Our Trip to Oregon
August 1 to August 8, 2000
By Dan Hyde

Image of covered wagon

Our original incentive to visit Oregon was to attend the national Jackson Brigade meeting in North Plains, just west of Portland. Since our son Scott, who is ten years old, will be studying the American Westward Movement in Fourth grade next year, we decided to focus on the Oregon Trail and the Lewis and Clark Expedition as well. I bought a couple of guidebooks on the Pacific Northwest and discovered there was plenty to see.

Tuesday August 1, 2000

After staying overnight in a motel near the Harrisburg, PA, airport, Mary Jane, Scott and I flew out of Harrisburg to Portland, Oregon with a stop over in Chicago. As we are about to land in Portland, we have a breathless view of Mt. Hood on the left but can't get a photo.

Image of Mt. St. Helens

Mount Saint Helens and Mount Adams from right side of plane.

On the right side, we saw Mount Saint Helens and Mount Adams. On arrival we met Jan Tucker, Mary Jane's twin sister, in the baggage claim area of Portland's airport. We rented a Nissan Maxima and the four of us ventured out on the Oregon superhighways to find our motel in Hillsboro, Oregon. After a few missed turns due to a scarcity of road signs, we made it to the Travelodge. We came to the conclusion that the authorities in Oregon don't believe in road signs. Probably a plot to keep the Californians out.

We voted to eat chinese for supper in Hillsboro.

Wednesday August 2, 2000

Since I had planned a long day, we were up early and on the road by 7 AM. We drove east of Portland on Interstate 84 towards the Columbia River Gorge. As soon as possible, we turned on to the Historic Columbia River Highway.

See pictures of Columbia River Gorge section.

Drove east on Interstate 84 for many miles admiring the scenery. The drive through the Blue Mountains had many beautiful vistas of pine tree forests. We stopped for the night at a Super 8 Motel outside of Baker City, Oregon. A long day! We had driven more than 300 miles.

Thursday August 3, 2000

I had read that the National Oregon Trail Interpretive Center at Flagstaff Hill near Baker City was the best. We were not disappointed!! We stayed almost the whole day seeing and doing things.

See pictures of Oregon Trail Interpretive Center section.

After our visit, we concluded that this might be the best interpretive center on any subject. Well worth visiting.

Though our original plan was to drive back to Portland, we decided to stay the night at a motel in La Grande, Oregon about 45 miles from Baker City.

Friday August 4, 2000

After leaving La Grande, we drove west on Interstate 84 until near Pendelton, famous for manufacturing wool blankets and clothes. Our destination was the Tamastslikt Cultural Institute, a new interpretive center on the Umatilla Indian Reservation. Well worth stopping to see! The center has been open for only two years and is extremely well done.

See pictures of Tamastslikt Cultural Institute and Mt. Hood area.

After Tamastslikt, we drove west on Interstate 84 until Hood River, Oregon, retracing our steps of the day before.

From Hood River, we took Route 35 south to circle south around Mount Hood. Mount Hood is almost an official icon of Oregon. A dormant volcano, it rises majestically from the plains.

We traveled over Barlow Pass and turned off to a portion of the old Barlow Road which was built in 1845 to allow the pioneers on the Oregon Trail to avoid the dangerous raft trip down the Columbia River. We visited the old Pioneer Woman's grave, who died in the 1840s so very close to her goal of moving to Oregon.

We took the turn for Timberline Lodge and drove up the side of Mount Hood. At Timberline Lodge, they ski all year long. No snow at the Lodge but we watched them grooming the snow up at the high end of the ski lift.

Back to Travelodge in Hillsboro late. Stopped by to see Linda Meyers for a few minutes. To bed after another long day.

Saturday August 5, 2000

Up to drive about 10 miles to North Plains, Oregon for the Pancake Breakfast as part of the Jackson Reunion 2000. Rather than go on the tour of the local Jackson sites, we visited the Oregon Museum for Science and Industry (OMSI) in Portland.

Image of Vegtable Man and Scott

Vegetable Man and Scott At OMSI

OMSI is a geat place for a ten year old budding scientist! Lots of hands-on activities. Scott launched a plastic soda bottle filled with water and pressurerized air a hundred feet in the air. He pretended to land a shuttle. Scott says OMSI was the BEST part of the whole trip!!

At OMSI we watched an Omnimax movie "Journey of Man". An Omnimax theatre is an experience! You lie back in a chair and view a five-story-high screen which is shaped like the insides of a large igloo. The image surrounds you. The imagery is awesome! The "Journal of Man" was created with performers from Cirque du Soleil where the performers twirled and bounced on bungee cords in perfect synchronized precision.

After OMSI, we came back to earth and drove to the Hahn Farm in North Plains for a major Jackson Reunion event of a chicken barbecue dinner under a beautiful grove of trees. See pictures at Jackson Reunion 2000. After the barbecue dinner and wonderful chats with Nancy Jackson, Lee and Linda Meyers, John C. Jackson and Donna Bandeen, we wandered up to the barn dancing.

Sunday August 6, 2000

Since no Jackson Reunion activities were scheduled Sunday morning, we got up early and hit the road to be at the Portland Zoo at 9 AM when it opened.

See pictures of Portland Zoo.

In the three hours we roamed the Zoo, we didn't see it all but had a great time.

At noon, we traveled again back to the Hahn Farm in North Plains to partake of the Jackson Reunion 2000 picnic lunch under the same grove of trees.

Image of Scott the human cannon ball

Scott, the Human Cannon Ball

Image of cannon ball splash

Cannon Ball Splash

At one motel pool, Scott annnounced, "I want to jump in and create a BIG slash." Therefore, another kid and Dad taught him how to do a cannon ball dive. A couple of days later at the Hillsboro Community Pool, see the perfect form from Scott, the human cannon ball. Dad was handling the camera to get the action.

Monday August 7, 2000

Monday we had saved to visit Astoria and other sites along the Oregon coast. It was amazing to experience so many eco-systems in such a short distance. It can be in the 90s, sunny and hot in Portland. Sixty miles west on the coast, it can be 65, cloudy and misty rain. And in between, the mountains are cool and fair.

Our destination was Fort Clatsop where Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery wintered along the Oregon coast in 1805-6. The National Park System maintains a replica of the Fort on the original site and an interpretive center.

See pictures of Fort Clatsop and area.

For lunch we ate great, fresh seafood at the "Ship Inn" restaurant in Astoria. After lunch we climbed the 164 steps up to the top of the Tower in Astoria.

Image of View of Astoria from Tower

View of Astoria from Tower. Washington in distance on right.

From Astoria, we drove across this long bridge to the state of Washington. For Mary Jane, Dan and Scott it was our first time in this state. Jan had visited Washington many years before. We drove along the coast to Cape Disappointment, where Lewis and Clark were disappointed that no European ships were present. They had hoped for a trip home by sea. We climbed to the top of North Head light house. It's Scott's first time in a light house! It is a working light house maintained by the Coast Guard.

Tuesday August 8, 2000

We returned the trusty steed to its barn at Alamo and flew out of Portland. Again we stopped over in Chicago with enough time for Mary Jane and Scott to each have a Chicago Hot Dog.

We touched down at Harrisburg after flying within a mile of the now quiet but infamous Three Mile Island (TMI) nuclear reactor towers. After an hour and a half drive home to Lewisburg, three tired but happy campers collapsed in bed.

Page maintained by Dan Hyde, hyde at bucknell.edu Last update August 18, 2000

Copyright © 2000
Daniel C. Hyde