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2001, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2008
, J. Atchison

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There are folks who think you must go through Hell to get to Rome. Believe me, I have felt the same way. When you look through the windshield and you gaze down the road, Hell is a good way to discribe the sight.
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...and just about the time you think it can't be any worse, you get a surprise and it rains in Hell...or as was the case on my last trip...it snowed. How pathetic.


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...and then the rain stops and you find barren wasteland where almost nothing grows and you wonder why did it bother to rain?

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Did you really think that I was talking about the other Rome? I'm talking about THE Rome...Rome, Oregon.

You have to drive slowly through Rome or you may find yourself in deep manure...literally. It's farming country. Really a suburb of no where...but they have a big time sign, no cross streets...but the sign.


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...and yes, that is a bug splat in the lower left corner. They grow alfalfa and hay near Rome and you get souvenirs on your windshield. When you look in your travel books, you won't find the alfalfa/hay information talked about too much when they talk about Rome...they might mention grapes and olives along with fountains and frescos, and some pieces even mention religion and such, but I didn't see any of those when I was there. I'll bet you don't get too many of these precious windshield memories when you go to the other Rome.

...I think they have Roman baths in this building, the Roman potty is in the camper parked next door...you can get bait from the fridge on the porch too...and lunch on Roman Meal bread...BLTs with Romane lettuce and Roma tomatoes. You think the photograph on the left on that bright and sunny day was dreary? Take a look at the photo on the right on a normal November day...yikes.

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P0000636.JPG (170170 bytes) My photograph of the coliseum didn't turn out, but the shot of this building did, so I thought I would share. I didn't see the coliseum...I only saw two buildings in Rome...but both were standing and not in ruins like that tourist trap in Italy.

But questions arise...why do they need two ambulances in Rome?...and what's that on the roof of the building?...a target perhaps? I want to tell you that driving across the deserts just gives the mind time to wander and ask more questions.

I appreciated the lack of economic incentives that some tourist traps generate. There were no T-shirt shops or duty-free shopping in Rome...no funny religious head gear...just simple ball caps with tractor names on the front.

There was not a lot of time to spend on my stay in Rome. I was only able to take about two minutes on my last trip through so I didn't get a chance to throw any money into the trivial fountain. I'll have to take an additional minute on my next trip and chuck some money in the water. I already know my wish...please Oregon, raise the speed limit to something higher than the current 55 mph.

And what pray tell leads a guy to think like this...and then take the time to post the silly material on a WWW site...lots and lots of this kind of scenery...it will do it to you every time.

But there are a few streams in the area and when the timing is right I'll be trudging in the water seeking fish. There is a purpose for driving to and from nowhere...it gives the brain some time to dream.

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...and when you get to the fabled collection location you find that the "loaves and fishes" story in only half true...we found the fishes but not the loaves...and the fishes were not in too good of shape. But collecting is part of the story and one of the reasons we were passing through Rome in the first place (and on through Jordan Valley also).

...more about collecting from the other side of the Jordan Valley.