After 14 days without our truck we are on the road again. Dale drove the little white Chevy Cobalt back to Baker City and Powder River Dodge. He had to wait about 2 hours after being promised the truck would be done by noon. But, heck, we didn’t care. As long as we got it and it worked! While he was gone I cleaned our home and then visited the neighbors and invited them to dessert that night. I took my chair and sat it in the water and then proceeded to cool down and read at the same time. It was nice sitting in the shade of the only tree around us. About 4 Mountain Time I was watching every vehicle coming down the road to the ghost town of Homestead. Of course, only watching those that sounded like a diesel! About 5 Dale pulls in and we all go out to meet him and do a great big YAHOO! We knew we were done with Hells Canyon and out of there on Thursday morning.
Well, we made it out and proceeded to our next stop – Granite. There was a great campground there. As we left Sumptner we saw a tent sign and decided to investigate what this campground was like. It was on a creek so that was inviting. We checked out the sites but kept going looking for a bigger one and then this splitting siren-like sound screamed through the cab. “Oh no!” Yep, another tire on the trailer went flat. Did I mention that it had been pouring rain all day! While Dale changed the tire I went up the road to find us a turn-around. The road we were on was narrow, very narrow. I found us a pull through but it was going to be tight. I will just say, “we made it out of there by the skin of our teeth.” As all this was transpiring Dale and I came to the conclusion, separately, that this was the sign to get pack on pavement and get to John Day and get new tires on the trailer. And that is what we did.
We found the fairgrounds, which were down the road from Les Schwab and parked for the night. The tires would arrive in the morning and we had a date – after 9 a.m. We replaced the remaining good 3 tires on the trailer and also purchased truck tires as they were down to the mark where it was dangerous to drive on. We now have new tires all the way around and holes in our pockets.
We set up the trailer in the field at the fairgrounds. It is quiet here. No boat engines screaming by us or generators running. Just peace and quiet. Truly, it is quiet even thought the town is above us. We did some laundry and I finally was able to wash our rugs and comforter. Then drove the town and low and behold they have a yarn store for spinners, weavers, knitters and crocheters. We will stop by tomorrow! And if I forgot, it is still raining and we are in winter clothes!
This was great news for the forest fires going on in Oregon. We chatted with some fire fighters at the tire store and they said most fires were on relief in the area. Thank you Lord for the rain!
Our neighbors, Harrie and Barb from Georgia wanted to take us to Cuprum, ID. As we left the paved road just above the Hells Canyon Campground on the Idaho side of the Snake river, Dale and I groaned inwardly. Another dirt road. Well, let me tell you this wasn’t just “another” dirt road. This road was carved right out of the end of the mountain. One side was pure mountain the other a drop off into a canyon that was, I swear, thousands of feet deep. We were on our way to Cuprum, which Harrie swears the town was named after a cup of rum.
On the way to Cuprum, which by the way, is Latin for copper and pronounced Cooprum, was once a booming mining town but now is home to 8 residents. They get their mail 3 days a week out of Council, ID. UPS will come up to Cuprum, but FedX won’t. There is a small store run by a resident, Indian Creek Store, which sits right on the banks of Indian Creek. Cuprum is a very neat and lovely town. Most of the houses there are summer homes. We stopped for drinks and a look around.
The old Lodge is still standing. Gary Cooper once stayed there on a hunting trip. He ordered mayonaise and onion sandwiches. They celebrated their 100th year as a town this year and put out their very own cookbook. We did enjoy visiting. We passed on through the town and headed toward Sheep Rock hoping to get a glimpse of a mountain goat/sheep and the Hells Canyon Dam.
At one view point this is what we saw. We learned that Hells Canyon is the deepest gorge in North America. I can tell you that its beauty is astounding and if it had the colors of the Grand Canyon it almost could be the Grand Canyon!
On the way to Sheep Rock we found this spring. Someone came before us as it has a pvc pipe attached so one could fill a container with spring water. Dale and Morgan were thirsty.
We had lunch at Sheep Rock. The Forest Service had taken some time and this a great place to visit. Of course, it is out in the middle of nowhere and who would dare take the drive up here! The gal at the store in Cuprum told us we would see the Hells Canyon dam but a mountain was in the way. Rats! We walked the 1/2 mile interruptive walk. The signs told us about the canyon, flowers, trees and so forth. The view was fantastic. In the distance of the above photo’s you can see the Wallowa’s and the snow still present there. Smoke from the Oregon fires made the distance mountains hazy. It was still breathtaking scenery!
