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Adventures in the Villa

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Barlow Cutoff

2021-08-28 to 2021-08-30 – The Oregon Trail caravan … Day 31, 32, 33 – The end of the trail – Oregon City, OR

It’s the end of the trail. The emigrants who made it past The Dalles or who took the Barlow Cutoff ended their trip here in Oregon City. We are actually camping in Wilsonville, OR, right next door…It is a beautiful RV park – concrete pads, grass, blue skies, and even a few trees…

The emigrants sold their wagons and oxen and headed out to find land that they could homestead. We will do some grocery shopping, visit with old friends, celebrate at a final banquet, and travel on to 20 different destinations. On August 30 we will head northeast and travel to Spokane, WA.

August 28: We traveled from Welches to Wilsonville. As is normal, we followed the printed driving directions provided in the Caravan Manual. Big mistake. The directions took us in the wrong direction, forcing us to drive through tiny roads with sharp turns and corners, until we were back on the correct route. Then the directions took us over about five miles of narrow, windy, back country roads. We don’t normally mind small roads, but when we arrived at the RV Park we could see the off-ramp at the Interstate about 1/4 mile away. We had just wasted a lot of time and frustration for no reason…

But we are here… And it is nice…

August 29:

We had an uneventful stay here. Most of us spent the time preparing for our post-caravan travels. Some are heading home to Virginia, Texas, and New York. Some are heading out for extended travels here in the west. We did some shopping and prepared to head northeast to Spokane, Washington…

On our last night we visited the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, in nearby Oregon City… The buildings were simple boxes, but they are all outlined above with the skeleton of the covered wagons. It was impressive – it made it seem like we were under the ghosts of the wagon trains…

Inside we viewed the various exhibits, then we gathered for dinner, catered by a fine restaurant in town, serving Argentine fare…

After dinner we move to the auditorium for the final presentation and awards for various caravan members and leaders…

We returned to the Villa… An enjoyable time was had by all…

August 30:

We left for Spokane at 5:45 am, driving north through Portland and then east…

2021-08-26 – The Oregon Trail caravan … Day 29 – Traveling from Cascade Locks, OR to Welches, OR

It was great to spend these few days aong the Columbia River, but today we head to the mountains.

As I mentioned yesterday, in the day of the wagon trains the actual trail had ended at The Dalles. Since there were no dams, the river was a wild raging beast, flowing from canyon wall to canyon wall. The emigrants dismantled their wagons and used the wood to build rafts. They attempted to float down the river. Some even made it, but many lost everything. A man named Barlow thought he had a solution; he found a trail up over the mountains, from Hood River and around Mt. Hood. And he made it a toll road, so he made a lot of money…

Today we followed that trail…

We followed the road through the town of Hood River. It would up the slopes of the Cascade mountains…

We almost caught a glimpse of Mt. Hood…

It was a beautiful drive, past wineries and forests…

At the base of Mt. Hood is the Glacier Public House – a convenient stop for lunch…

After lunch we continue along the trail established by Mr. Barlow… His road was eventually completed and it was the heaviest, most used method for bringing a wagon over the Cascade Mountains…

We found our campground – another gloomy, heavily forested place… We set up the Villa…

Happy Hours ensued…

An enjoyable time was had by all…

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