Cowboy Town USA

Trip Start Sep 29, 2009
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Trip End Ongoing


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Where I stayed
Goose Lake Organics

Flag of United States  , Oregon
Thursday, May 27, 2010

Lakeview, Oregon. Population 2,500. But for 4 weeks it was population 2,502. We headed south from Ashland to work at Goose Lake Organics in Lakeview. We were lucky enough to get a ride from our Ashland host, John. This was no small favor as he had to drive us 100 miles one way, through the mountains and a snowstorm! (Yes, it was May.) John dropped us off at the Walmart in Klamath Falls – our designated meeting point with our new host, Rob. (You can buy wine and beer at Walmart in Oregon!)

Rob picked us up and we were off to Lakeview – another 90 miles from Klamath Falls, which is the closest “big city” to Lakeview. It continued to snow, which worried/amazed us since we don't usually have snow storms in May in the mid-Atlantic.

Rob showed us around his farm/ranch. He has 300 acres of land on which he grazes cattle and sheep; grows hay for his animals and for sale; has a wetlands preserve; has a LARGE garden (see pictures); has his main house; a couple of barns/garages; has a pump house which serves as volunteer accommodations and a beach volleyball court!

We took a couple of days to get the lay of the land – and waited for the weather to improve – and then we got to work. Our daily “chores” consisted mostly of work in the garden. We built raised beds and planted tons of seeds – several varieties of beans, radishes, onions, peas, etc. We created the potato area – several long rows of potatoes were planted along which we dug ditches for efficient watering. We also created a round, wheel-like herb garden (see pictures) and planted it with a nice variety of herbs.


The weather was unseasonable cold, and some evenings we had to go around the garden and cover all the seedlings with wire cages and cloth. Before we arrived Rob had already planted squash hills, spinach, some peppers and tomatoes, and a few other things. We didn't want to lose all those to the weather. By the time we left, we were pretty sure everything would flourish.

We also built an outdoor shower attached to our little house. I have to say, I didn't like being
charged with a construction project, but I felt pretty proud of it when it was done. Charles enjoyed it more than I did and I can now admit, I learned a lot during the project. (See pics.) We also put up a “permanent tent” for other volunteers which included laying a brick foundation and patio. Good thing we've watched so many DIY home shows!


That was pretty much our month. It was a good experience and our host Rob was generous, outgoing and thanked us profusely for everything we did (being appreciated is always nice.) We didn't take any side-trips (since we didn't have transportation and we were in the middle of nowhere, it seemed), but we definitely enjoyed our time at Goose Lake Organics. We only wish
we could have stayed longer to enjoy the fruits – and vegetables – of our labor.

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