We Head for the Hills

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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.

 
Hells Canyon
Hells Canyon

 

A sweet girl from Austria stopped us to do a survey. She is working on her thesis out of her sister college in Virginia. We were able to chat with her about her background and her thoughts of the USA. We also came to the lookout to see if we could get cell service. We needed to call Chrysler about our truck and see if we could get them to get us a part to fix it. No cell service up that high, so we went down to a corner in the road where we had a few bars. We didn’t get anywhere with Chrysler. She just parroted back what the service manager told her that he told us. They weren’t on the phone long enough for her to check out the situation. So be it. Next vehicle may be a Ford. They seem to know how to manage their business and have parts available for people like us who are stranded.
 
Then we were off to Indian Crossing. We kept watching the tempature gauage to see how cool we could find. When we hit 75 degrees we knew we had found the right place to spend the day. When we stepped out of the car, vanilla with a touch of mint assaulted our noses. Morgan sneezed! The smell was gorgeous! We were in the woods. We set up our chairs and picnic lunch in the day use area overlooking the Imnaha River. It was so cool as a slight breeze tousled our hair. Of course, Morgan was in the water. But not for long. It was very, very cold. I did soap her down and wash her off. She is one stinky dog! So we ate and read. Dale is into a western book and just can’t put it down. So Morgan and I took the Imnaha Trail up the river. We hiked until the trail went off into the woods. Then we explored the campground. We finally came off the mountain at 8 p.m. We dreaded coming back to a hot house and temps. It was 92 at home at 9 p.m. We had some dinner and crashed. It was a good day!
fireweed
Fireweed
dalereading
Dale on the Imnaha River Reading
flower
Sticky Aster and Rabbit Brush

 

 
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Sun – day, Sun – day!

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We have had mostly clear blue skies during our stay here with temps up to 100 but averaging out in the 90’s. It has been hot and very unpleasant even in the shade. So we decided on Sunday to go visit the little church in Oxbow, which it looks as if it was once their school. We arrived about 5 minutes early and went into the sanctuary. There were about 10 people there, all dressed casually for summer. Terry introduced himself. He was a very outgoing guy. He led us in the song service. Then another man got up to ask for prayer and praises. I don’t know if he was a “pastor” or a layman, but he did bring us a message on “Friendship” using Ecclesiastes 4. His lesson was an “object” lesson and it was very insightful. We enjoyed our time with them and will probably go back next Sunday.

dandg

As the day wore on, us in the shade of the tree to keep cool, the sky was kicking up some very big storm clouds. We welcomed the clouds for they blocked the sun. Didn’t do much for the solar system, but hey, one can’t have your cake and eat it to! We did go for a swim and later in the afternoon a bike ride down to the old school house that we suspect is the town of  Homestead. As we were getting ready to leave on the bike ride rain started to fall. A drop here and a drop there. Nothing of significance. Just enough to turn the dirt on the car to sliding mud.

The clouds and wind brought a cooler evening and the RV was very pleasant. We both slept well and didn’t get up till 9:30 this morning. Well, Dale was an hour later crawling out of bed! We headed for the hills for the cooler weather. Why didn’t we think of this last week!

Off To Market We Go

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Saturday morning we were up and in our little white Chevy Colbalt heading for the Farmers Market. Where we are parked on the Snake River we are in Mountain Time and a quarter of a mile down the road we drive into Pacific Time which is a shoppers dream! Get up later to catch all the sales that start early!

The town of Halfway, 17 miles down the road, has a Farmers Market every Saturday. The market was advertised in “Pat’s Park.” When we got to the town we went to the only park we knew of, the Lions Park. We drove back to where we entered the town to ask someone for directions and we found a chalkboard filled with “Farmers Market” information. Well, the market was right there in their “plaza.”

The Plaza

As you can see there were 4 card tables with these nice ladies crafts: jewelry, knitted rugs from fabric strips, homemade cinnamon rolls and a massage chair. The produce that one could by was zucchini, lettuce and apricots. We passed on these and went to breakfast.

We remembered that Baker City has a Farmers Market on Saturday, so we decided to drive the 60 miles to check it out. We were determined to put some fresh veggies in our refrigerator.

Baker City Farmers Market
Baker City Farmers Market
 

This Saturday Market wasn’t much better vegetable wise. There were 2 tables of produce being offered along with lots of herbs. I did purchase a huge head of Romaine lettuce for $2 and Dale picked up another T-shirt. This one had a big yellow silhouette of a rooster on it with Baker City Farmers Market in print below it. He is a sucker for T-shirts and causes.  Since we were in Baker City we stopped off at Bi-Mart to see if we could find a screened tent. I am so tired of all the bugs. I also wanted something we could set up our double air mattress to sleep out since it has been so hot. As you can see, we found more than what we were actually looking for.

