Thursday, September 19

Baker City or Bust

 I was on vacation this week and for two days, I visited Baker City, Oregon because that's where I decided to set my WIP. I'm not sure why I chose Baker City--I wanted the book set in the Pacific NW because that's the area I know and love. 

But I wanted a small town that wasn't super small but was also a little remote--not easy to reach from Portland--five hours over mountains, through canyons, and along the Columbia River.

I'd been to Baker City once before--when my daughter had a tournament in Boise, we stopped there for lunch on the way home. And I remembered a quaint little town.

I think it's grown a little since then, but it's still quaint--even new houses are built to look older and not a lot of tract homes--like my own ranch style abode. Lots of homes had bay windows and turrets--I kind of fell in love a little. Honestly, if Baker City were closer, I might consider a move. But I love my city stuff.

We drove down Sunday morning and stayed in the cutest B&B--Bogarts. Which is a guesthouse so Mom and I had an entire compact home to ourselves and in the morning, breakfast was delivered to our door.

After settling in, we went in search of atmosphere. And found it. First of all, being from a major metro area, we weren't prepared for a town that shuts down on Sunday. For every store open, there were ten that weren't. One store--a flea market had their hours posted, "Open afternoons and most Sundays".

We walked to the city park where I knew from research is where they hold their farmer's market on Wednesdays and I got a few pictures to use for a few scenes I have planned, including the one I'm working on right now that involves the farmer's market. 


Then we returned to our cute little 
guest house and took a walk to the Powder River which had access just a lot away from where we were staying. There's a three or four mile path that runs along the Powder River that my character--being a softball player--will run on during her workout. I--being a woman with 50-year-old knees--took a leisurely stroll until it started raining.

Mom and I went to dinner then and the rain turned into thunder showers. The lightening storm lasted for almost four hours--from rain beginning to the end and we enjoyed every moment because we don't get many lightening storms on our side of the Cascades. 

We get lots of rain, small thunder showers in the fall, but lightening is a flash here or there and then it's gone.

So besides, a couple of days away from life, I got to soak in the atmosphere of my work-in-progress and hopefully, my story will be richer for it.


  1. Great pics and what a cute little town! I'd like to visit someday! Oh, wait! I will! In your book. Hurry up and get it written!

  2. Looks beautiful, like you had a wonderful trip. If I ever moved from Germany (and it wasn't back to Michigan), I think I'd pick OR.

  3. I love the pictures, and you've definitely made me want to go to Baker City. Sounds as though you got lots of good writing stuff!

  4. D'Ann and Liz--I should've taken more pics, but it is a cute little town. And I'm working on getting it written.

    Laura--so good of you to stop by! I'd love it if you moved to Oregon. Then we could be neighbors. Although if I ever get to do my dream trip to Europe, I'll be looking you up in Germany!

  5. that sounds like a beautiful place, Margie! Can't wait for you to bring it to life in the WIP...I'm with you, I love small towns but I'm kind of attached to my city amenities.

  6. It sounds like a lovely place. My nice grandmother lived in Portland Oregon. The chamber of commerce had her 5 acres of gardens listed as a place to visit. But then mother decided I would not be born in lovely Portland, but instead she returned to the swamps of Arkansas to have me. I'm still mad about that. I intend to return to my rightful birthplace eventually.

  7. Kristi--Totally agree about the small towns. They are lovely to visit, but I like the accessibility of the city life.

    Liza--I was born in the Portland area, and then--as a Navy brat--moved for the next nine years, but we came back because my mom is from here and said it was the most beautiful place to be. My dad was from Nebraska and I'm happy to say Mom won the battle on where to settle post-retirement :)

  8. Nice photos. I hope to one day visit the settings of my novels. Not sure if I'll manage to do so before they're published, though.