Our Trip to Oregon - Oregon Trail Interpretive Center Section
August 3, 2000
By Dan Hyde

Image of Dan Pointing at Oregon Trail

Dan Pointing at Location of Oregon Trail
about half mile from Oregon Trail Interpretive Center.
The modern road crosses the old Trail about where Dan is standing.

The National Oregon Interpretive Center is on Flagstaff Hill just above the saddle where the Oregon Trail traveled. The Center was placed here because this saddle is the first time the pioneers saw trees since they had left Missouri. Their hearts leaped for joy after the 1600 miles or so of treeless plain. From this saddle, you look down into Lone Pine Valley where the Lone Pine tree used to stand and can see the pine forest of the Blue Mountains off to the west.

Image of Lone Pine Valley in Distance.

Looking Southwest from Oregon Trail Center into Lone Pine Valley.
The Blue Montains are in the distance.

Outside of the Center, there is a camp with about eight covered wagons. On weekends, the camp is a living history reenactment with volunteers dressed in pioneer outfits.

Image of Scott and Covered Wagons.

Scott and the Camp of Covered Wagons.
Notice the dry sage brush terrain.

Image of Scott, Jan and Mary
Jane near restored 1880s Covered Wagon.

Scott, Jan and Mary Jane near restored 1880s Covered Wagon.

Image of Diorama inside Center

Life-size Diorama inside Center

The dioramas inside the Center were fantastic! Great detail right down to the authentic looking oxen chips.

Image of Mountain Loin

Stuffed Mountain Lion

The exhibit on wild animals had very creative poses.

Image of Interior of Lobby at Geiser
Hotel, Baker City

Interior of Lobby at Geiser Hotel, Baker City

We ate lunch at the historic Geiser Hotel in downtown Baker City. The Hotel built in 1880's was billed as the best Hotel between Salt Lake City and Seattle. It has been recently restored to its original beauty with mahogany trim.

Image of Oregon Trail in distance

Oregon Trail in distance. The Trail runs left to right along the dirt area in the middle.
Hard to see but a covered wagon sits to left of dirt area.

After lunch we are back at the Center to hike on the Oregon Trail! Our distination is the covered wagon that sits on the Trail in the middle of the above picture. The hike down to the wagon is about a mile over a very dusty foot path. The sign at the Center warns of NO shade, to wear a hat and carry water. We each carry a water bottle, our hat but also take an umbrella for shade.

Image of Covered Wagon On Trail

The Covered Wagon On Trail

We go slow because it is over 100 degrees, very hot and dry. Water every few minutes is a must! But we make it down to the covered wagon shown in above picture.

Image of Covered Wagon On Trail

Standing on the Trail with Scott near the Covered Wagon.
You can see the wagon wheel ruts.

Image of Oregon Trail Center on Top
of Flagstaff Hill

View of Oregon Trail Center on Top of Flagstaff Hill from the Covered Wagon on the Trail

From the Covered Wagon on the Trail, we look back up at the Center. We take a more circuitous route back up the 380 feet of elevation we must rise. The way back is over a mile and a half. As it is a great effort to walk uphill, we plod along one foot after the other. We are hot, thirsty and tired!

Image of Sage Brush Terrain

View of Trail on the way back.
Notice the Covered Wagon in the Bottom of the Saddle.

We make it! We rest and wash our faces in cold water. Dan's black walking shoes are totally gray from the Trail dust! After resting, we stocked up for the journey at the Gift Shop. We buy videos, books and canned beaver (a fuzzy stuffed animal in a can!).

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

Copyright © 2000
Daniel C. Hyde