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Finishing our vacation finally

In the middle of the blogging and sharing our trip we took off for another one and the story got sidelined. So now I am back to finishing the vacation story.
We left Idaho and headed to Oregon one more time as we were heading home.
One more time through Baker and then one more time through North Powder which is where my grandma’s restaurant used to be.IMG_1753
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We had the opportunity to see beautiful birds, beautiful wild life and beautiful scenery and of course it is always nice to come home.
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It was so hot even the birds knew how to get into the shade to cool off.IMG_1839
At the Powder River we found a spot to remember our parents, my sister had purchased a bag of fresh flowers, she sprinkled into the water in honor of them.
We watched as they fell and then moved into the rivers edge, and some downstream.
It has been hard and sad to have our parents gone. In memory of them, the flowers fell and danced among the ripples and waves. It was a peaceful setting.
We then spent the day finding the old homes we used to live in, as little girls.
I remembered one, the rest of them I didn’t remember.
We found our grandma’s old run down restaurant. The powder club.
As little girls we spent a lot of days and nights in this place, grandma would make us many meals and we would sit in the round bar stools and twirl them around till we got dizzy… I can almost still hear her say, “You girls go play.”
The building across and down the street used to be some store.
The post office is still the same as I remembered it.DSCN1978
The next day we found a few of the old houses we used to live in as well as the houses in Haines and Baker. That night we had dinner at the Haines street steak house.
It was wonderful. Good food and great atmosphere.
The next day after doing a lot of sight seeing and memory making we ate at the historic Baker hotel. It was very good too.
The vacation was ending and soon we would begin to head home.
The next day we would meet very harsh winds through The Dalles and Hood River areas and also we heard later, there was a wild fire following us on both sides of the freeway which my sister and her husband drove near. It was a long and scary trip home.
It was a good trip and one we will remember for a very long time.
I hope it was a good ‘retelling of the story’ for you who have stayed with me on this journey. We travelled almost 2800 miles and through three states.
The miraculous part of it all, was when we got things all put away at home, we headed to the store for groceries and our car blew up. Yes we were 6 minutes from our house within range of AAA and cell service. You ask me if I believe in angels who watch over us?
Yes absolutely. The car is fine now and running better than when we left.
Thank God we were home. Thank God we were safe. Thank God our neighbor is a mechanic.

The last few days of our trip.

We had many good times on our two week vacation.
Took lots of beautiful photographs and shared our experiences on facebook and with each other. We tried to find small ‘mom and pop’ type restaurants and most were very good. Our favorite was run by a Mennonite couple in Buhl Idaho. It was clean and quaint with lots of cars in the front of it, which is always a good sign. The food was very good and I would definitely go back in there if we lived closer.
We saw beautiful landscapes and many old barns as we drove from Oregon to Idaho and even into Montana. The areas were parched and dry most of the time, but also green and full of life depending on where we went, it was amazing to see the difference.
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As we headed to Baker before going home we stayed at Farewell Bend state park for two nights, it was a very nice place but very hot outside and there were a lot of flies. We could not enjoy ourselves sitting outside so we dropped the trailer off and went site seeing in the truck, that was air conditioned. The best way to beat the heat is to find air.
That is when we saw the Four Rivers cultural center in Baker.
It was very interesting full of old artifacts and information just like the Big Hole museum in Wyoming.
A statue at the Indian museum. I so enjoyed the beauty of it along with the other oneeagle at cultural center
We headed up the mountain to see Hell’s canyon recreational area.
It was a long road full of curves and switch backs and up to a height of I am not sure, very high and very beautiful once we got up there.
We have a picture of my husband and I sitting near that brick wall facing the valley below and as we were getting our picture taken I said to him, “why am I smiling no one can see me?” we had a great laugh about that one!
hells canyon photo
This is also the country road we saw the old ‘cow’ walking with a few of his buddies in the middle of the road. He didn’t bother to move either and was not bothered by our car.
After we settled into Oregon again and stayed at a park called Mt View Rv park.
We connected up with my sister and her husband to see some of the Baker area together, she is older than I am and could remember some of the places we used to live in as little girls, many years ago.
We went to a Hotel that one can stay in now, Larry had seen it on Oregon art beat show and he wanted to see it in person. The history of it is interesting as it used to be the a very well known place in Baker county in the 40’s then they made it into a sanitarium for those who ‘could not’ live in the outside world. After that it became a hotel people can stay at now.
It was very pretty but a bit creepy at the same time. (just my opinion)
Our next days adventures would include walking down memory lane in Baker and then back into North Powder where our grandma had a restaurant. Stay with me as we travel down through some years of my childhood.

