Grass Valley, Oregon — A stroll through small town America

Saturday, June 11

P1060132The photos in today’s post show scenes the crew and I encountered as we strolled the streets of Green Valley in the early evening.  Green Valley is between The Dalles and Bend, Oregon, east of the Cascades.

“How ’bout a walk around town, punkins?”

Bridget, Reggie, and I set out from our campsite at Green Valley RV Park.  It’s about 7 p.m. on a Saturday and the town is very quiet.

Along the main street, which is Route 97, the sidewalks are almost empty.  Very old buildings sit vacant.

This plant with purple-flowers (photo below) reaches out from a crack in the foundation, as if to say . . .

P1060123“This town ain’t dead yet!”

I pinch a sprig and smell mint.  (Readers tell me the plant is Russian sage.  I thought it smelled like mint.  Oh, well!)

Reggie sprays some liquid fertilizer and we continue on our way.

The grocery store is closed.

Not because it’s late Saturday.  Because it’s shut down.

P1060124I dumped most of my refrigerated groceries due to the electrical problem.  Finding the only grocery store for many miles has been shut down is a disappointment.  For many of the residents of Grass Valley, however, it’s more than a temporary inconvenience.

P1060122Earlier I asked the guy who takes care of the RV park in the absence of the owner . . . .

“Where do people get groceries around here?”

“Well, the store in town closed recently,” he remarks sadly.  “You can go up to Wasco (about 18 miles to the north).  They don’t have meat though, just hot dogs and that kind of stuff.”

P1060144“Or you can pay five bucks to take a bus fifty miles up to The Dalles.”

Oh my, living here without a car . . . a hundred miles round trip by bus, toting groceries on the return.  There’s a trade-off for quiet, rural living.

We stop while I admire the house across the street with its charming porch and flowers.

P1060120-001P1060097New houses try, but rarely succeed, in capturing the charm of the old painted porches.

The house in the photo above is located right along the sidewalk on the main street which is Route 97, an important north-south corridor from California to Washington, second only to Interstate 5.

The flowers between sidewalk and porch nod and sway as  RVs, semi-trucks, and other vehicles pass by, their drivers too intent on destinations to absorb the gentle cheer offered by the colorful blooms.

I wonder how Roadhouse 97 is doing for business these days . . . .

P1060125Black-eyed Susans say “Happy Summer!” from a well-tended flower bed.

P1060115“Let’s go down this side street.  I think I saw an old church over this way.”

Standing on tiptoes, I peer through a window.

P1060131 The church has been stripped of its pews.  The spirit of a congregation remains.  I imagine I hear singing and recall an old hymn . . . . “Standing on the promises of Christ my King, Through eternal ages let His praises ring, Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing, Standing on the promises of God. ”

All those folks have moved on . . . .

Reggie commences to bark.

“Oh, wow… That’s a big, scary horse, Reg!”

P1060133 Reggie gives it all he’s got, jumping up on his hind legs, barking ferociously.   He has assumed the role of protector of his family.  A big responsibility for a little guy.

“Uh-oh, Reggie.  Now there are TWO horses!  We’d better retreat, doncha’ think?”

P1060134Reggie agrees.  We head down the street.  Reggie quickly glances over his shoulder to make sure we aren’t being followed.

Fire suppression is important for a place named Grass Valley!


One of the trucks has a compartment open.  I walk over to investigate.

P1060137Further down the street we come upon a man and woman in their forties.

They’re busy cleaning up a flower bed.  The woman looks up from her weeding.

“Hello!” I call out.  “You have a lovely flower garden!”

“It’s not ours.  It’s Grandma’s,” she replies.

“Is it okay if I take a photo of the birdhouse tree?”

“Sure, go ahead,” she responds, smiling as she dumps weeds in a wheelbarrow.

P1060145How nice that they’re taking care of their grandmother’s home.  I hope she’s okay. . .

Bridget and Reggie are enjoying this leisurely stroll.

Bridget makes sure she stays out of the photos!

“That’s okay, Bridgie.  I’m not going to force you . . . “

P1060143Green Valley is a mix of abandoned homes, residences suffering from neglect, and homes receiving loving care and attention.

P1060146“Well, guys, this street takes us home.  It’s nice here, isn’t it.  I wouldn’t mind staying longer, but we need groceries and there’s that electrical problem . . . . “

Back at the BLT, I get out the Oregon Benchmark Atlas.

Now where’s a good camp next to a town with a grocery store, a store that sells inverters, an RV repair shop . . . . Hmm . . . This might be a possibility . . . .

