On the Road in Idaho and Oregon - 2008 . . .
on our route to the Pacific Northwest

Updated: 11/30/08


Idaho . . .            Oregon . . .


Idaho . . .


a f0819id falls_240_1.JPG (52417 bytes)a f0819id falls_241_1.JPG (51669 bytes)Idaho Falls, ID was an interesting place. In the mid-1800 the town was built along one of the few fording points in the upper Snake River. As the city's need for electricity grew, the river became the source of that power.

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The Idaho Falls waterfalls are created by a diversion dam for a hydroelectric power plant. The original dam was installed in 1909. The dam we see today was contracted in 1982.

It all starts at the dam. This is a dam to control the water only - it contains no turbines. The power generation comes from barrel/bulb turbine generators under the edge of the falls. The system generates approximately 50% of the city's electric power needs. Above the falls, the Snake River is tranquil.


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bulb_turbine_1.jpg (22304 bytes)We were not familiar with this method of generating electricity. Mary Lou searched the Internet for information on this type of system. She found it uses is a hydro turbine in which the entire generator is mounted inside the water passageway as an integral unit with the turbine. (For more information go to www.free-flow-power.com)  






a f0820id_100 c lds crop_1.jpg (33953 bytes)Since its completion and dedication in 1945, the Idaho Falls Temple of the Church of Latter Day Saints has been a part of the landscape and a tourist attraction. Unlike regular chapels where Sunday meetings and other activities are held, this temple is reserved for faithful members to worship and make sacred covenants. A newly remodeled visitors center is located on the grounds east of the temple.






This sign greeted us as we entered our campground in Idaho Falls. It got your attention.

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Idaho has beautiful terrain.


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Fred saw this rock configuration and named it "Grumpy".

Fortunately, he made the photograph before we were to far past it to recognize it. 

Maybe he should write the Idaho Highway Department and suggest establishing a "Grumpy" tourist attraction.









We drove beside the Palisades Reservoir for a long time. It offered fantastic views.



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Power generating plant . . .




Below the dam the Snake River feeds the valley with water for irrigation.


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The Sawtooth Mountains in the distance . . .





Harvest time in the area . . .

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What a view these people must have from their front window.


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This was a very 'welcomed' and nice rest area. The view was great and a picnic area was available on the lower level.


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   a f0820id_104 dirt covd bldg crop_1.jpg (30233 bytes)        Many ranches have buildings with roofs covered with dirt.




a f0820id_112 mtn w anten2_1.JPG (16542 bytes)a f0820id_113 mtn w anten1_1.JPG (29481 bytes)If there was a big hill or mountain is an area of primarily flat land, you could bet the top would be filled with antennas. This one had a dozen antennas.






A nice ride . . .


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a f0820id_205 inl1 sign_1.JPG (35486 bytes)In the middle of a desert area we saw this sign and several white building off in the distance.

It was in this area that we discovered the Experimental Breeder Reactor 1 - 2008.





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               Roadkill . . .




a f0822id_108 other side_1.jpg (44690 bytes)a f0822id_111 one side_1.JPG (47026 bytes)Leaving Craters of the Moon National Monument - 2008 we found lava and ash on the left side of the road and dry prairie on the right side of the road.  






Most of the smoke we observed at our campsite in Craters of the Moon was from a forest fire.


Some smoke, we were told, originated from this truck fire a couple miles from the park. 










A RVer in the campground in Idaho Falls strongly suggested we visit Sun Valley. We left the HHII on a rest area on our route and drove the 30 miles north on Idaho Route 75 to Sun Valley.


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These animals were real thin . . . and . . . they stood still so long, someone painted them.

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a f0822id_204 sign sun valley_1.JPG (64042 bytes)In Sun Valley, bicycles and small golf cart type vehicles are used frequently. Their bike paths, like some others we saw, had a yellow line separating the bicyclists. 


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We continued outside town and turned around at the skeet shooting area. When we headed back to town we saw some ski slopes.

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a f0822id_224 lunch_1.JPG (45473 bytes)Mary Lou suggested we stop at the 'restaurant' on a hill in town.


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a f0822id_219 crossing flags_1.JPG (53230 bytes)a f0822id_216 crossing flags_1.JPG (45588 bytes)Several cities in the area have a pedestrian safety flag system. At each corner a supply of orange flags is available for pedestrians to use. The pedestrian carries an orange flag when crossing the street and deposits the flag at the next corner.





Fields are irrigated while the stock graze.


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A lot of farmland/ranchland . . .


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The highway department uses these huge plastic roofed building to store road maintenance supplies.

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This cow was in a trot when we passed it. When we called '911', the dispatcher told us they already had someone coming out to take it home.


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The road ahead . . .





It was interesting to see the variety of entrance gates.


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Every once in a while you would see a house and more antennas.



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Irrigation is needed . . . water is moved in ditches, concrete troughs or pumped. 

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Wide open range . . .



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More straight road . . .



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Oregon . . .


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The fence wire stopped some of the rocks. 



We just caught this 'cowboy' working his horse around barrels in a corral near the highway.


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a f0824 or and dredge_231 sign adj_1.jpg (64963 bytes)The ride to Sumpter was nice. We passed the Sumpter Valley Railway train on our way to the Sumpter Valley Dredge State Heritage Area. The train station was next to the dredge.  


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The Ranger panned gold for Mary Lou.


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The Sumpter Valley Dredge was build by the Sumpter Valley Dredge Company in 1935 and operated until 1954. During operation, the dredge dug up more than $4 million dollars worth of gold. We were told that it mined the valley, then the dredge was updated and made more efficient. So, they turned it around and dredged back over the valley. 


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a f0824 or and dredge_210 d_1.jpg (63338 bytes)This guy walking by the buckets is a good size comparison.

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a f0824 or and dredge_155 d_1.JPG (53428 bytes)A volunteer did a good job explaining the workings of the dredge. The restoration is only partially completed. The second story containing the control room, is also going to be reconstruction.

As it happened, there was an older gentleman listening to the volunteer who had been on the dredge as an 8 year old little boy. He remembered the noise making it impossible to hear anything. 






The town of Sumpter is probably very happy the dredge was located in their town.


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The only thing left of the bank after the town burned in 1917 is the vault.




If you would like to buy some Alpacas, we will give you the phone number.

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Seen parked in Baker City . . .

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This drive-up window in Baker City seemed appropriate for the area.


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a f0825or_571 ggh_1.JPG (34844 bytes)We had a great dinner at the restored 1889 Geiser Grand Hotel in Baker City, OR. The hotel reflects the rich history of Baker City's legendary gold rush past. Points of interest are the stained glass ceiling, the crystal chandeliers and the curved balcony. 

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You could ride around town 'in style'.


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a a f0825or_583 tall bldg crop_1.jpg (43169 bytes)Another attraction in town was the Baker Tower - the tallest building in Oregon east of the Cascade mountains.







What a neat name for a pharmacy.

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We were amazed at all the irrigation required in this part of the country. Here is a close look at a system.


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a f0825or_590 dog run hunting_1.JPG (76381 bytes)Our campground in Baker City had an entire field where dogs could run. The dogs we saw running in the field were having a great time.

Your dog was safe in the field because they also posted a "No Hunting" sign.






Along the road.

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Cabbage Hill . . . We were warned six miles ahead of Cabbage Hill that a 3.5 mile 6% grade was coming. We received three warnings. Photographs of the views don't do them justice, it felt like you could see forever.


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Back on reasonably flat road . . .


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The road ahead . . .




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