Blazing Saddles: Pedaling Oregon’s longest scenic bikeway from John Day

1859 Oregon’s Magazine | July/August 2014

A veil of rain moved toward Donnie and me, then over, as we cranked our loaded touring bicycles along a two-lane road in Eastern Oregon. We had 10 miles to go before we reached our campsite, and we knew if we wanted to arrive before dark, we needed to keep pedaling, even if it meant getting completely drenched.

Then a bolt of lightning lit a wildfire on a nearby ridge.

We hit the brakes and eased our bikes to the side of the road, not eager to become the next target.

Shoemakers Row: Oregon custom shoemakers follow in the footsteps of an age-old tradition

1859 Oregon’s Magazine | November/December 2013

Oregon has a long and illustrious history in the shoemaking industry. Home of the footwear giant Nike, the state is also the site of the world’s oldest known shoes, 10,000-year-old sagebrush bark sandals discovered in a cave near Fort Rock, east of Gilchrist. Yet with 99 percent of the footwear on the U.S. market factory-produced overseas, very few people—Oregonian or otherwise—actually know how to construct a pair of shoes with their own two hands.
In the following pages, we introduce five Oregonians practicing one of the world’s oldest, most utilitarian trades.