Seeing New Territory


It is not often that we have had the opportunity to take off for a couple of weeks and just travel until we were ready to come home.  Recently we got to do just that.  We had a wonderful time.  I didn’t write or post during that time so will do some catch up with short day time stories.

I had never traveled across Oregon on Highway 26 East from Prineville into Baker City, Oregon – not that I remember anyway!  This part of the state is beautiful in its own way.  Lots of farm land and high forest areas.  There were several areas where you could see the aftermath of fires – some of this area is what is burning again as I write.

We stopped at Sumpter, Oregon and toured the large gold dredge and one of the first small scale railroads in Oregon.  The gold dredge was fascinating.  It “carried” its own 9 ft deep pond with it as it dredged its way through this small valley.  You can see tailings for miles and miles.  What a fascinating machine.

Sumpter OR

Sumpter OR


These large cups scooped up the earth for sifting leaving the gravel (tailings) behind the dredge as it moved from place to place.  There was gold “in them that hills” but not enough to pay for the operation of the dredge!  For more information on the dredge go to: Sumpter State Park

We laughed about the little railroad station.  It was as cute as could be and was very well maintained – but it wasn’t open.  This was a Friday about 10:30 am or so – basically the sign on the door indicated that if you were there it probably wasn’t open unless it was lunch time which it was definitely closed at that time!  Hilarious – but cute.

Sumpter Railroad Station

Sal has often mentioned to me how much he liked the small town of Baker City. Part of the reason we traveled east across Highway 26 was to visit this little city with its beautiful old homes and original main street with gorgeous brick buildings.

We walked the main street – stopped and had some lunch at what appeared to be a favorite hang out for locals and then drove some of the back streets to see the homes.  There were some beautiful old homes – many of them from the Craftsman era – which is a favorite for us.

Baker City Architecture


I thought this particular building in Baker City spoke to the beautiful architecture of the city. If you have the opportunity this is a lovely small city in Oregon to visit.

We called ahead to see if we could catch friends and fellow Legislative couple – Chris and Greg Barreto at home.  We were successful and stopped to visit them at their home east of Pendleton.  We had a great visit and a nice break from the road.

Plans changed a bit and we decided to spend the night in Pendleton.  We found a nice motel within walking distance of downtown Pendleton – walked to a lovely restaurant for a nice steak dinner and on our way back to the hotel saw a familiar figure coming towards us.

Sal said “Look I think that is Schauffler.”  Well it was – Mike Schauffler served with Sal in the Oregon Legislature for several sessions.   A couple of years ago he relocated to Pendleton and it was just serendipitous to see him on the street.  We had a short street corner visit – his apartment is above the restaurant where we ate and he was on his way home.  It was a great way to end our first day on the road.





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