In the next post the crew and I move to a new camp!



P1060105The crew ready to help with several loads of laundry at Grass Valley RV Park.


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101 Responses to Grass Valley, Oregon — A stroll through small town America

  1. Marilyn Dennison, Dania Beach, Fl says:

    Looks like Bridget cooperate in the laundry photo shoot.

    Love your description of the town although it is quite sad to see it dwindling in size and supplies.

  2. Tara from Pac NW says:

    Beautiful photos and a very interesting story to tell! I love the “Easy Street” and the old grocery store. At the beginning I was wondering if you left Bridget behind, but I guess not, just camera shy.

  3. Jean in Southaven says:

    The small town I am from in the bootheel of Missouri is in about the same shape as this little town. So sad for these people that it is so hard to get the necessities. Small towns are a wonderful place to grow up. So sad. I am enjoying your travels though. You are showing places I have never seen before. They are very interesting. The drough is sure showing in your pictures though. Be safe

  4. Bill says:

    Hey Sue, electronics don’t last forever in a RV. We give them a hard time with bouncing, washboards, potholes and lots of time severe drawdown of batteries with fluctuating current. Not to mention we use them 24/7. Glad you got it handled! My fridge works off propane and uses 12 volt for the automatic thermastat starter so the inverter doesn’t have to be working. Enjoy the ride!

    Bill n Sadie plus Mic

    • Gayle - SO CAL Beach Boomer says:

      Apparently electronics don’t last forever in an apt either! My (Canadian) Danby fridge is out (blame it on Canada!) and I’m waiting for a part. I drag 40 lbs of ice home every other day. Great upper body workout, though. I’m living my biggest road trip pet peeve every day — good (expensive) food floating, totally ruined, in ice water, no matter how carefully I repackaged it. Auuugghhhh! RVSue, hope yours is fixed very soon. It’s a tremendous responsibility to feed the world’s cutest dogs!

      • Pamela K. in GA says:

        Oh no! Sounds like you are having a really hard go of it, lugging all that ice and then drain, refill, and do it all over two days later! YUK. Hope your Fridge gets fixed soon. In the mean time you might want to look at those electric portable ice makers , the ones that fit on the count top. They make a lot of ice each hour, several pounds of it. You could run it, dump it and run it again when you sleep or something. No doubt the cost of 40 lbs of ice every two days would add up in no time. Buying one of those portable ice machines might be the longer term answer, and they are super great during summer picnic times too. Just a thought.
        Oh, BTW, I like Danby. I have a Danby Portable Dishwasher in my RV. The 4 serving counter-top style. LOVE that thing! It has worked flawlessly for several years now. Perfect size for a few dishes/bowls, a pot or two, glasses/cups and the silverware. Bought it when I broke my hand, thunderstorm – long story, lol, and I never looked back about buying it.

        • Gayle - SO CAL Beach Boomer says:

          Blogerinos here must have stuff in common — Us? Danby countertop dishwasher, hooray, because of (almost) broken hand and general disgust for standing in front of the sink all the time! Cooking from scratch generates lots of dishes! Yes, $15 every three days for ice gets pricey! No money left over to pour something wonderful OVER that ice! Repairman said this Danby part is DESIGNED to last only 1-1/2 yrs. Who knew? Next time — new fridge. RVSue: worried that your flimsy ice chest won’t keep stuff cool longer than 12-24 hrs. Don’t ask me how I know … Coleman Extreme will keep ice for 48 hours. Bite the bullet once for $60 and you’ve got cold, safe food for 2-3 days as an emergency back-up. Just a thought.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Thanks for the tip on a Coleman Extreme. I have to be careful about purchasing items “just in case” because soon I’d have the PTV jammed with stuff up to her roof. Wait a minute… I already have the PTV jammed with stuff up to her roof!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Bill,

      “My fridge works off propane and uses 12 volt for the automatic thermastat starter so the inverter doesn’t have to be working.” Mine, too!

  5. Patricia in Colorado says:

    Hi Sue, I love the bird house tree or the bird tree house, whatever! It looks like her own little village like people put out at Christmas time. Reggie was lookin pretty fierce! Take care, hope you find a place to fix your electrical.

  6. Laura says:

    Hi Sue…love the picture of Reggie and the two horses. The horse on the right
    looks like a unicorn with hair pointing straight up or is that a horn? Safe travels.

