A few weekends ago, Michael and I were able to go on an overnight road trip on the bike to the rustic North End Crossing Barn & Bed in the ghost town of Flora, OR. We had a gorgeous ride through the Wallowa Mountains and when we saw this place, we instantly felt at home. This is a pic of the outside of this affordable B & B. The outhouse cleverly hides a fridge where they sell homegrown milk and eggs. We instantly felt a kinship with Vanessa and Dan, the innkeepers of this charming homestead/B& B.
Vanessa is a master weaver. She wove the rug by hand with a loom and made some of the quilts on the bed. They also provide a long flannel night gown and PJs. I loved that touch!
These items were also in our room. They give you a pitcher of warm water outside your door in the morning and you also have the use of a claw foot bathtub if you so desire.
The kitchen was my favorite part of this old house! They do all the cooking exclusively on this wood cook stove. They can on it and everything. Vanessa and I were so excited to have lard rendering in common.
Dan is a blacksmith and made the hooks on the utensil holder which hangs from the ceiling. I want Michael to make me one now. We gained so many ideas while we were there!
They make their own apple cider vinegar and we decided to try this ourselves during apple season this fall. Can't wait! Vanessa gave me the "mother" to start our vinegar on the right track.
Homemade frittata, fried potatoes, scones, sausage links (from their homegrown pigs) and juice for breakfast. All cooked in cast iron, just like we do at home.
Vanessa and Dan sent us on our way with knowledge of the ghost town of Flora, instructions for how to make lye, some apple cider vinegar (plus a jar of the mother), and my favorite thing of all - a "woolly washer". The woolly washer is homemade soap with wool felted around it. It washes and scrubs at the same time. I used it on my super dirty camping feet last weekend and it worked great! I've got to learn how to make those. After seeing all of her looms and yarn, I'm really wanting to learn how to spin my own yarn, too. Someday! Gotta master one thing at a time....
So if you are ever in Eastern Oregon and want to see how real homesteaders live, stop by and visit Dan and Vanessa at North End Crossing. They are the sweetest, most interesting people, whom we now call friends. I will be doing a post about the Dan and Vanessa's efforts to restore the Flora School next.