We spent Labor Day weekend at Farewell Bend State Park near Huntington, Oregon. It’s right on the Snake River and the Oregon/Idaho border. Farewell Bend is the place where the Oregon Trail turned away from the Snake River and the pioneers had to say good bye to that water source, hence the name.
The park is big. It has three camping loops, lots of grassy fields, and lots of trees -- even though this part of the country is pretty treeless. It also has two boat docks, but only one is open because the river is very low. There are no hiking trails, but we did a lot of walking around the park roads. On one early morning trip, I saw a badger. He stopped, turned toward me, crouched down and made eye contact. Since he was only about 15 feet away, I decided it was time to leave. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a badger before (other than a football mascot), let alone one that close.
We looked around tiny Huntington, which had a one sign saying it's major industries are agriculture, cement manufacturing and railroads, and another sign proclaiming it "the catfish capital of Oregon." Another day we drove to Ontario, OR, where we had lunch and remembered another lunch here with Ash and Shad on our memorable car trip to Season and Lee’s wedding almost five years ago to the day. We took a side road back to the park from Ontario and saw a lot of pretty farms, which you’d never know existed from the sage brush view on I-84.
Farewell Bend emphasized to us the beauty of weekday and non-holiday camping. We arrived here on Saturday and the 100 reservable camping spots were almost full. By Monday afternoon the entire campground (which also includes another 50 first-come-first-served spots) had only about a dozen rigs.
Today we packed up and drove to Fam Camp at Mountain Home Air Force Base in the Idaho town of the same name. We'll probably stay just one night because we’re closing in on Salt Lake and even Jim says he’s looking forward to being home.
|View of Farewell Bend State Park from our camping spot. When we got to our camp site, a ranger was organizing a scavenger hunt for kids at the small presentation area on the left.|
|Cooper hanging out near the park entrance.|
|Bev enjoying the view of the Snake River. The 100-mile length beginning around this part of the Snake has about 100 small islands.|
|A shot of the park (it's in all those trees) from a nearby farm road where we took a walk.|