  7. tesaje says:

    That first bush with purple flowers that Reggie watered is Russian Sage. Nice, easy to grow and pretty.

  8. Kitt, NW WA says:

    Hi, Sue,

    Looks like it was a great little town at one time. We love the solitude and ease of traveling the backroads and Eastern Oregon is one of our favorite places to wander. Backroads have always called to us in our travels and we have experienced some amazing places because of them. Even storm clouds can have a silver lining and it looks like Grass Valley turned out to be your silver lining.

    Glad you are getting your electrical all sorted out. I am curious as to where you landed to get it all done, not a lot of big towns out your way. My guess is a bit of backtracking.


  9. Barb from Hoquiam says:

    Hey there’s a cool old trailer…. I saw a Shiney thing… Oops sorry! Lol

    It is really hard in little towns. America is hurtin in many places!
    Hope all works out. Can’t wait to what is next!

    Hugs from the Moose Mobile!
    Barb, currently at the Puyallup River.

  10. weather says:

    The town looks as if the residents perhaps aren’t young yet work so they have scant energy left for upkeep.If they wanted someone to,I’d gladly spend time on the old church and blonde horse .Both have the look of being from another dimension,not just from a different time.I wouldn’t change a thing about either of them,they’re beautiful the way they are-just give them what they needed while I was stayed the area.It’s great that you see the nice touches where ever you are,and don’t spend all your time with the crew walking the same paths near your home site.Nice,too,that they appreciate those trips so help you do laundry 🙂

    • weather says:

      Here’s hoping the final repair today makes everything work well again,Sue.It will be so nice for you to resume your normal comfortable lifestyle.Capable as you are of switching gears to adjust to life’s sudden curves it’s just sweet to be able to make coffee,have what’s wanted in a fridge,use a laptop with ease and choose a home site for the road it’s along instead of it’s proximity to services.You must be looking forward to having all of that restored to you,may it and your day go well and be smooth 🙂

    • Elizabeth in WA says:

      What a lovely idea, Weather…to go help out in the little town…sometimes someone doing that brings life back to an area…and the other person on here who talked about delivering groceries every so often in remote places…nice ideas all of them!!

  11. MarciaGB in MA says:

    I very much enjoyed taking a little walkabout of the town with you and the crew. There’s a certain spirit that comes through, despite the abandoned and rundown places. The gardens and birdhouse tree show that there’s plenty of life still there. It’s too bad about the grocery store though.

  12. Mary Alice Cure says:

    As folks move to the city for a “better life” they leave some pretty awesome places to decay as they are abandoned. We do live in a “throw away” world. I love the old buildings. I wonder what is left on the shelf in the grocery store. Enjoy the experience.

  13. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    Grass Valley looks like is was once a lovely small town America. Too bad they are drying up and getting so rundown. All those lovely flowers! Someone surely lives in that house, don’t they?

    FYI I finally got the right dog. Her name is Angel, but she looks a lot like Carli. She is a JR/rat terrier mix, 5 years old and completely trained. She was not posted on the internet as she was pretty new to the shelter, so I don’t have pictures or a link for you to see her. She is white with brown ears and spots like the Reggie Man. I got her at the Petsmart adoption on Saturday. I am fostering her this week and will adopt her this Saturday, she is perfect for us.

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Congratulations, Barbara!! Thanks for sharing your happy news! 🙂

    • Cynthia from San Clemente, CA says:

      Congratulations! There’s nothing better than a rescue dog 🙂

      • Diann in MT says:

        Congrats, Barb! I hear ya, Cynthia. The only type of dog I would ever consider is a rescued fur baby (no matter the age)! They end up being your most loyal buddie of your life! So glad for you!

    • Dawn in MI says:

      Excellent news!

    • Applegirl NY says:

      How wonderful Barbara! Wishing you many wonderful years ahead with your Angel.

    • Pamela K. in GA says:

      Doin’ the Happy Dance for you 🙂 I just love it when the right one comes along, pets and people, lol. Now you can use all those doggie items from Amazon too *score*. Maybe you could ask the rescue folks to post her pic as *Adopted* once you get her. They always love to post a success story photo.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Congratulations to you and Angel! I’m happy for both of you, Barbara, and I approve the breeds. A Jack Russell-Rat Terrier mix can’t be beat!

    • Elizabeth in WA says:

      Yippee Barbara!! So happy for you all!!

    • Krystina ~ Auburn, WA says:

      YEAH you now have your little Angel. I am very happy for you.