That is the Snake River way down thar!
Harrie and Barb are from Georgia and we have enjoyed getting to know them. They love to come here to fish! They also boondock most of their RV life. They just finished up a tour of Alaska. The return home to Georgia in the winter.
This was one of our better days in the canyon. The temps have been ranging between 95 and 100 for the last 2 weeks. At least it was cooler up above Cuprum and we enjoyed a strong wind. We ended our excursion at Horse Mountain Lookout. It is an active lookout. It is also one of 7 in the area around the canyon. No one was home so we didn’t get to look inside. At least on the ride home I was on the inside and not looking down into the canyon!
Sunday found us on the road to Halfway. We wanted to attend the little church there but they were off having a camping/picnicking day. It was too far for us to make it on time, so we went back to Pine Creek to spend the day. It wasn’t all that much cooler but we stuck it out until the flies took over the serene spot we chose. We stopped back in Halfway for ice cream and shared Ben & Jerry’s Cherry and Chocolate on the way home. Clouds came in all day and we finally got some rain in the evening. All this weather activity didn’t really cool things off. However, we enjoyed the crisp rain smell in the air.
Nothing exciting today except for the fact we are one day closer to getting our truck fixed. Our neighbors want to take us up to Cuprum, an active town of a few people. The town is up the mountain on the Idaho side. I don’t know if Dale and I can stand another dirt road though. I think we have had our fill for awhile! Yes, I never thought we would say that!
We have been checking out the books our neighbors use to find campgrounds that are out of the way and FREE. We are still on the fence about purchasing something like this. We seem to find places to park on our own and don’t know if we want to spend the money. There are a lot of informative books out there that can take $$$ to buy but will a person use them????? We shall learn as we go!
I finished my dish towel. I don’t know if I will make another or not. It turned out to be simple and work up fast. Changing colors of yarn every second row was a bit tedious. If I had it to do over I would have made a the stripes fatter. I started a Dumpling Bag that seems to be very popular on Ralvery. I don’t like to carry a purse so I try to buy very small bags to carry my wallet, keys and phone. I think this one will fit me perfectly. I have only started the I-cord for now. Hope to work on it seriously in a day or two.
My second granddaughter, Courtney has the flu. It seems to be going around again. My daughter and family are travelling tomorrow. The kids start school on the 6th! I am sure they are ready to get back to it because it is so hot in Barstow that they can’t do much during the day. Feel better Court!
Yes, we are still stranded on the Snake River in Hells Canyon. Our part should have been shipped yesterday and arrive in Baker City by Tuesday. We are sure hoping and praying this happens as they have been telling it will. But life is life and we are all good!
Friday, we decided to stay home after our long day going to Joseph. Then we jumped in our air conditioned white Chevy Cobalt and drove down to the Hells Canyon Dam. The road going to the dam is 22 miles long and on the Idaho side of the Snake River. It took two years to build. If you could see how it hugs the mountains you would understand the task it took to put it in. The dam was completed and up and running in 1968.
We spent some time at the Vistors Center talking with Terry and gathering those information pamphlets one reads and tosses! Drove home and the temp gauage kept going up and reached 100 degrees. Needless to say, we were making plans for the next day to beat the heat.
We decided to drive to Halfway and then on to Fish Lake. Oh, the road we took that little Chevy on. WhoooWeeeee! It is officially an off-road vehicle now. Fish Lake is about 20 miles north of Halfway. After getting a few groceries and trading our books for other used books, we took off up the road to new sights. We found Fish Lake and it was a busy campground. We found a spot that wasn’t developed and took our chairs, lunch and reading material down to the lake. Morgan enjoyed swimming in a new body of water! Dale read, I ate! Then I decided to find a trail somewhere and go for a hike. I did find a great trail that looked as if it went around the lake. So I went back for Morgan since she loves hikes and Dale decided to go with us. We did fine until the trail petered out and/or was covered in downed trees. We had to make our own trail and my legs have scratches all over them! I even drew blood. But we made it around and back to our camp. Dale decided we would stay another hour so he could get back to his book and the “exciting” part. I took some more photo’s of the creek flowing into the lake. It was surrounded by wildflowers – Freweed, Indian Paintbrush, Asters and so forth.
