Those of you who read The Christmas Bargain will remember it took place in the town of Hardman, Oregon.
Back in the late 1800s, Hardman was a bustling town along a stage route through Eastern Oregon. They even had a skating rink! Anticipating the arrival of the railroad in town, it instead went through Heppner, about 20 miles to the north. Without the railroad to bring in business, the town began its decline.
Today it is considered a ghost town. About 25 residents still live there.
Driving through it once years ago, I decided it would be a great adventure for us to see it again. So on a recent Saturday, Captain Cavedweller and I made the two-hundred mile trip to visit Hardman.
Along the way we saw numerous wheat fields (harvested, of course), dirt, rocks, hills, and winding roads over hills with no guard rails that may have caused one of the occupants in our vehicle to become slightly hysterical.
The excitement level of the trip kicked up a notch when we spotted some road kill.
CC thought it was a skunk. I declared it a porcupine.
To prove who was right, we had to circle around and look again.
It was a porcupine. Or what was left of one.
Finally, we reached Hardman.
From the sign on the building, this is one of the originals, although it appears to now be the Hardman Community Center. You can see, off to the side, it says Yellow Dog and Raw Dog… before the town was Hardman, there were two towns – Yellow Dog and Raw Dog. They eventually combined and became Hardman, named after the man who opened the post office.
You’re probably wondering why any of this is important or relevant or of interest.
Here is the thing…
I’ve missed Luke and Filly and the characters from The Christmas Bargain. So much, in fact, I decided to write a sequel that will be out sometime in November.
Although, to be honest, they aren’t the main characters in this story. The Christmas Token is about Ginny Granger, Luke’s sister, and Blake Stratton, the boy she loved before her parents moved back to New York when she was fifteen.
Stay tuned for more details about The Christmas Token!