My Juntura Serpentine


Hello, September. 

With that out of the way and as we await the murdering land sharks with frickin’ laser beams to show up…I’ll post a short one with pics. 

Was traveling through the teeny town of Juntura, Oregon. My car seemed a bit…funny. Making this weird little noise, but otherwise running okay. I stop, powder my nose at the café there– there’s just the one– and head off toward Christmas Valley, which is way and away on the other side of Burns. You are welcome to look up these places. Notice the DISTANCE between them. Notice that a lot. 

I am perhaps ten miles or so out of Juntura when the car goes berserk. 

Overlooking Juntura, from Shumway Road

Battery light comes on. No power steering. Temp gauge goes through the roof. I smell singed rubber-burning rubber. Whoa now, baby, what’s wrong? I have no idea. So I turn a giant ass U-ey on Highway 20 and hope, hope, hope I can make it back to Juntura…which has the one café and a motel and…nothing else. I do get there, I manage to get the hood up and…have no idea what to do other than check the radiator and the fluids, which all seem fine. I don’t see steam rising from the radiator, either– having had a car that overheated all the time way back when, know that one and how to get back on the road when it does so. 

Also? The town mechanic, the only one between Harper and Juntura. which is a fifty mile stretch, is, um, gone for the day. I can’t make this shit up. 

But. Two guys wander over, discover it’s the serpentine belt that’s gone bye bye. One even fished it from around the fan. So now I can tell those at home what it is and hey, hey, it’s an easy fix and I didn’t blow the engine. 

So finally got a message through at home. My poor brother has to drive up, put the new belt on, then drive back. 

And of course the car drives beautifully after that. Ugh a bug. I lost a day of work but the belt is no longer a ticking time bomb. I just think about being in the actual middle of nowhere and…yep. 

I sprinkled pics of Eastern and Southern Oregon throughout this sad little tale. That’s in and around the Great Sandy Desert and Juntura, of course. Christmas Valley has a lot of hay fields and not much else. I did see lots of wildlife there. Antelope, rabbits, coyotes. 

Okay! I do have a third book about to hit. I’m getting rejections back. Woot woot! And dread to see where work will try to send me tomorrow. 

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It’s forty miles back to Highway 20, which is Riley and some spendy gas. 


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Christmas Valley, OR. Salt Flat Lane. You can see the two antelope at the very tip-top. I could not get any closer without spooking them


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