  14. Hi Sue, wonderful photo journal of that old town…I bet a lot of blogorinos would gladly move in for a while at spruce up a garden or two.

    As the for the horses, I would take the buckskin, and Weather can have the white horse, it more fits her huh! Lol.

    Enjoyable post today Sue, loved the look back at a place that I see only in my dreams.

  15. Merle from WA says:

    Sue, love all your posts but this one just seems special. I can imagine hearing the congregation sing Amazing Grace or How Great Thy Are on a gentle Sunday morning. Seeing the older homes with their front porches just asking for someone to stop in for a cup of tea…….

    Sorry to hear about your electrical problem and hope you’ll be able to resolve without to much difficulty. Your crew is looking great and love how well Reggie has become a true member of your pack. Briggett is such a great role models in so many ways for the Reg.

    Looking forward to your next stop along the road to more adventures.

  16. LoupGarou says:

    Mom had a painted sign in her garden that read;
    April showers bring May flowers for all to enjoy and see! But canine showers kill my flowers, here pooches aren’t allowed to pee!

  17. Karen LeMoine says:

    Love old small towns.Guess if anyone is looking for cheap real estate these are the towns to move too. These type of towns reflect the long gone good ole days. I also find it sad. Sue are the pups chomping on the bit for chicken yet? Thanks for another wonderful blog! Can’t wait to see our next camp!

  18. Elizabeth in WA says:

    Growing up in a hot place, I well remember our dogs looking like Bridge on the laundry room floor…that concrete can feel awfully nice on a hot day!! Hope things are fixed again by now. That is a sweet little town…but wow…no close place for groceries. Well, we were 45 minutes from the nearest town one 20 month stretch…but I had a huge fridge and huge freezer and plenty of canned goods…so we managed just fine on 1 to 2 trips to town a month. SO many good things came our way in that location and surprisingly we had more visitors than ever before too!!

  19. Timber n' me says:

    Sue,,, I lost your Email,,, Please ether call or email me ASAP,,,,, me

  20. JIM PETERSON says:

    Some communities in OR and WA have subsidized vans to get seniors to their shopping, appointments, etc. — very reasonable. Any state worth living in should do the same. There is no good reason why a van couldn’t visit this town once a week — delivering whatever folks had on their list the previous week. I did that twice a week for my 84+yo former landlady one whole winter regardless of the weather — taking her water, propane (for her reefer), gas for her generator, milk, bread — whatever she needed. To be honest, the hardest part was breaking away once the stuff was delivered. I think she valued the visit more than the stuff! She lived out there for 35+ years — no power, no water, no sewer. In the desert, you better bring with whatever you think you might need . . . ‘cuz there ain’t much out there.
    JIM & ANNIE — 13 weeks and 3 days to go!

    • Pamela K. in GA says:

      I was thinking along those lines too. When there are storms or such then people do that all over the country. Seems someone or group would fill that role for those folks there. That nice big vacant church would be a perfect point-of-distribution for the groceries and other needed items. What better way to give an old vacant church new life? I think god would smile at such an effort. 🙂
      He must have been smiling when you helped your former landlady! 🙂

      • Pamela K. says:

        Well, I googled that church, it is pretty ran down and looks unsafe now. But the newer church in town should take up the mantle on that and be the *distribution point* for groceries for the families there, maybe a co-op club could make that kind of run in to the next town with a grocery store.
        Sadly the old grocery store is currently for sale. Asking almost $400,000.00 for it! No wonder there isn’t a grocery store replacing it at those numbers!

  21. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue,

    I enjoyed the post and pictures – thank you! I cannot pick a favorite…the beautiful horses, charming gardens, sweet birdhouse tree, welcoming front porches, the church, or the Crew. Sad for the residents that their groceries are now so far away. Whenever I am in a small, rural town, I always wonder where folks make their livelihood. Do they have to travel long distances each day?

    Hope you are well on your way to having your electical maintenance issues resolved. I am looking forward to see where you take us next! Sending you and the Crew hugs from me and Gracie pup! 🙂

    • Pamela K. says:

      Most small towns, at least very small towns have a population where seniors 65 and older are at 45 plus percent, often percents even higher in some places. The population that is 18-25 yrs old are often their grand kids or great-grand kids 25-35 yrs old. The working class middle range population mostly works for local cafe’s, beauty shops, schools, or they own their own businesses as DBAs (handyman, wrecker services and such). Some also drive truck long-distance drivers so distance doesn’t matter for them. Same with many who work the skilled labor trades. The older folks have soc. sec. and often Veteran’s benefits. Those who stay and continue to live in small towns just grow-up knowing how to make it work for them. They are like the farmers, they learn what works on the land so to speak.

