Labor Day Weekend at Farewell Bend, OR

3 09 2016

wp_20160903_020This massive “bend” in the river is where the Oregon Trail said “farewell” to the Snake River.  The Snake continues north into Hell’s Canyon, the emigrants continued northwest along the Burnt River, then to Pendleton and eventually to the Columbia River. Where we’ve traveled in just over 3 hours along I-84, the wagon trains struggled for 2 to 3 weeks at a rate of only about 10 miles per day.

We’re parked at site #76 of this large 120 site campground.  Organized around 2 main loops and 1 tent/overflow space, most sites provide water and electric.  There’s a dump station onsite.  We found no OTA TV signals and only marginal T-Mobile data signal.  Fortunately it’s the beginning of the Labor Day weekend and we don’t need to spend nearly as much time “in the office”.  Sites in the first loop are fairly close but with nice trees and hedges for privacy.  The second loop has larger sites, but smaller trees and no privacy hedges.

On Saturday we traveled back to Baker City’s Oregon Trail Interpretive Center for a very large and worthwhile exhibit about life on the Oregon Trail.  As an added bonus, Labor Day Weekend is when the center showcases trail life with full camp of wagons and emigrants in traditional costumes.  The train included an Iron Smith showing how ironwork played an important part on the trail; Carter Junction, a singing couple with harp and guitar; dutch oven cooking demonstrations (and samples); a wheelwright; cowboys and the trail bosses.  Programs vary all year long, be sure to check the centers website at http://www.blm.gov/or/oregontrail/  before visiting.

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