Our 33 Day, 6731 Mile Road Trip–part 4

>> Friday, June 8, 2012

Our fifth day on the road, April 26th, started out with rain.  We received a light shower or two during the night and woke up to a rather cool and damp morning. We got on the road a little later than normal, about 9:00 A.M. Mountain Daylight Time, primarily because we planned to make a stop about 75 miles on up the road and the place didn’t open until 9:00 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time (the time zone was just a few miles from us.)

Here is a photo Connie took as we traveled.  Some of her photos taken that morning showed a lot of rain drops on the windshield so this must have been during a slight let-up in the rain or she caught it just after the wiper blades had cleared the glass.

Oregon 1 
Our stopping point for the morning was the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center near Baker City, Oregon.  As their brochure says,  “The National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center at Flagstaff Hill brings to life aspects of the Oregon Trail experience through living history demonstrations, interpretive programs, exhibitions,  and special events.”  We came away, after our nearly 3 hours there, with a much greater appreciation for the hardships, endurance, etc. of the 300,000 plus immigrants that made the journey westward along the Oregon Trail.  And, those folks traveled much the same route we took, without the interstates and highways that are there now.  It is hard to imagine facing the mountains, rivers, etc. with nothing more than a wagon and a team of oxen.

IMG_0467This is a view of a full size representation of a wagon and people making the trip.  We learned that of the 300,000 plus that made the trip, nearly 30,000 died in route. 

IMG_0473 Another representation.  It was interesting to look at the many exhibits showing the limited amount of space in the wagons and the amount of food, tools, and personal effects each family tried to take along.  Much had to be discarded along the way due to various factors.

We were amazed to learn that over 300 miles of wagon ruts from over 150 years ago still remain.  We were able to view some on the grounds of the Center.  The ruts were so deep and packed so hard that to this day they are free of weeds and other growth and erosion has not totally wiped them out.  You can make out the ruts in the photo below.


By the time we had traveled northward and reached the Columbia River and began going westward again the rain had come to a stop.  The view along the river was great.  I’ll post some photos of the river in the next installment. 

We stopped for the night at a Pilot Travel Center at Biggs, Oregon.  The parking lot overlooked the Columbia River.

IMG_0488This photo was taken from the corner of the Pilot lot.  The mountains in the picture are in the state of Washington.  Although we had been in the state of Washington before we just had to drive across this bridge the next morning before continuing westward, just to say we had been in that state on this trip.

In the next installment I’ll post some pictures of some gorgeous waterfalls.


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