What the heck are these guys doing?

Matthew, Weston and Nathan are first year medical students with a passion for community health and biking. Along with Daphne, a first year Veterinary student, the 4 companions will embark on a five-week trip through 1,000 miles of rural Oregon wonder. Along the way they will be working in conjunction with the Oregon Academy of Family Physicians to facilitate community discussions on improving local healthcare options. See our photo album

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Family, Friends and Eastern Oregon

It's been an eventful end of July for the crew.  Matt, Daphne and Wes agreed to take a few layover days at my family cattle ranch in Sumpter Valley.  The ranch has been in my family for over 100 years and is nestled between in the Elkhorn Mountains between John Day and Baker City.  I love sharing the ranch with visitors and could not have had better guests.  Matt and Daphne jumped right into work and moved cattle like seasoned ranch hands with the help of our trusty collie Roy.  Wes was no slouch and made short work of morning chores.  My sister, brother, mother, father and grandfather were all busy putting up hay but took the time to feed us and put us up.  Thanks family!  A special thanks goes to my Grandpa John for a dynamite send-off breakfast.

Mom, Dad and the Cyclists in Sumpter Valley

After stopping in to see the family we gave two presentations in Baker City, where I attended high school.  It felt like a real homecoming to be presenting to familiar faces at the Lion's Club and Baker City Democrats meetings.  The current Baker City Lion's Club president Chris Knoll is the clinic manager at St. Luke's Eastern Oregon Medical Associates in Baker City and kindly offered to give us a tour of their new facilities.  We were impressed by the quality of the clinic and the services they were able to offer to their patients.  Thanks for the tour Chris!

After the stop on my home turf we headed north towards La Grande.  The ride was just a tiny bit windy as we cruised under some of Oregon's newest wind turbines into Union, just a few miles before La Grande.  On our way through town Dr. Kim Montee flagged us down in the middle of the street.  Dr. Montee had heard we were riding through town and fortunately was looking at the right time to stop us for an unplanned visit.  Not only is Dr. Montee a family physician but he is also an avid cyclist, so we had plenty to talk about.   He showed us around the Union Community Clinic and a brand new mobile clinic that will be visiting schools in the small communities of Cove, Union and North Powder.  Dr. Montee then directed us to Papa's, his favorite local eatery.  We were all impressed by the BLT marketed as having over a pound of bacon.  I was the only one brave enough to give it a shot.

Matt Ponders the Windmills Outside of Union

Loaded down with a hefty lunch we finished the remaining miles to La Grande in time for a BBQ and an evening presentation.  My friend Nella Parks at Oregon Rural Action and Jillian Currey with the Oregon Rural Practice Based Research Network hosted the presentation.  It was really fun and a dedicated crowd.  They have been putting this up this weekend and treating us like royalty.  Thanks Nella and Jillian!

Daphne's Special Peach Pie
Tomorrow we leave at 7am from Mountain Works in downtown La Grande if anyone wants to join us.  Next stop, Wallowa Lake.

1 comment:

  1. When I first heard about this trip, I thought it would be relentless hard riding, hot sun, sore muscles, uncomfortable campgrounds and canned beans. Hah! Was I ever wrong!

    Seems like you're having way more fun than hardship, what with dips in the ocean, hot tubs, home-cooked meals, herding cattle, rafting, and, more than anything, spending time with family and friends.

    Your experiences networking with the medical community are amazing, and you must feel your decisions about medical school are substantiated.

    Well done!