|Farewell Bend on the Snake River|
The pioneers said goodbye to the Snake River at Farewell Bend to travel, as the sign says, overland to the Columbia River. They only had a few narrow valleys to ease their way, along the Burnt River, the Powder River, the Grande Ronde River.
|Sign at Farewell Bend|
But none of these proved much help when they had to climb over the Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon. We stopped at the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center which sits atop on Flagstaff hill, outside Baker City, OR.
|The view from Flagstaff hill ... where old wagon ruts scar the hillside|
We stopped again at Hilgard Junction State Park where many of the emigrants made camp along the Grande Ronde. But first they had to get down this hill, one of the many dangerous descents in the Blues.
|Emigrants unhitched their oxen and used ropes to lower their wagons down this hill|
We met David and Vicki, a retired couple volunteering to take care of Hilgard for the month of June. David moved to Oregon from New York 12 years ago, and now he and Vicki, from South Dakota, live fulltime in their RV. They summer in eastern Oregon and winter on the coast.
|David and Vicki sell wood for $5 by the cart-full to Hilgard campers|
They seem to like this lifestyle. But I'm a little trail weary. So I don't know if I would. Would you?