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Old 02-23-2017, 04:13 PM   #1
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Name: RogerDat
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Following the Oregon Trail

My brother in law and I plan to do a trip from Independence MO. to Baker City Oregon in the fall. Following the Oregon Trail and checking out the ruts, historic sites and museums. Figure some folks here will have been on that route before or live in an area the trail goes through.

Looking for tips on places to camp or things not to miss, or even great places to grab a bite. Also the stuff that is worth skipping, or campgrounds we might want to avoid. Having once camped next to a open septic pond on a hot, muggy summer night.... I know not all facilities live up to the brochure.

Most days planning to limit driving to 5 hours or less and spend the rest seeing stuff. Don't require electricity every night, do like cheap National Park campgrounds but a hot shower and shore power can make a nice change of pace as long as they don't charge through the nose for it. Knowing if reservations are available or required is good info too.

Also going to try to spend a couple of days in Yellowstone before cutting back toward Sheridan and across to the Mich. Upper Peninsula.

So any advice or tips are welcome.
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Old 02-23-2017, 04:19 PM   #2
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This information might help you Roger. But you're missing the end of the trail by stopping short! The trail ends in Oregon City, OR

Oregon Trail Sites: https://www.historicoregoncity.org/oregon-trail-sites/

The interpretive center in Oregon City: https://www.historicoregoncity.org/
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Old 02-23-2017, 04:59 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
This information might help you Roger. But you're missing the end of the trailer by stopping short! The trail ends in Oregon City, OR

Oregon Trail Sites: https://www.historicoregoncity.org/oregon-trail-sites/

The interpretive center in Oregon City: https://www.historicoregoncity.org/
I know, the end point is tentative there is still some debate about going further or not. I have visited friends in Eugene many years (decades) ago and it is a lovely area.

Will probably depend on how much time it takes to get through to Boise. And that will depend one how many sites we decide to visit.... I'm still working so have more time constraints than if I was retired.

Oh and Hi Donna! Liking your newer camper much? Did you ever sell your Scamp 16?
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Old 02-23-2017, 06:18 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
This information might help you Roger. But you're missing the end of the trail by stopping short! The trail ends in Oregon City, OR

Oregon Trail Sites: https://www.historicoregoncity.org/oregon-trail-sites/

The interpretive center in Oregon City: https://www.historicoregoncity.org/
But I don't think they raft trailers down the river from The Dalles anymore.
There is the Barlow route on the other side of Mt Hood so you don't have to float the Columbia.
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Old 02-24-2017, 11:27 AM   #5
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Three Island Crossing at Glens Ferry ID is a very nice state campground and has an interpretive center for the trail that crossed the Snake River their.
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Old 02-24-2017, 12:17 PM   #6
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Check out the National Park Service's Oregon Trail Auto Interpretive Tour Guide. Lots of history info, maps, etc. https://www.nps.gov/oreg/index.htm

And visit the End of the Oregon Trail Heritage Center in Oregon City, and the Willamette River Falls, a natural waterfall between Oregon City and West Linn, Oregon. It is the largest waterfall in the American Pacific Northwest by volume, and the seventeenth widest in the world.

For camping, Emigrant Springs State Heritage Park has a beautiful campground, though some road noise.
Camping at Champoeg State Historical Park is your best choice in the Portland.Oregon City area.

You will have come so far, might as well go to Astoria, OR, and the Lewis & Clark National Monument, Columbia River Maritime Museum, and the mouth of the Columbia River/Pacific Ocean...that way you have combined the Oregon Trail with Lewis & Clark's trip.
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Old 02-24-2017, 02:12 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by RogerDat View Post
My brother in law and I plan to do a trip from Independence MO. to Baker City Oregon in the fall. Following the Oregon Trail and checking out the ruts, historic sites and museums. Figure some folks here will have been on that route before or live in an area the trail goes through.

Looking for tips on places to camp or things not to miss, or even great places to grab a bite. Also the stuff that is worth skipping, or campgrounds we might want to avoid. Having once camped next to a open septic pond on a hot, muggy summer night.... I know not all facilities live up to the brochure.

Most days planning to limit driving to 5 hours or less and spend the rest seeing stuff. Don't require electricity every night, do like cheap National Park campgrounds but a hot shower and shore power can make a nice change of pace as long as they don't charge through the nose for it. Knowing if reservations are available or required is good info too.

Also going to try to spend a couple of days in Yellowstone before cutting back toward Sheridan and across to the Mich. Upper Peninsula.

