Note from JWR:

I recently had the opportunity to do some on-site consulting with a client that owns an elaborate retreat in Eastern Oregon. I really like the region, since it is wonderfully remote. The upper elevations have copious timber and wild game, and fairly plentiful water.

Half of the fun of my Oregon trips is poking around county history museums and graveyards. I’m distantly related to David Lawson Shirk, one of eastern Oregon’s early cattlemen. (See the book “The Cattle Drives of David Shirk.”) Shirk was involved in a much-publicized range war with cattle baron Pete French (of the famous “P” Ranch), in the Steens Mountain country–in the southeastern corner of the state. The whole affray started with a quarrel over the affections of a young lady, Miss Frances Crow. (She was my great-great aunt.) David Shirk won the lady’s heart, secured his stock watering rights, and a few years later he won a gunfight with one of Pete French’s hired men. (Later, Pete French died in an unrelated gunfight.) One could conclude that for serious social interactions–involving ladies and lead–that there are no second place winners.