On Thursday, before we left Boise (the capital of Idaho) we spent part of the morning in the ‘Museum of Boise’. The main exhibit of the museum at the moment celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the setting up of the US Peace Corps. There is a section devoted to a general history of Idaho, another section on the journeys of Lewis and Clark as well as sections showing lifestyles of early to mid 1900s.
|Some old toys|
|This shows an old style saloon bar|
Then after a drive through the centre of town, we headed off on the freeway towards Pendleton. The weather started off really fine, but before long the clouds came up and it became very cold. We stopped at Ontario for lunch...not the one in Canada, the one in Oregon! Just before Baker City it started snowing...such a novelty to us so DH stopped the car at the side of the road and tried to capture photos and video footage of all the little flakes! Not long after this, just before North Powder, we passed a sign that said we were passing the 45 degree parallel; or ½ way between the Equator and the Nth Pole. The Snake river which I described in a previous post, was still in the landscape today; it’s an amazing river!
|Ontario, our lunch stop|
|We took an exit for a lookout but this is what we found; the road to the lookout was blocked with snow.|
Our overnight stop was Pendleton. It’s been described as the ‘real west’ and in the past was called the ‘Entertainment Capital of the North west’, with it having 18 bordellos and 32 saloons! It’s a bit more restrained these days ! lol One feature of the town I found fascinating was that some of their footpaths/sidewalks are concrete but scored etc to make them look like wood as in the days of the ‘wild west’.
|A street in Pendleton|
|A great pub downstairs in our motel|
|The concrete footpath which looked like wood; just like the old days of the 'wild west'!|
|Another street view of Pendleton|
Pendleton has an amazing store called ‘Hamleys’ which sells cowboy gear and other ‘western’ clothes and accessories. The saddles and boots are beautifully crafted and the leather coats are just gorgeous. We spent quite a while looking through Hamleys.
DH went into a hotel/bistro called ‘Stetsons’ while I went into a quilt shop that was just across the road from our hotel. He so liked the service we had dinner there and had our first shared meal at the suggestion of the manager. (I was whingeing that US meals were too large for me) DH asked the manager whether the manager was from New York because of his accent. (the manager actually sounded like Peter Allen) He said no, he wasn’t, and he claimed that his accent was part American and part Yugoslavian as his mother was from Yugoslavia.
Last night, DH had been trying on hats in Hamleys and fell in love with one. He ‘hummed and hahed’, about whether he should spend the money...so we went back this morning and I bought it for him! Also this morning we went to the Pendleton Woolen (their spelling)Mill and I drooled over their Indian blankets. I bought a small one which shouldn’t take up too much room in the suitcase.
|The small Indian blanket I bought|
|DH and his new Cowboy hat!|
Today we drove to Portland. About 5 km from Pendleton the landscape became open and treeless. In these regions we saw lots of wind farms...and I mean BIG wind farms! Today we also drove past 2 magnificent canyons, Blalock and Phillippi Canyons. We also drove beside a river that looks even bigger than the Snake R...it's the Columbia River. It is so wide, at times with the waves on its surface, it looked like Pumicestone Passage! We realised than in some sections, it was actually the border between Oregon and the state of Washington...so when we saw a bridge, we drove over to Washington...and then back again!
|The Columbia River|
|At the end of this bridge was the state of Washington|
The hotel we are booked into for 3 nights was recommended to us by a friend who lives in Portland. It is a very classy and comfortable hotel called Embassy Suites and on par with hotels in the city in Brisbane. Thanks to Expedia, it is also a very economical stay for us! We had a lovely dinner with our friends Richard and pat at a lovely German restaurant not far from our hotel. Tomorrow we’ll do some exploring!