So any advice or tips are welcome.
Camping in Yellowstone will require reservations. That place is so busy you can't get a campsite in any of the parks campgrounds hardly. We tried 2 years ago and we ended up driving until midnight and illegally parked at an overlook in The Tetons just to get some sleep. Saw other people in another overlook type place also but it was full. If the park rangers wanted to they could ticket you for that type of parking. Entry into Yellowstone and The Tetons is $50 I believe for up to 7 days or if you are 62 you can get your lifetime pass for $10 and then it is free and campsites are 1/2 off. So we didn't get to see much of Yellowstone since we were there only part of the day. It really requires about 4-5 days to see it all and do the walks that are easy. It is worth it though if you haven't been there. This was our 3rd trip there and it was a cut through on our way home from the north.
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Old 02-24-2017, 02:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerDat View Post
My brother in law and I plan to do a trip from Independence MO. to Baker City Oregon in the fall. Following the Oregon Trail and checking out the ruts, historic sites and museums. Figure some folks here will have been on that route before or live in an area the trail goes through.

Looking for tips on places to camp or things not to miss, or even great places to grab a bite. Also the stuff that is worth skipping, or campgrounds we might want to avoid. Having once camped next to a open septic pond on a hot, muggy summer night.... I know not all facilities live up to the brochure.

Most days planning to limit driving to 5 hours or less and spend the rest seeing stuff. Don't require electricity every night, do like cheap National Park campgrounds but a hot shower and shore power can make a nice change of pace as long as they don't charge through the nose for it. Knowing if reservations are available or required is good info too.

Also going to try to spend a couple of days in Yellowstone before cutting back toward Sheridan and across to the Mich. Upper Peninsula.

So any advice or tips are welcome.
Near Baker City, OR is a must see museum called the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center. Thought it would be a quick stop but was there for several hours. Very worth it. There are ruts but not spectacular like some other places but the museum is. About 26 miles from Baker is Sumpter with the Sumpter Valley RR. It is a wood burning train and you can ride in the engine for an extra fee. Well worth it if you like trains. In Pendleton, OR is the Tamastslikt Cultural Center another awesome museum. I'm not much into history so me spending hours in a historical museum tells you how good they are. If you are coming across I-80 in Nebraska is the Great Platte River Road Archway near Kearney with a lot of history and is a very fun and awesome museum about the trail. The National Park Service has free books about 6 X 9 inches called National Historic Trails Auto Tour Route Interpretive Guide for a variety of states. They are very helpful and have a lot of nice places to see. You can get the states you want. Another thing we do since we don't have a lap top or smart phone is to get online and order the travel guides for each state we are going through for free before we leave. Allow 6 weeks for delivery.
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Old 02-24-2017, 04:11 PM   #9
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I like the idea of following the Lewis and Clark trail on the way back. The maritime museum in Astoria is good and is easy to spot and park at even with a trailer on. The museum has quite a few hands on exhibits including a light ship you can tour if you can climb steep, ladderlike steps. It is moored behind the museum on the river. Astoria is easy to commute to from Ft. Stevens State Park. That park has miles of trails to hike or bike on in it. Take a map or compass so you can head the correct direction to get back to camp. It has a lot of history to it.

My dad showed us some of the ruts from the Oregon Trail that were just south of Arlington, OR. That was in the 1960s so I do not know if they are still there.

Another good place to camp and watch ships going up and down the Columbia is Skamokawa Vista Park in Washington. It is between Longview, WA and the Astoria Bridge. The shipping channel is very close to the shore and you can really get a good look at the ships and barges. They have a few sites along the river with water and power available. They also have showers and bathrooms and a dump station.

http://www.vista-park.org/

You can travel on the Oregon side and then on the way back, go on the Warshington side of the river. It is quite doable.
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Old 02-24-2017, 06:34 PM   #10
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City of Rocks, south of Burley ID, might be worth a stop or even a night of camping.
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Old 02-24-2017, 11:07 PM   #11
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Hey Roger, I'm also a big fan of the Oregon Trail ("RutNut")....I've traveled most of the Oregon sites and some of the Idaho sections and look forward to doing the whole thing one day with my own Scamp. There are a couple good resources I found useful that discuss traveling the trail by car with recommendations of highways, side roads, campgrounds, restaurants, sites to see, etc. The first book is 'Traveling the Oregon Trail' by Julie Fanselow. It is a Falcon Guide travel book. This is geared toward seeing it by car and sites you can get to by car and hikes. The other book that also has useful info and is just a really fun read is 'The Oregon Trail - A New American Journey' by Rinker Buck. He and his brother took a replica of the original wagons used, with a team of mules and traveled along back roads, across ranch lands, and down highways, staying on or as close to the trail as they could. He pulls in a lot history and stories of the emigrants that came over the trail, and of course their own story of modern day guys trying to wrangle a wagon and 3 mules over a couple thousand miles with anything and everything that can go wrong (and right). He is a bit snooty when talking about RV people and their travels....