A Bi-Mart Spending Spree

  A Bi-Mart Spending Spree

As you can tell, we didn’t get much produce which was our goal for the day. We sure found other stuff though to make our life as full-time RVers a little more easy. My shopper husband found all this stuff. I bought a $4 T-shirt! The big cooler is to store water in – like 100 quarts of water – when we are boondocking. It even has a place to connect a hose so we can fill our fresh water tank. He also found his outside chair with a table. Thanks Coleman. He couldn’t pass up the $9.97 canvas tables that fold up. We will use these as foot stools. They are pretty cool. I can also put my laptop on one when I am outside sitting in my new house screen! Yes we found one. It is bigger than I was imaging but it works. We can have a good sized party in there. We did scratch our heads over getting all this stuff in our little Chevy Cobalt, but we managed to do it!

On our way home we took some photos of the area. In the first photo is the backside of the Eagle Cap Wilderness before arriving in Halfway.  The second photo is a dedication to the Oregon Trail’s 100th anniversary, which runs outside of Baker City. We stopped at a wayside to view the actual ruts made by the wagons all those long years past. I still ask “How do they know these are the actual tracks!” I guess I will just have to take their word on it.

 

 Eagle Cap Wilderness 

Eagle Cap Wilderness
 

 

1843-1943 1843-1943

 

Baker City, OR

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Before I begin, Happy Birthday David. My oldest has a birthday today! I would tell you his age but I try not to remember! Hope your day is awesome, David James.

Baker City, OR has such a rich history and they are proud of it. They have restored 60 buildings in the last five years to make them one of the largest commercial National Register Historic Districts in the state of Oregon. Thet register in at 110 historic buildings. This was once one of Oregon’s gold rush cities in the 1860’s and their run lasted about 50 years.

From our motel we could walk the downtown area. We could see the pride they have in their town. Each block of buildings has a plaque on it giving the date and name of the original building. The shops have a TT (Terrific Tuesday) where they have special sales for their customers. The main street was lined with trees, benches to sit on and they keep their city vwell maintained.

barleybrownWe asked the motel clerk for a place to eat where we could take Morgan. She suggest Barley Browns Brew Pub . They have sidewalk seating and it was a popular place inside and out. As we walked down Main Street we saw a few shops that made fudge, an ice cream parlour, bike shop, yarn shop, many antique shops, a western store, more copy and printing stores than we thought a little town could support, and two stationary stores. Remember those?!!!

We had to wait for a table, but it was worth the wait. It was difficult making the decision of what to eat. It has been so hot out that eating was iffy to begin with. Their salad selection was quit large and they had halibut fish and chips. For me, I chose to eat their Nachos and Dale chose the Chicken Fettuccine. Both entrees were a very large size and very tasty.  We took doggie boxes back to the motel with us! I think we will bring our Escapee’s chapter here for dinner when we come back in August.

 

bakersbistro

 

The next morning we picked up the loaner car and immediately had to put gas in it. We are back in Oregon so had to wait while someone else pumped it for us! Love that service.

Since we had such a big meal the night before, we didn’t search out a place to eat until about noon. We found Bakers Bistro on Washington Street for a quick brunch. We chose this coffee shop because it had outside seating so Morgan could be with us. She attracks people so we get to meet all kinds of folks and talk to them about their town. We were in the shade of the building so it was quite pleasant being outdoors. It was already in the 80’s by 11 a.m. Dale and I shared their Extra Special Breakfast Burrito which had rice and black beans in it with the usual breakfast fare. We didn’t explore any more of the town as we were anxious to get home to the cat. She had been in the RV and the RV gets hot. We were sure she went to the basement where it was cool.

On the ride home, we stopped off at the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center to see what was there. We are making plans for our Rolling Rally in August and this is one place the group wants to visit. Our tow truck driver told us to plan on 6 hours to see it all. They have scheduled many programs during the month. It is here you can walk in the ruts carved by pioneer wagons. How exciting to know these still exist from the late 1800’s.

We then drove on home and found our home the way we left it. I would like to think Annie was glad to see us! Morgan spent the rest of the day in the river! Silly dog.

 

Our “Woe is Us” Story

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Remember how I said the truck was acting up. We have just returned back home after an adventure beyond adventures. They say things come in three’s. Well they have to us. First our flat tire on the trailer, second something I can’t talk about but was a horrendous surprise out of the past and thirdly our truck.tow

We decided we needed to take the truck back to Halfway the next day to see if we could find a mechanic. We did find “Dale” who worked on diesel Dodge trucks. When we pulled into his driveway the truck stopped running and wouldn’t start up again. Dale the mechanic did a diagnostic on it and thought he had reset what was wrong but it still wouldn’t start. The lifter pump that puts fuel into the fuel pump was a write off. So he called a tow company to come get us (out of Baker City) and they towed us to the Dodge dealership in Baker City – 54 miles away. We were then told that the one part they  had doesn’t fit our truck and the part we need has been back ordered. It seems because of the bankruptcy of Chrysler they quit making parts. And it seems the whole country needs this part. Josh, the Service manager has tried to get this part from Oregon, California, Idaho and Utah with no luck. Some dealerships have the part but won’t give it up even for people like us who have only one vehicle and are stranded. So we were put on off-road emergency and pray Chrysler will intervene and get a part for us. But that is iffy because another Dodge Ram sits in their lot waiting for the same part.This back ordered part is suppose to arrive August 4.  towing

