HLWT Day 2 – Baker City to Twin Falls; Oregon Trail, Old Thirty, Canyons, Dirt Roads and Vicious Turkeys

This morning started early. I don’t think I got enough sleep. Couldn’t sleep. Not really sure why. But that happens when you’re sleeping in a place you’ve never been before. Except, I’ve been to Baker City several times now. Anyway, It was a great day and maybe I thought you’d like to hear about it.

Before leaving Baker, we visited the Chinese cemetery. For a time, Oregon hosted several large China Towns due to mining. When these poor fellows died, they had to be buried somewhere.

A hundred or so were buried here, and all but one (probably more) were removed back to China. You can still see the depressions in the ground from where their graves were.

After paying our respects, we got on the road. We knew it was going to be a long, long day with many stops. Still, we did our best to stick to the side roads. This is one of the very few milemarkers remaining on old US Route 30. From this point, it was 360 miles to Astoria, Oregon – the western terminus of the route.

Wildlife played a big part in this day, which is nice, since we rarely see any. Here, Smartz tries to convince some very suspicious deer that they really do want roasted (but not salted) almonds. Good luck with that.

Our second run in with critters came in the form of roosting turkeys. Now, I knew that turkeys roosted, I had just never seen it.

Turkeys can also fly. They’re not graceful, but they can do it if they really really have to.

Plano Road is not only Old Route 30, but it’s also old Oregon Trail. There’s something extra amazing when you can drive the same exact road used by tens of thousands of settlers seeking out a new life.

Blocking the way through part of this road were more turkeys. They wouldn’t move. The male even puffed out his feathers in hopes of scaring us away from his womenfolk. It didn’t work.

In turn, I puffed out my feathers and let forth a hearty “GOBBLE!” They scurried away.

By 8am, we were ready to do some exploring. We stumbled upon this broken down cement plant.

And we took a lot of photos.

There was tons of graffiti and many places to break a leg or two.

While we were there, we encountered a mother with two younger gals (daughter and a friend, maybe?). At first, we thought it was strange that a “normal” looking mom would take her kids there.

But after actually thinking it through, we decided that it was awesome. This mom was so cool that she took her kids trespassing for the day! In our book, she’s tops. We left her a postcard and a couple of stickers. I hope they look us up.

Back on the road for more Oregon Trail! This road led us on a wild goose chase. It dead ended, but not before showing us some old wagon wheel ruts (not pictured).

But then it was on to Idaho!

Weiser, Idaho made me miss a nice shot of a Union Pacific freight in front of a station. Instead, I got this.

One of the things we love to see are dinosaurs! Who doesn’t? Along US 95, we saw this cumbersome fellow!

We were forced to take the interstate for a bit, but were also able to take another old section of Oregon Trail – this time to Bonneville Point overlooks Boise (sort of). It was a landmark on the OT.

What’s even better than driving to OT is finding old ruts that haven’t been graded over.

Want to see what’s so cool about this rock?

This was called the Post Office. Settlers would paint their names in axle grease when camping for the night here.

And to this day, a few remain!

Malad Gorge was a place we had never heard about before. But when we drove by, we just had to stop. And check this out. This is called the Devil’s Washbowl. Can you see the screamin’ devil being all screamy?

This is the gorge.

And this is a ram goat that we saw.

By the time we got to Twin Falls, we were beat. Here’s Shoshone Falls, nearby.

So we decided to camp here for the night instead of continuing another two hours to Wells, Nevada. I think we made the right decision.

If you’d like to see a lot more pictures (especially of the cement plant), check out our Facebook page here!

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One response to “HLWT Day 2 – Baker City to Twin Falls; Oregon Trail, Old Thirty, Canyons, Dirt Roads and Vicious Turkeys

  1. Herc and Sarah: Turkey Wranglers.

    So impressed that there are still ruts from the wagon wheels. That’s awesome. I mean I know it isn’t twenty million years ago or anything. But in an era when something from five years is unlikely to be around… that’s just cool.

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