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Letters 1/4-1/11 

Whiskey is the water of life. Follow Oregon Spirit Distillers on Instagram @oregonspiritdistillers. To be eligible for selection in Lightmeter tag @sourceweekly.

Whiskey is the water of life. Follow Oregon Spirit Distillers on Instagram @oregonspiritdistillers. To be eligible for selection in Lightmeter tag @sourceweekly.

Successful Season on the Oregon Desert Trail

I've lived in Oregon for over 12 years, and have enjoyed spending time hiking, packrafting, and exploring the public lands of the high desert. This year I spent almost seven weeks walking across Eastern Oregon along the 750-mile Oregon Desert Trail. In addition to the wildlife, wildflowers, and incredible desert skies, I encountered countless acts of generosity from the people I met along the way. From a handful of fresh cherries, to a ride back to my car, and ice cold water on a hot July day, these gifts from chance encounters are a big reason I love putting on a pack. I can't think of a better way to learn about a place than to share a beer and a story or two with someone, and hear about some of their favorite places to explore.

Four other hikers completed the entire route this year in addition to countless others who spent a day or two hiking in the desert; they all had similar stories of generosity and chance encounters. All were safe and successful in navigating the route in what is a series of trails, old two-track roads, and cross country hiking. It's a challenging route as there are no physical markers on the ground, but that didn't deter those backcountry navigators from enjoying and exploring the high desert.

Thank you to all in Bend, Christmas Valley, Summer Lake, Paisley, Lakeview, Plush, Adel, Frenchglen, Fields, Denio, McDermitt, Rome and Adrian, and all those in between.

—Renee Patrick, Oregon Desert Trail Coordinator

Inauguration

There was a report on the web that there will be no marching bands at the Inauguration this year because none applied. I would guess that The Donald is not disappointed—he probably thinks he deserves something more grandiose than mere high school marching bands. So I propose the following: the aria "Every Valley" from G.F. Handel's Messiah with revised lyrics.

Donald Tru-ump, Donald Tru-ump

Shall be Exalted.

Shall be Exa-a-a-a-a-a-a-alted.

Shall be Exalted.

Shall be Exa-a-a-a-a-a-a-alted.

And the eco-onomy shall grow.

We'll drain the swamp and build the wa-a-a-a-all.

We'll build the wall.

We formerly were great. Again we'll be grea-a-a-a-t.

Again we'll be great.

Donald Tru-ump, Donald Tru-ump

Shall be Exa-a-a-a-a-a-a-alted.

Donald Tru-ump, Donald Tru-ump

Shall be Exa-a-a-a-a-a-a-alted.

And the eco-onomy shall grow.

We formerly were great, we formerly were great

We formerly were great.

Again we'll be great. Again we'll be great.

Again we'll be great, Under The Donald Trump

—Ted Suen

In Response to, "Lessons from the Ghost Ship Fire," (12/14)

The Domino Room/Midtown Ballroom reminds me of a place that could have a major accident...some shows only have alcohol on the upper level and I could totally see that thing crashing down on a bunch of people on the floor level. That place needs to be torn down and rebuilt so nobody dies from that old, dirty, broken down roller skating rink.

—Barclay Losse via bendsource.com

Thanks for the Warm Welcome

Dear Bend,

It's been eight days since I pulled my van onto your snowy streets. After more than two months on the road, meandering through mostly two-lane rural roads and gravelly twists and turns in the deep woods of much of this country's most beautiful land, I decided that I was ready for a change of pace. I set out on the road looking for something, but not sure what. I'm always looking for something. And, come to think of it, never quite sure what it is. If one misplaces their glasses or their wallet, they can look for them. In the glovebox...no. In my back pocket...no. In my purse...no. Ah, there, in the refrigerator! Perfect. Lost object found; now onto the rest of the day. But, for me, I'm looking for a feeling. A sense of belonging, maybe. A community in which I ask "Whaaaat?!" less often and replace that confused energy with forward momentum and positive vibes.

I've met let's say 50 people since I've been here. Shook hands, traded names, had a chat kind of meeting. Every person I've engaged in conversation (with the exception of one who will remain nameless) has been extraordinarily friendly. Not in a touristy, we want your money kind of way. But in a, this joy is from the heart and very easily accessible kind of way. That is astounding. But in a way that makes a lot of sense. In a way that makes me feel as though I may have just found at least some of what I've been looking for.

So, in light of the soon coming holiday and in a spirit that matches the one you've shown me, I wanted to offer a genuine thank you to every one of you who have done what I would do (offer directions, point out the best dog park, recommend a beer, check out this place for a job, inquire here as to a place to live, eat here, drink coffee there, stay warm, keep at it, we are glad to have you, etc.). Neighborly love and good attitudes and warm smiles abound. I'm going to keep those traditions going. You can hold me to it.

—Joshua Langlais

LETTER OF THE WEEK

Keep up the good attitude, Joshua! As you transition from noob to home seeker to exorbitant rent-payer, you'll probably need it... Until then, stop by for your gift card to Palate on us.

—Nicole Vulcan, Editor

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