We arrived in Prineville on Friday with the media breathlessly waiting! Well, maybe not.
Adam’s Dad, Richard, had contacted the Central Oregonian that morning and a reporter waited to take some pictures as we ran into town. We spoke explained what we were doing, answered a few questions, and asked about some can’t miss spots in town. Our run stopped at, predictably, a highly recommended ice cream shop: Tastee Treet. Adam had a massive burger and we chatted with a few locals about Oregon sports.
Later that afternoon, Adam and I met with Captain Michael Boyd of the Prineville Police Department. We learned about local education as well as a number of positive community initiatives, from a prescription medicine drop box installed at the police station to a neighborhood cleanup program. Afterwards, we checked out the Crook County Fair, where we enjoyed typical fair food and spoke with two Forestry Workers who told us about how brutal the fires have been in the northwest this summer. We headed over to the Crook County Fire and Rescue Department and asked if we could park Rex nearby; we were allowed to stay on a gravel lot adjacent to the fire department and meet the crew the next day.
On Saturday morning, we listened in on the daily firefighter briefing, which turned into an incredible discussion ranging from education policy to the local economy. One of the firefighters arranged a tour of the recently built Facebook data storage facility in Prineville. The computer nerd in me was delighted by the machines and technology, but it was more interesting to hear how the facility has impacted the local community. Prineville was chosen because of its ideal climate and cheap energy and water. While many citizens were initially hesitant to embrace the company’s presence, we got the impression that at this point the company was well liked due to newly created jobs (paired with requisite technical training) and influx of revenue for the town (from company visitors patronizing local restaurants and hotels). In the evening we joined the firefighters for dinner and enjoyed a wonderful (and healthy!) meal and conversation. Before we crashed for the night we were even invited in to use the station’s shower facilities, which brought new life to all of us.
After saying thank you and goodbye to the firefighters on Sunday morning, Adam and I started our first day without Richard, who returned to Portland and will join us later in Idaho. We’ve decided to each run multiple legs per day and rotate driving. We’re behind on our schedule, so by splitting the distance we’ll be able to make up some distance. We’re now in Mitchell, OR, known as the ‘Gateway to the Painted Hills’, and we are enjoying our second visit to the SideWalkCafe (which has WiFi and, importantly, great service and excellent pie). Tomorrow we’ll get an early start since it becomes brutally hot around noon. Adam aced a big hill today, so I’ll get to tackle the rest of it tomorrow.