1. Today was our one full day in the Pendleton area and we tried to make the most of it. We started out with breakfast in the Traditions restaurant -- I especially enjoyed having a biscuit with my bacon, eggs, and hash browns. I like eating pieces of bacon on top of the biscuit halves. Once again, everything was easy. Ed and Mike went their own ways after breakfast and I returned to my room to clean up.
2. Around 12 noon, we all piled into Mike's Camry and headed east from Pendleton. Last November, Ed and Mike had found a two lane back road that wound around in the countryside for a while and soon reached a stunning vista where we could look out over the local valley for miles and miles, admiring the combination of farmland and mountains covered with snow.
After this drive, we headed to Meacham, OR, a tiny town on the old Oregon Trail. Our attraction to Meacham is the Oregon Trail Store and Deli, a rural joint without a shred of fancy. I think a couple owns it. Mostly we have dealt with the friendly husband, a welcoming middle aged guy with a lively sense of humor. The owner has had a bunch of menus printed up that feature dishes made from road kill, so he gave us each one before he brought out his real menu. We each had a beer and when Ed saw on the menu that the joint made home made French fries, he ordered a batch which we shared -- and which were great.
3. Back at the casino, we again went our separate ways and reconvened for the steak dinner we enjoy every time we visit Wildhorse at the casino's steak house, the Plateau. Each of us ordered a Pendleton Whiskey Steak, a 14 oz New York strip crusted with pepper (I love pepper-crusted steak) and lightly touched with a Pendleton Whiskey demi-glace. I hadn't eaten a steak in a restaurant since the last time I was at the Plateau, in November, 2019, and I savored every bite of this dinner -- and not just the steak. For my two complements I ordered melt in your mouth wild mushrooms and crispy Brussels sprouts delicately sweetened with local honey. My gin martini to start was perfect and I enjoyed a glass of a red blend wine with my meal.
We had two events to celebrate at dinner. First, Mike recently had his 67th birthday. Second, Ed hit three jackpots in the last two days worth, before taxes, around 7500 dollars. It's the most astounding haul any one of us has ever made in the many years we've been making these trips to Pendleton -- or in the old days when we used to go to casinos in Newport and Grand Ronde, OR.