. Ok, ok, I'm an old car nut - but the dog and the general store tie for 2nd. LOL

 

What would be really neat is to have made your drive in the '29 Dodge!!!!

 

Safe traveling and enjoy.

 

 

Hudsonly,

Alex Burr

Memphis, TN

 

Alex,

 

I thougt about that, then I looked for the air conditioner, heater, adjustable seats, etc!

 

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Dave

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There's an awful lot of working and paying and living and dying going on in places like Paulina! And they do it without a bit of attention and fanfare, except when someone happens through, blazing a trail. jim

 

Jim,

 

As you know, I love these places. When you find one that is doing more than just hanging on, it is a real discovery. If someone wanted a real "life" experience they would sit for a day or two on the couch on the board sidewalk and visit the saloon at night. Just talk with the people, and pet “ole Shep” I promise it would be .better than any “tourist” site in the country.

 

This trip was about finding these places. Bingo!

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Dave

 

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