Dale came back to the car after about 20 minutes. I guess the few mosiquotes that were buzzing him brought their friends. I was already in the car hiding from those boogers. We finished off the day on the roughest road yet and we were so happy to get back on the pavement. We were both surprised that all four of the car tires were not flat! We stopped at a camping spot that hunters use and found this doe. She wasn’t that afraid of us until we turned the car around. She has the most wonderful face.
we took our little white Chevy Cobalt. There is this wonderful shortcut to Joseph from here. It goes right over the Eagle Cap Wilderness (part of it). The road is winds around and through this mountain with many streams and rivers. It is a beautiful drive and in about 63 miles the town of Joseph has arrived.
Joseph is named after the great Indian Chief of the Wal-lam-wat-kain (Wallowa) band of Nez Perce. When gold was found in the Wallowas, the white man drove this tribe out of their homeland. Cheif Joseph refused to go for many years until he gave up the fighting. One huge mountain in the Eagle Cap Wilderness is named after him as is the town. It is a cute little town nestled in the shadow of the 10,000 foot mountains called the Eagle Cap Wilderness. It is a farming community but the town is geared for the tourist.
We had to go to Joseph to secure a camp site for our travelling rally in August. Everything worked out great in doing this. The woman at the Chamber of Commerce was in the office on her day off so we were able to talk with her and also see where we were parking the RV’s. We will be on a creek, in the trees and on grass. Can’t get any better than that!
Joseph has made its name in bronze. There are several foundry’s there as well as artist’s work throughout the town. The one I liked the most is still on its corner. It is called Garden Walk by Ramon Parmenter. Notice the detail. She is beautiful!
Other funky shops line Main Street. We found this row of chickens for sale. A funny story goes with this. I was taking pictures of another bronze work while Dale was out by this line of chickens. This truck stops and this lady gets out and tells him she just has to take his picture. He declined but she insisted so he caved. When she got Dale all set for his photo shoot, she noticed the chicken on his shirt. That got her to laughing. Check out his website for HIS fashion photo shoot!
I did find the local yarn shop with wonderful dyed yarn of all weights. They also have a quilt shop. Dale’s favorite shop is the Hardware Store. He claims it is the best he has been in! And believe me, we have been in a lot of hardward stores. Move over Ace Hardware!
Since we were coming back to Joseph in August we moved on down the road to Enterprise and the Farmers Market. About 5 tents were up and only one had produce. I did get some spinach at $8.00 a pound, as well as a couple of tiny zucchini and some Bing cherries. We ate those on the way home! It was a good day!
Today we visited the town of Cornucopia. Cornucopia is basically a ghost town now but was a town of the gold mining boom in 1880’s. Cornucopia means “horn of plenty.” Today, there are many original building left. They are privately owned. We inspected each and every one!
Here is the jail – we think.
We entered the area that had this big sign posted “Danger: Hard Hats Only.”
We drove right up and past the huge building that looked like it came from the 20th century. Back in the back we found an old mine, with the iron cart tracks still leading to it.
The mine was caved in but the outside structure remained. A healthy stream was flowing from under the tracks and the entrance to the mine.
We hiked all around this town, sometimes into the forest to find relics left behind.
After checking out the ghost town we headed down the road looking for a cool spot to spend the day along side Pine Creek. Found it and had lunch and Dale read! I wander around. Then we took the back roads of Halfway keeping the temperature gauge in front of us. It was 77 degrees. Our sweet tooth needed to be satisfied so we went to the market in Halway and picked up a pint of ice cream to share on the way home. It was a good day!
and cooler temps on Monday. We took Road 39 from Pine Creek that goes up and over the Eagle Cap Wilderness and drops down into Joseph. Our destination was Indian Crossing Campground, 10 miles up the Imnah River. But first, we had to take each and every side road to see what was down it! We stopped up on the Hells Canyon Lookout As we journeyed up the mountain we saw wildflowers still in bloom. The hills were covered in them. What a treat! Fireweed lined the roads and reminded me of my Alaska vacation.