It's very early on Saturday morning, hubby is still in bed and only a hint of light is reflected in the morning sky. I don't know why I am up so early, excitement maybe as tomorrow we start on a small, but great adventure and I have lots to do.
I checked my list for the 10th time and wondered if the car will hold everything. Do I really need all this stuff!!. We're only going for just over a week and surely the weather will cooperate. Or will it, it's September and you just never know, so I'm tossing in a jacket and an umbrella just in case.
We're taking the car, mostly because our friend George is coming with us and motels just seemed to be a better idea. We're also taking ice chests and food and do a lot of picnicking as some of our destinations are what one might describe as wilderness, rural, middle of no-where. Just in case I'm packing a lot of emergency gear also as we will be hiking in the wilds and exploring old ghost towns and well you just never know (Hey! I watch Survivorman!!!)
So here is the plan if you want to follow along.
Day One: We are going to Beaverton to pick up George who found a new restaurant in an old Masonic Temple. Hubby should enjoy that and George said it will add to our quest; finding the best Oregon hamburger. We'll spend the night and then get an early start on Monday.
Day Two: While we are heading east, we decided to bypass as much of the freeway as we can (I84) and take the very scenic Historic Columbia Byway, Hwy 30. (Very scenic, very narrow and switchback'ie) There are lots of 'view points, photo ops and I understand lots of waterfalls, Multnomah being the most famous (Add to list, more film for camera)
Then a drive thru of The Dalles. I am not sure why but they have a walking tour of town and some old historic homes that are well worth seeing. We'll continue east for a bit more on the freeway and then at mile 97 we will start our southeastward trek on Hwy 206 to the small town of Condon, OR.
Hey Condon has a claim of fame, a turn-of-the-century hotel (aptly named Hotel Condon) and the one and only annex of Portlands famous Powells Book Store. Also it is said you can buy a great old fashioned soda there. We'll be staying at the not so famous Motel Condon for the next couple of nights.
Tuesday is going to be a real adventure. We are going to a ghost town called Lonerock. Lonerock has a church, a jail, and a lone rock. People still live there so I am not sure why its called a ghost town, but Ill let you know. From Lonerock we are going to the John Day Fossil Beds, Clarno Unit for some geological lessons. The pictures I have seen are spectacular and the hikes are all under a half mile. Afterward we'll return to Condon and maybe treat ourselves to another soda.
Day three is going to be a travel day, Condon to Hardeman, another ghost town and this time I understand its a real ghost town, to Heppner that shows it's heritage with a great big shamrock in the middle of town. Unity is our lunch stop, its mid-point of the Blue Mountain Scenic Hwy and then we'll overnight in LaGrande.
The whole point of our trip was to go on a train ride thru the Eagle Cap Wilderness area. It starts in a small town just east of La Grande called Elgin and for 4 hours we will wander through the wilds. I understand they are going to feed us lunch. It sounds like fun, but we are going to continue to the town of Joseph for the night.
Friday we are going to Baker City and Saturday we are going to kinda play it by ear as there is so much to see and do in the area, we are rather overloaded with ideas. Whatever we do should be fun, but we think we will check with the locals for ideas.
Sunday we are heading west again. Hwy 26 passes through two more areas of John Day and each has something great to offer. Night will find us in Prineville and the on Monday we are going to head back to Portland.
Now, lets see how close we come to following our itinerary.