Have you ever revisited a place you once lived? Ever had that experience of returning to a childhood home and thinking, “I remember things much larger than they are here.” Part of our Southern Oregon trip was an opportunity for Pedro and I to continue learning about each other, and showing each other previous places we had lived and spent time.
This explains why our first road trip after the start of the pandemic included such an unlikely vacation destination as Klamath Falls, Oregon.
My earlier post mentioned that he had lived in Ashland for six months. After that, Pedro moved to Klamath Falls, and lived, worked, and went to school there for years. I was born when my family lived in nearby tiny Chiloquin, Oregon, so of course I was delivered in the hospital in Klamath Falls. Grandpa and Grandma Trulove lived in K Falls near the military base most of their lives. My family has a lot of K Falls connections and I have a lot of memories of the somewhat ordinary, blue-collar, ranching/agricultural community. My brother Tanner also lived and went to school at Oregon Institute of Technology (same school as Pedro and at the same time!!!). Tara’s partner Cameron also lived there. For as unremarkable a city as it is, my connections to it are like a tapestry of woven threads.
After another scrumptious breakfast with Curt & Peggy (blogger at Wandering Through Time and Place), we set off for the short drive to Klamath Falls, Oregon.
As we recalled, it was not a particularly pretty or interesting city, but the small downtown area kept our attention for a couple hours, as we walked down one side of the street, and up the other side, and Pedro told me about who owned what when he lived there, and what this or that building used to be. We tried to find a restaurant he remembered, but it was now a Co-op grocery store, so we found another place for lunch. We also toured the Sunday farmer’s market, but it was closing time, so stalls were half-empty and it was pretty quiet.
On the north end of town we visited the campus of Oregon Institute of Technology, often called Oregon Tech. When I visited there we called it OIT, but I think there has been some re-branding. We explored the campus where he had to start all over and get new degrees because apparently the U.S. does not recognize academic degrees if the university is in another country. Not too long ago, Pedro and my brother Tanner discovered that they not only both attended Oregon Tech, but the years they attended overlapped. They never met each other while there. Pedro’s Master of Science degree is in computer engineering, and Tanner’s degree is in civil engineering, and apparently the two groups are of the opinion that they are better than the other, and don’t mix. Ha ha ha!! They did play pool at the same places, and remembered the same crazy college stories.
One thing I was enjoying very much were the murals.
Pedro and I drove to the former houses he had lived in, and he recalled stories of neighbors and things that happened while he lived there. We drove north past Lower and Upper Klamath Lakes, up to Agency Lake in Chiloquin. I remembered Uncle Charley’s place, and then we went to look at the place my dad and step-mom built overlooking Agency Lake. Then we went back to K Falls and checked into our hotel for the night to get a good night’s sleep before we got up to explore Lava Beds National Monument the next day.