Wow again! This six day trip was a follow up to last year’s fantastic John Day bus trip. We traveled farther east and north into new territory. The loop we drove introduced us to the vast diversity of landscape and history “over east”. Some highlights were: viewing a section of the Oregon trail at the Interpretative Center; the green oasis at Clyde Holliday State Park along the full flowing Powder River; seeing three young raccoons playing in middle of the road (they did make it safely across); a grand tour of the Geiser Grand Hotel in Baker City; riding the tram to top of Mt. Howard to see the Eagle Cap Wilderness area; breakfast donuts at Cloud 9 Bakery in Enterprise; traveling by bus down into the Grand Ronde River canyon and back up again; a jet boat ride on the Snake River into Hell’s Canyon; watching baby Killdeer birds run around the putting green at Quality Inn, Clarkston; touring the Pendleton Underground with a very entertaining tour guide. Many of our stops allowed time for the hikers to get out and go!
It was interesting to learn about how the interactions of Native Americans, missionaries, Chinese, sheep and cattle ranchers, gold miners fit in with economic interests and prejudice. There were many themes in this trip, including a brewery interest where we heard names like “Terminal Gravity” and “Mutiny Brewing”. Victorian homes, lovely old brick buildings, a variety of museums, and bronze statuary all added interest to the trip.
The scenery was spectacular, sometimes soft and green - many times harsh, barren and so rugged. The basalt rock formations in the Snake River Canyon are awesome. We saw large herds of beef cattle and ranch horses, goats and sheep, even a herd of Alpacas near Redmond. A few deer, big horn sheep, eagles, blue heron, other birds and of course the large population of pocket gophers on top of Mt. Howard. Thousands of acres of wheat fields in the Palouse region of Washington and hundreds of bright white wind turbines against the blue sky contrasted with the rugged mountains and many rivers.
Great activities, great scenery, great travelers and the skill of an excellent bus driver made for a very enjoyable trip.Members: Sharon Cutsforth, Don Payne, Barbara Payne, Dennis Flanders, Barbara Flanders, Barbara Beard, Paul Beard, Paula Beard, Joanne Ledet, Margaret Prentice, Don Baldwin, Verna Kocken, John Jacobsen, Janet Jacobsen, Susan Sanazaro, Mary Ellen West, Bill Arthur, Holger Krentz. Nonmembers: Walt Odom, Mary Jane Odom, Alice Krentz, Betty Dickerman, Mary Hawkes, Judy Phelps.
Our ride for the next 6 days.—photo by Holger Krentz
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