We do know Condon, Oregon is a great little town in the middle of vast ranchlands. Bob was stationed here with the Air Force during the Vietnam era, and I was curious to see the spot I’d heard about, so — new Jeep in tow — we ventured East from Portland in September, our GPS pointing the way to Condon.
At one spot along the highway, we got out to see the distant peaks of five mountains! Mount St. Helens, Mount Hood, Mount Rainier, Mount Adams, and Mount Jefferson. A panorama shot would just show faint blue sky, the peaks were that far away (at least for my camera) but here’s a close-up look at Mount Hood from that spot:
As we pulled into town, a couple of four-leggeds from the Welcoming Committee bade us hello:
Condon reminded us of the best small towns we’ve come across in our travels — a mixture of well-kept older buildings with new construction, all signs of not only an economically healthy community but a town that invests in its residents and visitors. We had a great lunch and shopping, and Bob fielded a lot of questions from friendly local residents — When was he stationed here? Was he coming to the reunion they hold every other year? The radar site was closed some time ago but it has clearly not been forgotten.
As Bob remembered, the land stretched out around us. He’d spent time mending fences and working as a hired ranch hand in the warmer weather and skiied Mount Hood in the winter. As we drove, he noted which ranches seemed to have abandoned their fences — maybe the ranches they surrounded were gone, too, we thought…