Tuesday, June 5, 2012

If it's raining, we must be in Oregon

The first time Jim and I traveled to Oregon together, it started to rain as we crossed the border from Idaho to Oregon.  This time the rain held off until we got to our first Oregon stop of Baker City and Jim was in the middle of hooking up the rig to the water and electricity.
Baker City was a big deal during the 1860s gold rush and by 1900, had more residents than either Spokane or Boise. But like a travel brochure we were given said “Eventually, the golden years faded and Baker City matured to a quieter, more stable community.”  

We did a walking tour and broke in our recently purchased rain gear;  our walk took us through town and pointed out nine formerly faded but now restored, elegant buildings.  Then we came back to the rig and listened to the rain.

The 240-mile drive from Jerome to the Oregon state line was mostly flat or gently rolling irrigated ranch land.  As you can see from the clouds, we were driving toward rain.

Jim hooking up the rig just moments before the rain hit.  The park we are staying at is called "Mountain View" and is on the north edge of Baker City. When we started to drive around, Jim realized it's right next door to a an Oregon State Department of Forestry office he'd been to while he was working for that group and fighting forest fires.

Mountain View RV Park Office/store. The sign outside says it has ice cream, but I haven't checked that out yet.

The building housing "Betty's Books" was on the walking our, and was part of an $18 million renovation of Baker City's historic downtown.  Betty Kuhl has owned this building since 1979; she removed the plaster facade that was added in the 1950s.  110 downtown buildings are intact from the gold rush days.

The Geiser Grand Hotel was built in 1889 for the then huge amount of $65,000.   It was closed for 30 years before being restored and reopened in 1997.  Check out the Palm Court (the dining room) and the Palm Court Balcony with the stained glass ceiling in a virtual tour by clicking here.

Jim during a rain break carrying some finds we bought at a great shop called Bellas (OK, OK. He's carrying beer). I got a double chocolate stout beer that is really chocolately, plus chocolate truffles: dinner.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Bigger than Spokane or Boise!
    A little slow on checking out the ice cream, Bev.
    Very cool link to the palm room. Are there really any palms in Oregon, or any other Canadian Province.
    I like the way you are thinking about dinner time fare.
    Looks like a great start to your wanderlusting!