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Eastern Oregon/Portland Family Trip July 2009
Geiser Grand Hotel, Baker City, Oregon.
Mom & I went on a five day driving trip through Eastern, Oregon.
Some highlights: Outsider Art Monument: Petersen Rock Garden in Redmond (friendliest peacocks I’ve ever met!). The John Day Fossil Area was amazing – the Painted Hills and Sheep Unit. At the latter we went down a trail called something like “Island back in time” and were mesmerized by the strange chalky green rocky landscape with no life growing from it. We were lucking out with 75 and Sunny in a place that can get 110 this time of year. The new Paleontology Museum is very interesting. I became obsessed with touring cyclists and wished I was on my bike. Even saw a group of 4 punk-style riders, with just boxes and blankets strapped to the back of their bikes. We barely made the last tour at the Kam Wah Chung Museum in John Day not knowing that you can only visit with a guide. This old apothecary/store/house set in what once was a Chinatown was really interesting to me. Then on to Baker City, Oregon which is really a great town – I walked around at Sunset and thought about setting up a portable press shop here for a month. We stayed in the Geiser Grand Hotel, which isn’t as expensive as you’d think, and my oh my were those sheets soft. The next day for the firs half of the we visited the National Oregon Trail Interpretative Center a top Flagstaff Hill, 5 miles outside of town. The museum got a thumbs down from me (too general, busy, not into taxidermy horses), But the center and walking trails are worth it and I loved visiting the actual Oregon trail and seeing the old wagon ruts. Mom and I realized that we could visit Hell’s Canyon afterall. I really wanted to go, but we didn’t want to hit gravel roads. We found there was a road to an overlook that we could take on our way to Joseph. We stopped in Halfway, Oregon and I got a chocolate milkshake. At the overlook in Hells Canyon there is a pretty amazing view of the nation’s deepest Canyon. You can’t see the floor or anything, and you feel far away, but it was still beautiful. In Joseph we didn’t like our stinky overpriced smelling cabin or the fact that everyone and their family seemed to be around the Lake in the Wallowas, but I took advantage of the pool/hot tub and beat my mom in Scrabble even though she made two whole words. In the morning we played mini golf at the resort while a couple long haired boys watched us. Mom loves Mini golf! We were going back and forth on whether we should take the Tram to the top of Mt Henry, we heard it was good, but wondering if we should get a move on. But luckily we decided to go. The weather was great and I couldn’t believe the Swiss Gondola style tram went an entire mile up. We were at over 8000 feet! At the top we were greeted by a gopher and a chipmunk, little did we know that we’d meet many more “friends” on our visit up there. We walked around the trails and had a very chipper time. On the way out of Joseph we stopped at the local county museum – I asked the friendly senior ladies what they liked most in the museum. One lady said the electric curler (a scary monstrosity!) and the other lady said a grade school exhibit from the 1905 Lewis & Clark Fair. I myself was amused by the Moonshine exhibit. I gave the one lady a painting I made of the electric curler and she was so pleased! We then drove through a few small towns and headed towards Pendleton, getting loss in La Grande on the way. Pendleton was so much smaller than I thought (all the round-up/blanket hype), but I enjoyed the murals, and my mom and walked on the riverwalk which was by at dusk. We played another game of Scrabble where I almost won, until I made a stupid fatal error on my second to last turn. In the morning (Saturday) we walked around town, but nothing was open and we looked like hick tourists. I guess all the action was on Friday night. Finally a few shops opened, but every one seemed to be selling old stuff – some of it good (the Curio shop!) some bad (beanie babies, and romance novel, now really!) And everyone wanted a lot of money for crap. We headed out of town (backtracking a few miles) to go to the Tamastslikt Cultural Institute which in on the Indian Reservation. Right before we stopped for gas, and waited to be served (can’t pump your own gas in Oregon), but no one came, and then we realized, oh on the reservation you pump your own gas! The museum is past the casino that had a full parking lot. The museum lot only had three cars. I was really impressed with the exhibits and design and learned a lot about five Indian groups from the area. Outside it was heating up, planning on getting up to 100, I walked around displays of different kinds of Indian housing.
We then headed down the Gorge towards Portland and watched the scenery slowly change from beige to green. We crossed the toll bridge at Hood River to Bingen to meet my Sister Sarah and 3 ? year old nephew Andy who were coming on the 6:20 train. They had a long day st
The back reads:
Public Square, Cleveland, Ohio
Tel: TOwer 1-8000 Teletype: 216-574-9796
"The best location in the nation." Direct access to the City's financial, theatrical and shopping centers. Beautifully redecorated and air-conditioned guest rooms, all with free TV and radio. For outstanding dining and beverages, The Bunch of Grapes, a colonial tavern, The Falstaff Room and Kon-Tiki, a Polynesian Room. Free Parking.
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"Reservatron" first appeared in 1958 which made Sheraton the first hotel chain to centralize and computerize reservations. In 1967, Sheraton updated that system with Reservatron II, so this card is most certainly before that date. If I'm reading the code on the card correctly, it's from 1964.
Sure wish that Tiki room was still there. (sigh)
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