Emmigrant springs State parkSeptember 14, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C
arrived late, you climb up into the Blue mountains after Pendleton on Hwy 84. arrived late at the campground and we were not clear if any sites were actually available. But the sign at the beginning had some sites listed as being reserved and others were not so we took one that looked like it was not reserved. Full hook ups $26/night. it was quite chilly as we were at a high elevation. 3,800 ft. Ate late again, but at least this time we had a microwave to heat up our chilli!
This is near the summit of the Blue mountains were travellers on the Oregon trail coming from the east (1843) would have seen trees for the first time after months of sagebrush and grass. There is a spring here for them to get water. There is an original section of the old Oregon Trail, you can see Wagon Ruts at Deadmans Pass Rest area 7 miles NW on I-84. We didn't stop there on the way back.....maybe next time
The wagon is quite skinny. I was suprised at how narrow they were when you consider that people had to carry so many supplies with them.
There is a monument dedicated in 1923 to the Oregon Trail Pioneers. Ezra Meeker who had done the trail originally went back and redid the trail and marked all these different markers along the way so others would know the route for future generations. His markers are the plain basalt uprights. Ezra Meeker did this in 1906-1908. He did it again in 1910. in 1912 he retraced the trail in a 12 cylinder pathfinder called Schooner-mobile, to lobby congress for a highway along the emigration route. in 1925 he flew a biplane over the route. he was going to do another trip in 1928 in a "oxmobile' given to him by Henry ford, but he passed away at age of 97 before the trip started. - all this info from a sign in the park-
Trees mixture of Doug fir, Larch, Ponderosa pine, true fir. we saw entact cones on the forrest floor of true firs which you don't ever see on the tree once they have ripened as True fir cones disintegrate on the tree and only the upright central stalk is left. Squirrels must have been harvesting the cones for winter.
The blue berries are Blue elderberry.
"Extensive day-use developments were made in the 1930's by the Civilian Conservation Corps. In the early 1950's, overnight camp facilities were added. In January 1812, trappers and traders of the Astor overland expedition, under the leadership of Wilson Price Hunt, crossed the Blue Mountains in this vicinity, thus establishing the route later used by Oregon Trail emigrants. In the 1880's, the trail was replaced by the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company (now Union Pacific) railroad, which reaches the mountain summit of Meacham a few miles to the south of the park. During the construction of I-84 in the 1950's, one could still find artifacts on the Oregon Trail in the gulch south of the park." --source Oregon state park website
When we left we had to detour through Meacham due to highway repairs, our exit was closed. We ended up keeping pace with a bike touring group. I'm not sure if it was a race or what, but many many many cyclists along the old sections of the highway which was also the detour route for emigrant springs campers to get back on the highway eastbound.Read more