The next few days

After we left Montana area we headed back down the road towards Baker, Oregon.
We had already gone through part of the way on the way towards Idaho, but we didn’t stay long since we knew we were going to return there on our way home.
We found ourselves one night not knowing where to stay for the night, it was a bit unnerving to not find a ‘secure sight’. We drove through a few campsites and none of them felt ‘good to us’. They were small and kind of creepy.
Finally we saw a small forest service sight with park hosts and only three camps sites in the campground, one was filled with college kids doing a freshman adventure course.
We stopped and set up camp not even unhooking the trailer from the car. It was that short of a trip. The guys leveled it and we set up our ‘chairs’ and found some water to play in across the street. As I said before it had been a ongoing 95-102 temperature and we were anticipating a HOT camp night.DSCN1872
In the morning we decided to head down the road to Wagonhammer Rv park in Salmon Idaho. It as by far the best place we stayed at the whole time we were gone.
We unhooked our trailer and set up camp for three nights.
At this site we were able to do some laundry, do more sight seeing adventures while leaving our trailer and tent there, knowing it was protected and watched.
It was a good place to stay in fact we met people there who were staying a month at a time there. It was very nice and peaceful there. Very watched and we highly recommend this Rv park for anyone going that direction. They even had a small store.
On one of our day trips we actually drove pretty high into the mountains and saw these wonderful creatures. I was so excited. We took pictures and stopped our car and watched them until the dad started to stomp his feet and it seemed he was becoming a bit agitated so our best thought was to move on and enjoy them as we drove away.
I think seeing these majestic animals was the highlight of our vacation for me.
They were beautiful, and so graceful on the rocks.
Reminded me of my favorite book called Hinds feet on high places…by Hannah Hurnard.
After our relaxing stay at Wagonhammer we had to move on. We were heading to Baker and back to the North Powder area where my grandma had a restaurant.

More of our adventures

We were so close to the Montana border we felt we had to get there at some point in our trip just so we could say, “‘we did it.”
The landscape was not too much different than Idaho, and we actually would have gone further into the state, but time was an issue, we had to get back to Baker in a few days.
We found a great little meal in a small restaurant in the town of wisdom Montana.
The town itself was a post office, a general store that sold assorted goods.
A gas station which we needed, and a cute little church where we found a geocache, inside the bathroom. That was a strange place I thought, but I guess that is part of the hunt.
(In strange places which includes bathrooms)
Wonder who ever thought of that one?
Not far from this restaurant was the Big hole monument site where there was a big fight between the Indians and the white man. We drove to that site and explored the history within it’s walls and watched the movie provided with great information.DSCN1851 DSCN1865 DSCN1870
I always love to look at the detail of the blankets made by hand.
In the same time frame as this little trip, we were trying to get a night or two at red fish lake area but that was very full. There are few sites in each campground and they are taken very quickly according to those who we talked to.
So we found a spot down the road to camp and decided the water would be our play day.
We had spent a lot of time driving and site seeing and sometimes one has to just stop and play as we picnicked along the waters edge. Most of our team got into the water because the temperature was in the 90’s.  ‘I’ just sat and enjoyed the beauty around us.
Along the country roads we would often find interesting signs.
Of course I would often read them out loud, which is why ‘we had the nickname’ Gabby.
It didn’t make me feel too excited to be camping in bear country or even cougar country but unless you are in a city, that is the way it is most of the time.
Sharing ‘their space’…without their consent.
Tomorrow we will journey onward as we move from Idaho back into Oregon.

The next few days of our trip

We left Oregon and went into Idaho to see Buhl, where the grandparents were buried, then to do some memorial sight seeing of what my husband and his sister could remember as little kids growing up. Of course along the way you always find other things that peak your interest.  I loved this old building where we had a breakfast in a old fashioned, no fancy, no thrill restaurant. It was a sign on the wall.
In case you can’t read it,
“On this site in 1897 nothing happened.” Isn’t that funny?DSCN1665
After we left that area we moved into the Hailey Idaho area.
That is a little town I could actually move to, it was so cute. Very touristy and very expensive but really cute. I of course had to get a picture of the flag at the local post office.
It was such a cute little town with a huge rodeo grounds and a nice store or two and even a great skate park for the kids.
I can’t imagine who designed it with a darling statue in the park.
I had to get a picture of it, so adorable.
The skate park.
From Hailey Idaho we moved towards the Stanley Idaho area.
It was very nice and quaint. You could tell it was a community town probably about 100 people. On a sign by the road it said “children playing, no hunting.”
I found that rather funny.
Our dinner in Stanley outside on their patio. 
We dined over a river while watching horses across the field. 
Along our way I don’t remember the day or exactly where, I saw this sign.
Yep population 7.
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At one point we were on a very high pass on pretty gravel roads and found this little guy plus a few of his friends.DSCN1886
I wanted a picture of a cow. I guess I got one.
This is only part of our vacation and some of it might not be in order.
Amazing landscapes and small towns of America.
Our next journey will bring us to Montana.

