La Grande was our favorite Oregon town. It has a population of only 13,000 but being the county seat and home of Eastern Oregon University it had a little more polish to it than it’s smaller neighbors and a good bike shop. We would like to have spent more time exploring La Grande but we had reservations in Union Oregon population 2,000.
The Union Hotel was built in 1921 and at three stories tall it towers above the other buildings on Main Street. In its hay day it was visited by celebrities seeking R&R in the mountains of eastern oregon. The lobby takes you back to the 1920’s with its original wood work, black and white tile floor and marble stairs. We stayed in the ‘Clark Gable Room’. It was a small room with a claw foot tub and a wrap around curtain to keep the shower water from covering the floor. The old sink with its individual hot and cold spigots was located in the bedroom not the bathroom and was stoppered with a white rubber plug securely attached to the sink with a silver chain. The walls were decorated with fishing gear and pictures of Clark Gable. It is said that Clark Gable would come to the area to fish and pursue outdoor interests in the surrounding mountains.
Our next nights stay will be arranged thanks to the bicycling social network, Warmshowers.org, but “I can’t think about that right now.”