  22. I took some time to think about this one. Here in Ohio, we have little remnants of canal towns that flourished in the 1800s. I enjoy them, but would not want to live in one because railroads and then highways went elsewhere and caused people to move away from them. Most of them have one general store or none, but the evidence of busier times (restaurants, hotels, etc.) has faded and only quiet little places are left. Here in the East, other towns are closer in most cases. That helps. A hundred fifty years down the road, the feeling is peaceful for me. Of course, rails and roads reached other canal towns that continued to grow and are now cities. People, including me, go there for the resources, the jobs or money, and the diversity.

    A few places never had canals, important railroads, or freeways, and I grew up in one of those. That village of 1,000 never got very big but never shrank much either. It was very clannish, and all of my family eventually left, still outsiders after thirty years, never to return. I live fifteen miles from there in the county seat (population 15,000), but there’s nobody back there I want to see. I suspect that small-town attitude actually has something to do with their eventually losing out to other places. If outsiders don’t feel welcome, new ideas don’t come in either, and the old ones eventually fade away.

    • Barb from Hoquiam says:

      Calvin, that is so well stated. I live in an area with oodles of potential, but many are not willing to give new things a try. We are not a ghost town by any means, but it could happen. This would be a shame…

      Love places with history.

      Just off the Puyallup River,

    • Diann in MT says:

      Thank you, Calvin, for explaining the evolution of American small towns. I live in a small town in Montana. It prospers because the agriculture people have kept it together all these years. They have supported the local grocery, their taxes have kept the schools open, and their “Can Do Anything” attitude has served them to see them through the hard times that economic down turns have thrust upon them. They have hung in there through thick and thin, and those who just couldn’t make it, moved on. Today, the little homes which were once miners’ shacks are being populated by the great grandkids and retiring grandchildren; people like myself are purchasing older properties and putting a lot of money into their refurbishing. Living this close to the Beartooth Mountains in South Central Montana is as good as it gets for me.
      Grass Valley may find some inhabitants with enough grit and a little money who see the potential, albeit, 400K for an old grocery story certainly does not invite earnest seekers. Thanks again for your little essay.

      • Gayle - SO CAL Beach Boomer says:

        Diann, you all in your Montana town are living the true American dream. RVSue’s visit to this small town reminds me of lots of small towns I visited on my road trips — Payson, UT; Corsicana, TX, where the central town becomes a vintage art center with coffeehouses and art galleries. Now that people can live most anywhere and work via internet, I hope young families will disperse from large cities and have the small town lives that we all treasure.

  23. Applegirl NY says:

    This was a lovely and gentle post. Seeing beauty where others might miss it.

    Many small towns across the country suffer, while others thrive. I often wonder why that is. Even when you drive down a byway, it is interesting to see how two towns next door to each other can have such different character and apparent levels of success.

  24. wa_desert_rat says:

    It’s not just the small towns that are empty. As you drive around the farm roads you might notice that a lot of the farm houses look empty; although the land itself is probably still farmed. As farmers get older and their kids move off to the big city, the 160 acre farms are sold to the corporate farms. These are also often family farms but the family has created a corporation (or LLC). Since one family can farm a lot more than 160 acres what with tractors and combines the families that did stay on the land can get a lot more land to farm now. But the houses of the former families lay empty with just memories of the children laughing after school.

    Our kids, once they left home, would hardly come visit us on the farm. Always a chance we’d put ’em to work….


    • Pamela K. in GA says:

      The cost and upkeep for good farm equipment is staggering these days! Often the farmer falls behind in their banks notes and the banks take the property. Then the banks lease out the land to others to farm and the houses fall to ruins, so sad. I wish there were more, not less, hometown farmers. I believe our food supply was much safer when our foods were locally grown. Too much of our nation’s food supply comes from *other places*… from lord knows where! That, too, is sad. Anyway, that’s my take on it. Thank you for your many years of farming the land. I have always been a Willie Nelson fan and loved his Farm Aide movement so that helped form my thinking years ago. I have always respected that.