The next thing to tackle was getting a rental. Baker City is a small town. After calling around, Josh told us there weren’t any rentals in Baker City or Ontario until Friday. Josh was so helpful and nice. He did all he could to find us a way home. We had to spend the night and before we left for the motel they had found a rental in Ontario – a 2 hour drive. So they sent a kid to get it and we spent almost a sleepless night in a motel room because the guy next door had some radio up louder than he should have. On the plus side, I had done a load of laundry while waiting for the tow truck, so we had clean undies and clothes for the next day! I also carry extra toothbrushes and tooth paste in the truck but alas, no deodorant which is needed in this very hot weather!!

rental

When we got to the dealership we found out the car was a loaner and wouldn’t cost  us anything – thank you Lord. We were looking at a $300 to $400 bill there. The part is under warranty and AAA pays for the towing. So we are only out the time and we aren’t going anywhere! We’ll just keep on sitting here by the Snake River. 

So that is our “woe is us” adventure and hopefully we are done with stuff for the next 5 years. “When handed lemons, make lemonade!” It could have been much worse.

Oh, and I was able to hit a yarn store! That made my day. Dale went to the bike shop. I came away with some needles (I broke the tip on my Knit Picks needle) and Dale’s bike shoes weren’t on sale.

Did Some One Mention 100 Degrees

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Looking out our front door towards Oxbow
Looking out our front door towards Oxbow

Oh, it has been hot. The truck temp today read 99 degrees and the trailer temp read 90 degrees. It does help being near the water. We will take the 9 degree difference.

We headed out this morning to dump the garbage and fill our water jugs. We then drove to Halfway, some 17 miles down the road into Oregon. It is strange because we are sitting in M ountain time, yet we go to the intersection of Oxbow and the road to Pine Creek and Halfway and we are in Pacific time. We like Pacific time better! Dinner time comes and goes in Mountain time and we aren’t ready. Tonight we will grill one of our favorite steaks from Fred Meyer. The Angus Pepper steak. Yummy.

Halfway was a cute farming town. Dale found a hardware store and I found an awesome quilt store. The merchandise would make any woman worth their salt cry. I wish I was a quilter when I go into these kinds of stores. I did find the yarn department. There wasn’t a lot but fun to run my hands over what they had.

We stopped at their little grocery store and picked up some banana’s, eggs and chips. Prices made us do the “gulp” thing. Diesel was within reason though at $2.64.9. Halfway was the town in Oregon that half.com went into and promised stuff and fulfilled some of their promises if they would call their town Half.com. Sigh….

We got back home; had left over pizza for lunch; then got in our swimsuits and hit the lake. Much cooler than sitting in the shade, even today. Now, the sun has gone behind the mountain and we can cool down the trailer. Dinner in a little while then maybe a movie. Last night we brought our little TV out to watch a DVD. Yes, it has a DVD player. The noisy boat down the way from us left us alone long enough to hear every word. We even had popcorn cooked in the microwave. Solar is great!

To get to our spot we had to go through this tunnel carvced out of the mountain. Take a gander. endtunnel

Tunnel at Oxbow
Tunnel at Oxbow

 Since I am such a woosie about get totally wet, I got out one of the kids water floats and blew it up to have some fun. 

Morgan having fun too!swim

 Dale is busy up on the roof cleaning the solar panels. He thinks we should be getting more ampage out of them. So far they are working great. Our truck on the other had stopped on us in the tunnel. The “check engine” light is on so we are looking for a dealer in the area to take it to. We are hoping it is something simple. Please God! We hope to find someone in Halfway but may have to go to Baker City. We were going to take a picnic up the mountain toward Joseph to look around and maybe see if it is cooler up there. There are many free campgrounds in the area and on a creek. Until then…..be happy and know that “life is good!”

We’ve Returned

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to one of our most favorite places in Oregon – Oxbow, OR. About 5 years ago we took a North Eastern Oregon vacation out of Idaho. Destination – Joseph, OR. On our journey from Idaho into Oregon, we came upon the Brownlee Reservoir, Brownlee Dam and then Oxbow Dam. All these are in the Hells Canyon Wilderness Area. At the base of the Oxbow Dam is an Idaho Power Campground called Copperville. It is a well kept park, water and electricity and camping and it is situated right on the Snake River. We stayed there last night.us

After investaging the area, we found a perfect boon docking place provided by Idaho Power. It is a wide spot, surrounded by trees and bushes off a dirt road. We are about 5 feet from the bank of the river which makes the area cool. The temps have been around 104 to 109 during the day. We also have a shade tree and it made for a pleasant day. We will be spending about 14 days here, resting and relaxing from out time with the grandchildren and family.

Morgan Fishing
Morgan Fishing

We got a big kick out of Morgan today. She was in doggie heaven running in and out of the water. Every once in awhile a fish (salmon we think) will jump out of the water. This is her cue to jump in and swim out to where she saw the fish jump. She would literlly sit on the bank waiting for a fish to jump. See her in this photo? That is the Morgan (fisher dog) stance. We are going to enjoy being here!