After we left Haggerman Rv park

On our way out of Haggerman park there was a wonderful little ‘sculpture’ site we had to take pictures of, they were really amazing.
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After taking the time for pictures we moved on down the valley thinking we could find a place to stay. Had a few ‘sites in mind’ but we ended up with no luck.
Upper Idaho had some areas a lot of people liked around the sawtooth mountains and there were no campgrounds were available.
I called this next site ‘our pause’… because Larry had told me we needed to dump our ‘black water’ and I said ‘yes we do if we are off camp ground’ sites. So we dropped half of our team in a hot site so they could hold it, and we moved up toward the town of Stanley to dump our trailer in a forest ranger dump station.
We didn’t like the area we settled in, but it would be ok for a night. After returning from our ‘dump’ trip we came back and our team had found a shady much better site for us to stay in. God had provided and we were thankful.
We ended up in a pretty shady spot, and it was way better than what we thought.
We stayed there two nights, with no hook ups for our trailer but ok.
During that stay we had a few days to play so we saw the sawtooth mountains and had a play day which we all needed. Here you see Bruce on of our guys way high on top of this mountain, and my husband was on the trail taking the picture.
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The sawtooth mountains were amazingly beautiful.
We tried to camp near them but the grounds were full so we were happy to just play for the day and enjoy the lake-time spent together.
We had a lunch and some played in the water and we enjoyed the beauty of the landscape around us knowing how blessed we were to have a safe and enjoyable trip. It had been hot but we managed and the trip was only less than half over so on to the next journey.

A days adventure into Idaho

After we left the Interpretive trail and all that area we headed for Idaho and stayed in Haggerman RV park, in Haggerman Idaho.
On the way we saw the overlook of the snake river, it was pretty to see and observe.
Along our travels we tried to find some wineries that were open or old barns to photograph. Our two favorite things to do.
We tried to find these on the same day we went to go see the grandma’s and grandpa’s gravesites.
The organic winery, was closed but the gate was pretty.
We entered into Buhl Idaho where grandma’s house was found and the gravesite.

It is always a wonderful thing to actually find part of one’s history to share with others who could not come that far to see it. Grandpa and Grandma O’s gravestone.
Together again.

More of the Oregon Trail story

The journey continued for those heading to better lands.
The people varied from camp sites. Each had their own agenda’s and goals.
The old and the young, all went together. Women worked as hard as the men.
It amazed me how they must have traveled. DSCN1556
No roads, only un-travelled sage brush filled mountainous ranges.
They had some of their ‘possessions with them’, some treasured items.
I am not sure what the mom’s did with little babies as there was not fresh water to do daily care or even enough heat to keep them warm at night, if the temperatures lowered. They sacrificed so much to leave a land they knew to go to one they wished for. DSCN1591
The journey was long and they endured many rough times as they faced each day I am not so sure I would have had that kind of determination. When we were there visiting at the museum it was hot, in the high 80’s and not anywhere near the discomfort they would have experienced.DSCN1593

The Oregon Trail continues.

As we moved through the pictures and the replica’s they had inside of the museum one can imagine how hard the journey was for them. When some of their loved ones died.
They had to bury them and move on.
There was no time for intensive grief life was harsh and they had to meet the goal before the weather changed and the months worsen for them on the journey.
How did they have fresh food or even water is beyond my imagination because the land was so harsh and treacherous at times. I cannot even imagine… the emptiness they had in their hearts looking for a new ‘fresh place to live.’
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The stories are interesting to read how they journeyed by day and perhaps night.
I cannot imagine every night going to sleep with the howling of wolves by my bed.
It must have been a bit ‘unnerving’ for them yet they moved forward every day with a goal in mind to find new land and a new life.
The journey was hot, and many got sick and some even died.
There was often discord among the travelers but there also had to be some in charge.
Then there were others who fought the tired travelers.
Families had to give up much to travel the journey.
Keepsakes, friends, family left behind who didn’t join them on the journey.
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It was a great ‘afternoon’ spent learning about the history of the Oregon trail.
I will be sharing more in the next few ‘posts’… it was just so interesting.
I had a new appreciation for what it took for these people to travel so far.

The Oregon Trail Interpretive Center

The experience in this place was not easy to forget.
First of all one has to drive out of Baker up to a high altitude to see the setting.
The journey through the Oregon trail for those who had to come by wagon trains and horse back had to have been intensely rough.
The roads are rugged, the landscape harsh. The water not easy to find.
The goal was to get to Oregon. It was a monumental task for all involved.
There was death, and loss and heavy intensive struggles and I couldn’t imagine going that far with no fresh food, no water, no bathrooms or showers.
We are spoiled in the sense of those thoughts. It was a journey for sure that took many months and many hardships for them.
There were two parts of the story. The white man’s part and the American Indians part. I was struck with the Indian history mostly because we met them on their lands.
It was a fiercely fought war and many died. It was hard for me to understand.
So much death and so much at stake and for so little, back then.
The landscape is so barren and so hot and full of sage brush and empty territory.
One had to have an imagination why, they traveled to come this way to the Oregon trail, from many states away ending up in Oregon City, Oregon.
The day was cooler for us and it gave me a ‘thought’ of how this must have been for the many who were traveling by wagon train and by foot.
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The museum is well worth one’s time spent, we went in not knowing what to expect and came out close to 5 hours later fully aware of the hardships of the people.
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So beautiful, so barren, so empty of life.
So much filled the hearts of those who were traveling for a better land and a better life, with so much hope, so much sadness all filled in one trip.
If you wish to read more on the topic, I am sure any local library or even online searching would tell you much more of the journey of the Oregon Trail.