Home in the John Day River Territory

June 13, 2016 (Updated October 26, 2016)

“Are you sure you want to do this? The novelty will wear off in about a year and a half, and you will be left with a piece of property you can’t sell.” These were the words that churned around my head the night before I bet my bank account on a piece of property in a remote area near Spray, Oregon. But instead, the next day I chose to listen to my intuition and sense of well-being more than the reasoning of others.

I wish I could say that moving to an isolated rural area in the John Day River Territory a few years ago took a lot of deliberation, but the truth is the decision was an easy one. And here is why.

Who wouldn’t want to pay a few dollars and swim all day in an isolated natural hot-spring-fed swimming pool at Ritter Hot Springs?

Or hike around rock formations that are millions of years old?

Catch fish at the break of dawn or twilight?

Or raft the beautiful John Day River?

On a whim, take your best friend out to the Painted Hills after cooking her a meal with a centerpiece sirloin from the Painted Hills Natural Beef Ranch.

Who wouldn’t want to snag some honey from Apricot Apiaries and drizzle it on freshly baked morning biscuits?

Or plan a BBQ, asking all of your friends to come and take over the Riverbend Motel and its little white house?

Photo credit: Michael Schoenholtz

Who wouldn’t want to stargaze away from the city and feel so small, teeny tiny this-universe-is-so-big small?

Ride a horse across Cottonwood Canyon?

Converse with unpretentious people who know how to till the earth, tool the saddles and lasso things?

Or chase ghosts in abandoned towns?

It’s fun out here. It awakens my soul. It heals the weary minds of my city friends.

Come on out. The drive is spectacular and it won’t even feel like a few hours have passed due to the ever-changing landscape and skies along the way.

And you just might find a reason to stay.

About The

Joni Kabana
Joni Kabana is a visual artist and communications specialist who is most happy when she is deep into a world which is unfamiliar to her. She can be found at home near Spray or in remote villages across the globe working on magazine, NGO, corporate, advertisement and personal projects trying to stretch her beliefs and imagination as far as they will go.