Good luck! Look forward to seeing your posts.
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Old 02-25-2017, 01:45 AM   #12
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Name: Peter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerDat View Post
My brother in law and I plan to do a trip from Independence MO. to Baker City Oregon in the fall. Following the Oregon Trail and checking out the ruts, historic sites and museums. Figure some folks here will have been on that route before or live in an area the trail goes through.

Looking for tips on places to camp or things not to miss, or even great places to grab a bite. Also the stuff that is worth skipping, or campgrounds we might want to avoid. Having once camped next to a open septic pond on a hot, muggy summer night.... I know not all facilities live up to the brochure.

Most days planning to limit driving to 5 hours or less and spend the rest seeing stuff. Don't require electricity every night, do like cheap National Park campgrounds but a hot shower and shore power can make a nice change of pace as long as they don't charge through the nose for it. Knowing if reservations are available or required is good info too.

Also going to try to spend a couple of days in Yellowstone before cutting back toward Sheridan and across to the Mich. Upper Peninsula.

So any advice or tips are welcome.
:you should read the new book where two brothers did in a wagon with 3 mules pulling from further back than Independence, It is called the Oregon Trail, it is a brand new version, U will laugh and U will cry but they made it all the way, I would rather do it there way not by car but by the old wagon way.
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Old 02-25-2017, 01:52 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Shannon Thompson View Post
Hey Roger, I'm also a big fan of the Oregon Trail ("RutNut")....I've traveled most of the Oregon sites and some of the Idaho sections and look forward to doing the whole thing one day with my own Scamp. There are a couple good resources I found useful that discuss traveling the trail by car with recommendations of highways, side roads, campgrounds, restaurants, sites to see, etc. The first book is 'Traveling the Oregon Trail' by Julie Fanselow. It is a Falcon Guide travel book. This is geared toward seeing it by car and sites you can get to by car and hikes. The other book that also has useful info and is just a really fun read is 'The Oregon Trail - A New American Journey' by Rinker Buck. He and his brother took a replica of the original wagons used, with a team of mules and traveled along back roads, across ranch lands, and down highways, staying on or as close to the trail as they could. He pulls in a lot history and stories of the emigrants that came over the trail, and of course their own story of modern day guys trying to wrangle a wagon and 3 mules over a couple thousand miles with anything and everything that can go wrong (and right). He is a bit snooty when talking about RV people and their travels....

Good luck! Look forward to seeing your posts.
:Shannon is 1005 right about that book called The Oregon Trail by Rinker Buck, great read even for a Canuck. I'm a to old to do it by wagon and mules but that book made my day.
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Old 02-26-2017, 02:14 PM   #14
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If you make it to Astoria, two campgrounds are available: Ft Stevens State Parkm OR and across the river at Cape Disappointment State Park, WA Reservations recommended if traveling in summer months. Fort Stevens and Fort Columbia State Park( near Cape Disappointment, are also historical parks with original U.S. Army Coastal Artillery fort buildings and batteries, active from 1896 to 1947. This area was also home to the Chinook Indian Nation and their famed Chief Comcomly, and explored by Robert Gray and the Lewis and Clark expeditions.

Be sure to visit Lewis and Clark National Historical Monument near Ft. Stevens State Park, too.
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Old 02-26-2017, 02:56 PM   #15
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If you make it to Astoria, two campgrounds are available: Ft Stevens State Parkm OR and across the river at Cape Disappointment State Park, WA Reservations recommended if traveling in summer months. Fort Stevens and Fort Columbia State Park( near Cape Disappointment, are also historical parks with original U.S. Army Coastal Artillery fort buildings and batteries, active from 1896 to 1947. This area was also home to the Chinook Indian Nation and their famed Chief Comcomly, and explored by Robert Gray and the Lewis and Clark expeditions.

