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We finally reach Oregon

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Posted 24 October 2014 - 07:59 AM

Not a whole lot to report on about Thursday's run.

After overnighting in Evanston, WY, near the Utah border, we decided to bypass Salt Lake City, as it is quite a way off the most direct route to Idaho via I-84.

One sightseeing detour we did take, as we could return to the interstate without backtracking thus saving a decent number of miles, was to the Golden Spike National Historical Site, at Promontory, UT, where the Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroads joined to complete the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869.



Original monument erected to commemorate the event, now restored and relocated to the museum grounds.


The museum's displays and artifacts provide a very comprehensive picture of this important event in American history, but the location is about as desolate as it could possibly be. I had hoped to be able to take a shot or two of the two recreated locomotives that are operated during the summer as part of the museum experience, but alas they were in the process of off-season maintenance and were not accessible during the time we were able to visit.


The scenery through Utah and Idaho is stunning but so vast that it is almost impossible to convey its scale in photos. Wish I had a panorama camera. Here's a shot I took through the window of the car at about 90 MPH. This is near Ogden, UT, I think...




Because of the mileage involved, we pressed on beyond Boise to Pendleton, OR, home of the famous Pendleton Woolen Mills as well as the Pendleton Round-Up rodeo. This gives us a much shorter run into McMinnville, about 250 miles or so, so today is the day I will finally get to see my new/old car up close and personal.


After crossing into Oregon after dark, we climbed a very tall range and then descended steeply into Pendleton, going down grades as steep as 6% for a long time. Coming back the other way in the Model A would be a real struggle, so I'll be looking for an alternative route to bypass that mountain range. Very sorry we passed through this area after dark, as I am sure the views are spectacular.


The weather on the trip has been phenomenal, and we experienced virtually no rain except for a few sprinkles for four and a half days... until we got to the Oregon state line, where it started raining and it didn't stop until after we reached our hotel in Pendleton. I suspect this will not be surprising to natives of the state.


Plan to load up and get to McMinnville as quickly as we can this morning and head straight to the Chevy dealership where the Model A is located just to see it and to meet the general manager Tim, who is the owner's agent I've been dealing with. Might even drive it around the block a few times.

Then we're heading for the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, where the Spruce Goose is located, and will probably stay there until they throw us out at closing time. Some guy named Jairus Watson is putting us up for the next two nights, and after grabbing something to eat while Friday night traffic dissipates, we'll be heading for his place.

The plan is to service and go over the car thoroughly on Saturday, then to drive it to Jairus's place, and to leave for the long trip back home at first light on Sunday morning. The pace going back to Georgia is going to be a real change from what we were able to do coming out to Oregon, that's for sure!

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Gregory Wells

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