  25. Pamela K. in GA says:

    What a fun glance at the little town. I loved the old vacant church, I hope someone is helping to keep it in good repair so it will stand well during it’s vacant period. Hubby and I think it would make someone a wonderful house! There is one similar to it here and it is being used as an art gallery. It’s closer to a larger town of course but of that same era and design. The horses, I have three near me at the bottom of our road – I visit them. They have learned my car, lol. I stop and feed them apple halves and carrots from time to time. It’s fun to kinda-sorta-own-them, without the costs, isn’t it?! Horses are a LOT of work! My daughter owned a horse in high school…good lord there was always something that needed done but they sure are fun beauties.
    Well, lady, keeping you and the BLT in my thoughts. And tell Rusty that I hope whatever issues have come his way will pass soon!

  26. Pamela K. in GA says:

    New Topic:

    Has anyone heard an update from Krystina? I hope she is doing better and has found a place to recoup, regroup, and a doctor to help her. I wonder if one of those inflatable kiddie pools would help her any? NO KIDDING. I saw a family with a cargo trailer and they had one inside of it for her arthritis! I thought that was pretty cool! You wouldn’t have to have a trailer for it though, just a tarp. Maybe pay extra for the water used to fill it. I would think it might bring some relief…worth a try.

    • Barb from Hoquiam says:

      Hey Pamela,
      I saw Krystina yesterday afternoon. She DID find a lovely campground within a few miles of some Healthcare choices. We sat for a couple of hours in a cool breeze. I am helping my daughter today, but told Krystina I would help get her to appointments. We will base and I will try to let folks know how she is. She has better access to internet than I do.

      She is hurting and tired. I hope I can find those herbs mentioned…
      Barb, off the banks of the Puyallup River

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        Blessings on you too, Barb for helping Krystina!! Hope she will find the help she needs and get well!!

      • Pamela K. says:

        Thanks for the update on Krystina. Wonderful news to hear she is finally getting needed rest and some needed help.
        Barb, your helping Krystina didn’t surprise me one little bit 🙂 Your many kind comments on here was a telling insight into the kind of wonderful person you are. Just wanted to say Thank You for being YOU.

      • Cinandjules (NY) says:

        This blog is amazing! Thanks Barb!

        Krystina…I hope you feel better soon!

      • Krystina ~ Auburn, WA says:

        Hi Barb! There are not enough words to tell you how thankful I am to you for helping me out and bring me ICE CREAM!!!!. I slept for 12 hours last night (it had to be the ice cream 🙂 Thank you – Thank you – Thank you!!

        • Hugs from Hoquiam/Orting says:

          Lol, well mint chocolate chip is a proven remedy! I enjoyed our visit.
          TTYL, Barb

        • weather says:

          Krystina you are so good to take the time to leave thank you notes and updates on this and the previous post-you have a couple responses left back there,please don’t feel you need to reply unless you feel like it.Rest and healing are enough to do.Blessings and hugs,weather

      • Cynthia from San Clemente, CA says:

        That’s wonderful news. God bless you for helping Krystina out.

    • Krystina ~ Auburn, WA says:

      Thank you Pamela for keeping track of me. I so appreciate it. I just could not get the energy up to anything. I am among the living but all the pain is wearing me out. All I do is sleep – which is a good thing.

      • Pamela K. says:

        Anytime, sweet lady 🙂 I, too, have been there as a suffer of acute and chronic pain. Believe me I more than relate! I suffered for many years and I spent two full years in physical pain while learning to walk again. I slept most of my days, and nights, away during that time. For me, milkshakes helped me to sugar-up enough to rest. I refused to take sleeping meds for fear of getting hooked on them. Glad you got some sleep, always helps so much! It was what I needed to do at that time to help heal. Now it seems like it was all a distant dream but the memories of that time lost are in-part what drives me to travel and see all those wonderful things I missed before. I still have good days and some bad ones with my legs but now I can forge on and work through it most times. I find that extremes in weather temps can bring the pain back too. Try to stay near a medium temp both day and night. Helps to keep the body at a normal range. The hot temps of late have had so many effects on many of us older ones, its been a hot summer for sure.

  27. DesertGinger says:

    And the chorus…

    Standing, standing, standing on the promises of Christ my King,
    Standing, standing,I’m standing on the promises of God

  28. Sue Malone says:

    Great story and detailed photos of a town we have passed through many times on our routes north from home. We even stopped an took photos of the church, but never of all those lovely flowers and porches. Very nice, Sue.

  29. Jodee Gravel on the road in Elma, WA says:

    It seems in even the most depressed areas there are a few who hold out hope and continue to tend their gardens – it is always such an encouraging sign. Pretty sure 50 miles on a bus with groceries would a deal breaker for me though. I rode the school bus one way to high school for four years, it gets old fast. The horses are beautiful, clearly interested in what is making all that ruckus!

