South of Adel, Oregon, beyond the diminished headquarters of the MC Ranch, Twentymile Road offers a sharp eastward turnoff onto County Road 3–15. You take it, hitting the turn signal for no reason at all, pushing through irrigated pastures in the valley bottoms where the humidity is suddenly tropical and the smell of lush orchard grass, alfalfa, and timothy pours in through the open windows of the truck. You think: a rainforest sprinkled with dust.
The cast of players who inhabited the Country Club on a Saturday night only reinforced the notion. Miners, cowboys, truckers, hunters, itinerant singers, Indians, Mexicans, Whites and Basques, we were all drawn to Bruno’s in a kind of marvelous modern rendezvous. It could, and sometimes did, get rowdy.