Be sure to visit Lewis and Clark National Historical Monument near Ft. Stevens State Park, too.
I'll second the recommendation for Cape Disappointment SP. There is a wonderful Lewis and Clark interpretative center there. Further down the coast in Oregon is Ft Clatsop. It is where the Lewis and Clark expedition wintered before returning. Lots of things to see. Allow plenty of time.
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Old 02-26-2017, 03:04 PM   #16
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Also, there may be some salmon fishing charters and there is a wonderful "Rod Run" which is held on the entire Long Beach Peninsula the weekend after Labor Day. If you are into old cars or fishing you might enjoy either event.
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Old 02-27-2017, 10:32 AM   #17
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Wow so much great info, thanks! The brother in law has that book on the wagon ride recreation by mules he said it is really good and I will borrow it at some point.

He said something about historical accuracy, I said so you want to have bacon and biscuits for every meal with beans as a treat? And I am not cooking over a cow flop fire. He pointed out the pioneers used what they had. I said not impressed. Then he pointed we have a Coleman stove and V6 horse power rather than choice of oxen or mule power and buffalo chips.

Going to nail down a list of sites to see. Baker City museum was already on the list, good to know it is a good museum. Once we have sites we can nail down camping locations and make most reservations. he has a golden something pass (maybe eagle?) for the national parks that should save some money.
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Old 02-28-2017, 04:01 PM   #18
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My brother in law and I plan to do a trip from Independence MO. to Baker City Oregon in the fall. Following the Oregon Trail and checking out the ruts, historic sites and museums. Figure some folks here will have been on that route before or live in an area the trail goes through.

Looking for tips on places to camp or things not to miss, or even great places to grab a bite. Also the stuff that is worth skipping, or campgrounds we might want to avoid. Having once camped next to a open septic pond on a hot, muggy summer night.... I know not all facilities live up to the brochure.

Most days planning to limit driving to 5 hours or less and spend the rest seeing stuff. Don't require electricity every night, do like cheap National Park campgrounds but a hot shower and shore power can make a nice change of pace as long as they don't charge through the nose for it. Knowing if reservations are available or required is good info too.

Also going to try to spend a couple of days in Yellowstone before cutting back toward Sheridan and across to the Mich. Upper Peninsula.

So any advice or tips are welcome.
Someone mentioned the golden eagle pass. I'm assuming he meant the Senior Lifetime National Parks Pass that costs $10 and good for the rest of you life. Get it at age 62. Even if your brother-in-law has one and you can get one do it. They are talking about making them more expensive in the future. They save 50% on National Forest, BLM, National Parks and other campgrounds. Also free admittance to all National Parks, including caves and Sites. We've saved hundreds of dollars using ours. As far as getting campground reservations for every night I wouldn't do it. We've very seldom not found a campground during high use season. Only in Yellowstone or The Tetons is it necessary. Maybe in other high use National Parks also. We even got a site in Mount Rainier one evening in late May. Going down the highway why have a schedule in case you see something you'd like to do but can't because of a reservation that you have to make. Also in case you stay longer than expected in a place you like. Having a schedule is not fun. We have left places that sounded fun but was not worth any time seeing it. If we'd had a reservation then we'd been stuck there for a night and would have wasted a day. There are a lot of National Park Campgrounds that have showers for a fee. Usually about $2 for 5 minutes so have quarters.
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Old 02-28-2017, 07:05 PM   #19
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National Historic Trails Center in Casper Wy is a must stop. Also Fort Laramie Hist Site near town of Fort Laramie WY. Independence Rock and Martin's Cove Hist. Site, both southwest of Casper on Hwy. 220.
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Old 04-07-2017, 10:31 AM   #20
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As a side note: We are finding "My Maps" feature of Google that we can log into with our Gmail account to be most useful. We use it the same as the forum does for a map of rally's and meets. Only in our case we put in pins for our camping stops and activities/sites of interest.

One can create "layers" and then show/hide the layer to show or hide all the pins for that layer. We can both go to it and enter items from our own homes. Beats emailing a spreadsheet back and forth. Have a different layer for campgrounds, major attractions, historic sites we want to stop at. Then add information to each pin about hours, cost, phone number or address. We can also color the pins differently for different things E.G red pins are camping places. Blue are museums and major attractions.

Makes it easier for us to collaborate despite living 50 miles apart. Makes visible where there are lots of places we want to stop and will need to make driving distance shorter to allow for the stops. Or where we might want to set up camp for a couple of days as a base for going out to see attractions such as forts or museums.
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