  30. GypsyPurl says:

    Hi Sue Great post as always. Like you said about the houses with their charm, I love to see things like that. I also give appreciation for the flower beds; whether they’re in someone’s yard or along the highways. I enjoy the beauty they give. Sad to see the condition of once thriving towns. Great pics and thanks for the journey. Stay safe in your travels.

  31. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    Guess I missed something, but what is going on with Kristina? She seems like such a nice person. Wishing her well and keeping her in my prayers.

    • Pamela K. says:

      Krystina has a current acute bout of Shingles, very painful to her. It is making RVing hard for her and she is finding that meds and doctors are harder to find since she is in an RV as opposed to a *real house* with a *real address*. Sometimes it gets to be *almost* too much for her at times like this. I’ve been there with doubts at times…but it all works out somehow for the good. Most of us wouldn’t exchange our RV lifestyles for ANY *real house* unless we had to for family or illness sake. Her friend and fellow bloggerino, Barb, is helping her and keeping us updated. Rusty, of Rusty and Timber, is having some issues too. Not sure what those issues are but Sue is helping him with them. We are all part of RVSUE’s extended family here, we do what we can to help. Love that! 🙂

  32. Diann in MT says:

    Thanks, Sue, for your lovely post. I love the horses. Their pasture looked pretty drought ridden though. Do you think they were ignoring Reggie’s barking, just to receive a little attention and perhaps a handful of grass if it were available.
    What a thoughtful photo essay, Sue!
    Hope your issues are resolved quickly. You are in my prayers.
    Hey! Next time we sing “Standing on the Promises”, I’ll recall you, the horses, the wonderful grandkids who were attending to Grandma’s yard! Love ya!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yes, the horses wanted attention. (It seems like I include every detail in my posts. Sometimes I skip stuff to move the “story” along.). They didn’t seem hungry … There wasn’t any green grass on our side of the fence either.

  33. cate walsh says:

    Hi Sue and Crew,

    Some of your current “adventure” with mechanical breakdowns is a “bump in the road” of life, and I hope you will have all resolved very soon. So sorry for the inconvenience. And, Shirlene took the words right out of my head…I was so impressed by the photojournalism flavor of this posting! One of my favorites so far. Those photos and captions would make for an amazing travel feature in any magazine beyond your blog. We were so lucky to experience it here. Thanks Sue for the touching story, and evocative photos. Love to you and all the wonderful family/community who share your travels.

  34. Pamela K. says:

    I googled Grass Valley, OR, and read about the race car track they have there. It seems to be growing quickly among the racing crowd. It is bringing adventure racing to the town and bringing in much needed dollars along with it. Hopefully, a new grocery store will open and supply both the needs of the town and their visitors. That would be good.

  35. DeAnne in TN says:

    Lovely pictures, and you know me–two things caught my eye. That beautiful buckskin horse and that lovely little trailer that I wish I could take home and make beautiful! Sigh…if only it were closer.

  36. Jolene says:

    Hi Sue,

    I am catching up after being away for almost a week camping with my mom and daughter and her kids. Sorry about your electrical problems. Looking forward to hearing how it all comes out. I love these small towns.

    ATTENTION BLOGORINOS: While camping with my mom she tells me she saw something here in the blog comments awhile back about some camper steps. We have an issue with her camper that is not an easy fix because of how it is constructed. Her steps are getting weak, it happens in many campers of some age. She said she read here about some steps that fit over the existing camper steps. That way the camper steps don’t take the weight, these other steps do. Do any of you know what she is talking about? I would appreciate knowing about this. She is soon to be 78 and I don’t want her falling. Thanks!!

    • Cynthia from San Clemente, CA says:

      Jolene: I must have missed the blog comments about steps that fit over existing steps. But, we carry a strong, metal step stool (for lack of a better word) that is the width of our RV stairs and place it completely under the bottom step of our RV – if that makes sense. That way, it supports any weight on the bottom step, which on most campers, RVs, etc. tends to be the least supported step. Hope that helps, at least for a temporary solution.

      • Pamela K. says:

        Depending on the lay of the land a milk crate from any big box store will snug directly under the bottom step too. I have seen that used often as an added support for the camper’s bottom step. Just be certain to turn the milk crate upside down so it’s bottom is the main support for the step’s bottom.

