Friday, August 19, 2011

The Oregon Trail

 This morning we left Wenatchee and headed south past the tri-cities into Oregon. We saw miles and miles of gorgeous orchards and grapevines, some desolate country, and, finally, the beautiful Blue Mountains of northeast Oregon. But my favorite sight by far was this one, real Oregon Trail wagon ruts! These are found a few miles east of Baker City, out amidst the high desert sagebrush, plainly in view down a paved pathway along the road. I am fascinated by Oregon Trail history! We did see and walk on part of the original trail when we were in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, but it had become a walkway and no longer showed the tracks left by 2 wheels. I can only imagine the bravery and determination of these pioneers. By the time they got here they were nearing the end of their journey and were weary and worn.

 On a high hill overlooking the original Oregon Trail and Baker City we found a wonderful museum and interpretive center. It was near closing time so we couldn't see it all. Inside there were life sized figures of the pioneers, their horses, oxen, wagons, a few animals, and even some Indians, as well as artifacts of that period of history. Here is one old artifact standing in front of a beautifully restored wagon!

 These two wagons are part of several in the typical circle, with campfires all around.

 The sagebrush, prairie grasses and flowers in this area are beautiful. I couldn't resist these sunflowers growing wild by the entrance to the road leading up to the Interpretive Center.

As we drove around the town of Baker City we discovered a common theme everywhere — the Oregon Trail! Even our RV Park featured wagons, buckboards, and other old west decor. Click to enlarge this photo and you'll see that we are parked right beside a wagon of some sort, planted with flowers. It is a lovely spot! We wish we could spend more time exploring this historically important area, but tomorrow we must resume our own journey in our "covered wagon"!

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