Today was a killer day! We left Baker City and followed the Oregon Trail for a while. The countryside was high desert with scrubby little plants. There were mountains in the distance. We were going mostly downhill for the first 40 miles.
Then we arrived at Richland, Oregon (not township). From there we had a 1,500 foot climb up and over a 3,653 foot pass. On the other side we could see a mountain and a lot of ranches. We went downhill for about 20 miles.
We ended up at the Oxbow Dam on the Snake River. Then we had a gradual uphill along the Oxbow Reservoir. The hills were big and brown.
Next was the Brownlee Dam and reservoir. Here we crossed over to the Idaho side of the Snake River. Still more climbing on a torturous road along the edge of the reservoir. We continued to follow the Brownlee Creek up to the Brownlee Pass which was 4,131 feet. The rapids in Brownlee Creek made a great background sound as we climbed.
The two dams are in Hells Canyon. According to Wikipedia, Hells Canyon runs deeper than the better-known Grand Canyon in Arizona. It is North America’s deepest river gorge at 7,993 feet (2,436 m)!
After the pass, we were greeted with a ferocious crosswind. Fortunately we had about a 15 mile drop South to the Frontier Hotel in Cambridge, Idaho. This has been our biggest climbing day so far.
- Baker City, Oregon to Cambridge, Idaho
- Distance: 109.0 miles (175 km)
- Climbing: 6041 feet (1841 m)
- Temperature: 42 – 88°F (6 – 31°C)
Ranchers use “rock baskets” and “rock cages” to support their fence posts. The ground is too solid to get fence posts inserted very far.
Tonight the local FFA (Future Farmers of America) is having a big barbecue at our hotel. The swimming pool is wall-to-wall kids. I guess this is the only place in town for an event of this size.