  37. Such a lovely and interesting assortment of photos Sue! Enjoyed them very much. Bless Reggie, so glad he protected you and Bridget from the big scary horses. 🙂

  38. KB says:

    There is a growing trend now of small mobile grocery stores. In Portland, Oregon the store Whole Foods has one that does a route several times a week to communities that are not well served by grocery stores or public transportation.

    Some local communities in rural areas are getting together and creating food buying coops with mobile truck service. That really brings the price down. You place your order in advance and pay in advance and then pick up the food at a scheduled stop. Some of the organic farms have delivery routes with to your door fresh produce and dairy as well as meats and other things such as nuts, flour and grains.

    Of course in rural areas there is a mind set of grow your own, buy your eggs from neighbors and buy from road side farm stands. There is always enough zucchini to go around for everyone!

  39. Kay Dattilio says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! I just want to say that I am thankful for all the help Sue’s Blogarinos can do! Most of us don’t know each other nor will we ever meet but there is a whole lotta love and caring in this group! I think it’s a nice feeling!

    Kay from KC!

  40. R. now in WY says:

    Another very interesting post. Your photos are wonderful and even those depleted places you are able to made photogenic. As to Russian Sage, the name is somewhat misleading because this is not sage and is not Russian. The leaves are poisonous an could cause allergic reactions. It is in the mint family so you were very right.
    Are mosquitos any problem in areas you visited so far in OR?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Aha! I thought I smelled mint! Thanks, R. I thought my nose was not working right. Haha!

      We’ve been lucky regarding mosquitoes. Only a few here and there. . . We go inside at dark.

  41. Terri From Texas says:

    Hi All,
    Please take care Krystina. Hopefully your pain will pass soon. Good for you, Barb, for helping her!

    Great pictures, Sue. I hope your saga of the electrical problems ends soon and you can get to cooler climes.
    Are there any cooler climes?
    Take care!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Terri. . .

      Wherever there are mountains, there are “cooler climes.” Our present camp (after Grass Valley) is cool enough… a few hot hours in late afternoon. The breeze off the lake and the lounger in the shade and it’s nice. I’m almost finished with the next post … You’ll see what I mean.

  42. Terri From Texas says:

    Hi Jolene,
    I did some quick research on camper steps. I am not finding steps that “fit over” existing camper steps, however. I think if your Moms steps are getting bad you should just replace them with some good scissor steps. Is she permanently in place and never moves? I also found some “disability” steps on Amazon. Those actually have a high handle to grab on to while going up and down. The measurement between steps differ too, from 7 to 9 inches is what I am seeing. That would make a difference in safety.
    They also make jacks that are attached underneath steps to make them more stable. Sorry I couldn’t find exactly what you were looking for. I tried to search the blog but it didn’t work. Best of luck!

    • Jolene says:

      Thanks Terri and everyone for the suggestions for my moms steps. . No, my moms camper is not permanent. We store it at our house and tow it a few times a year for her to camp in with us. We tow ours and set hers up in another spot close to us. It works well and she gets to camp yet.

  43. rvsueandcrew says:

    Hi, Blogorinos!

    Forgive me for only writing a few replies under this post. I’m almost finished with the next post and want to publish it before Reggie insists on a walk. He will only wait so long!

    Thank you for the wonderful response to the stroll around Grass Valley! Your compliments on my photography and writing are very much appreciated. You give me energy to keep on with this blog, in spite of power and signal problems. 🙂

    Okay… Time to finish up the next post!


  44. I really enjoyed this post. Something about old towns that are past their heyday. And your description of the flowers waving unnoticed by passerbys – what a shame we are all in such a hurry that we don’t enjoy the free gifts of nature. That is one thing that is so great about this RV life. We have the time.
    I hope your repairs are done without delay or excessive costs and you can continue on your fabulous journey.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, Lolalo! I’m pleased that you enjoyed the stroll through Grass Valley. The “gentle” things in life are my favorites. When I look back on the summer of 2015 I’ll remember Reggie racing around the beach, joyful and free, and Bridget wading in the river and being pleased with herself, and the cool evening I walked the quiet streets of Grass Valley, seeing flowers, horses, an old church and old houses… with the crew.

      I hope all is well with you…

  45. You were correct in thinking Russian sage was it mint. It is in the mint family and is also edible, although I haven’t tried it. I’ve never lived where it grows well.

  46. Rick Hamell says:

    Grass Valley is a great place to visit. There used to be a rodeo going on just outside of town, but I doubt that is held any more. The museum in town in pretty interesting too. Hopefully you got to see another small town south of there, the real ghost town of Kent.

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