Been here in La Grande, Oregon
two weeks now so it is about time I told you a little about the Grande Ronde Valley
First a little about why I am here. This valley is where I graduated from High School. My family moved here in 1963 from California. I attended Imbler High School and graduated in the class of 1965. After graduating I went straight to work on the grave yard shift of the Boise Cascade Plywood Mill in Elgin, Oregon. I worked there for the summer then I attended the fall Semester at Eastern Oregon College (EOC). I found out that I was not ready for four more years of school so I went back to work for Boise Cascade for a few months then switched over and went to work for the Union Pacific Railroad Company Communications Department as a lineman.
I did enjoy working (traveling) with the Union Pacific Railroad but I soon learned that as long as I was climbing those poles, you see alongside the railroad tracks, I was fine. But when you get to some of their taller poles around intersections or freeway over passes I found out I didn't like heights. I decided it was time to get serious about a career choice so I enlisted in the Navy and went off to boot camp.
A few years after I joined the Navy my parents moved away from the Grande Ronde Valley
first to Wallowa, Oregon
then in 1971 to Emmett, Idaho. My dad worked for the same Boise Cascade Plywood Mill in Elgin, Oregon that I had. Boise Cascade was building a Plywood Mill in Emmett, Idaho so Dad was temporarily assigned there while the Mill was being built as a company representative. Once the plant was completed Dad and Mom decided to stay in Emmett so Dad transferred from the Boise Cascade Plywood Mill in Elgin, Oregon to the Plywood Mill in Emmett, Idaho.
All this happened while I was still in the Navy. Since I no longer had my family living in Imbler, Oregon I stopped going back to visit. Over the years, every few years, I would pass through La Grande, Oregon
but spent no time there. The only time I was back for more than a day or two was in 1985 when I came down from Bremerton, Washington where I was stationed at the Naval Submarine Base at Bangor. That visit was for me to attended my 20th anniversary class reunion for the 1965 class of Imbler High School.
Over the years I had remembered my time in the La Grande, Oregon
area and wanted to go back to spend a little more time there. One would think that being an RVer I could have made that happen years ago. But I am not just any RVer but an RVer who happens to run an online internet business. Which means I need a good internet connection. From the very beginning I have relied on Verizon for my primary internet provider. But the Verizon coverage for the La Grande, Oregon
area was minimal and only last year did they finally upgrade to broadband EVDO service. That was just what I needed so I scheduled this summer for my longer term stay.
Well that gives you some idea why I am here in the Grande Ronde Valley
an La Grande, Oregon
. Since I was a little long winded on this travel diary entry. Next diary entry I will continue on with what I have seen and done since I arrived here in La Grande, Oregon
. So stay tuned!