Canada 14, 11th July 2006

In the morning the dog was still there, by the back of the van. I filled a big bowl with water, pinned up a note saying, please give the abandoned dog some water, and left. He didn't try to chase after the van, he just stood there, in the middle of the track, watching me go, looking forlorn and bewildered.

It reminds me. I wonder what happened to that super little cat I found living in the rest area near Pittsburg Texas? The one that oh so nearly became Little Cat 3. I hope somebody gave him a home. There is no way I can take on this big ungainly dog.

But today, a few miles down the road there was a cafe, I stopped by. Yes they'd seen the dog, he's been there about 4 days. But no, there wasn't a pet rescue in the local town, they didn't know of one anywhere, and no one in the cafe wanted another dog. Nothing to do but go on. I can't solve all the problems of the world.

I had a dog a little bit like this once. Called Henry. Loving? Absolutely. He would lick you to death. Sure he loved his people. Take him for a walk in big open spaces and he would run round in small circles. But he would insist on raiding the neighbours garbage bins. I put a chain link fence around the garden and he jumped over it. I put an electric fence on top of the chain link fence, thinking that if he jumped that it would catch him in a tender place. It didn't have any effect.

When we divorced my first wife kept him. Then he disappeared and she said she had found a new home for him. I've got my doubts, who would want a dog that always raided garbage bins? I secretly think she found the final solution................

This part of the Snake River has 3 dams. Remember the Shoshone Falls at Twin Falls, that was Snake River. And talking Twin Falls reminds me, I have relation in Twin Falls, Jana Humphries, and I totally forgot her when I was there. We could have met. I am very mad at myself for that. I phoned her from Stanley, she was ready to make the near 500 mile round trip to meet, but really that's just too far.

This is Brownlee lake, the first of the 3 dams.

I forget which one this is.

This I know is the view after the visitors centre, at the end of the road, after the Hell's Canyon Dam. Hell's Canyon, is they say, deeper than the Grand Canyon. Well, so is the Copper Canyon in Mexico. They are all different.

Another view, going back.

There's a couple of overlooks to the Canyon. I decided to go look from the near one, a mere 50 mile diversion. I'm glad I did. The view from the overlook was not fantastic, but the drive was.

It's all whitewater again, this time a stream rather than a river.

Now I'm at the viewpoint

I spoke to some fellow RV'ers, they were going down to a campsite on the river, only $16 a night they said. I pulled off the road just behind the viewpoint and found an unimproved campsite, with toilet, water supply, metal fire surround. It's free of course. I'll try to take photos in the morning, I'll also go to see what the overlook is like early in the morning.

I had a note from someone asking if I can give more detailed descriptions where I take the photos. Well, if I don't say, generally I don't know, or I've forgotten. If you want to know, you have to deduce my route. Remember, I take the pretty roads. So go buy a Rand McNally atlas from Walmart for $4.97. (I've also got a big scale Rand McNally costing $20+ but no need to go wild!) This marks most of the pretty roads and is, in general, my bible. I do use other maps that mark pretty roads, the AAA maps, state maps, and maps of scenic byways. I also ask at Visitor Information Centres. Every now and then I mention a place name so you should be able to deduce my route reasonably accurately.

Now all the photos are taken from somewhere where I've been. (Duh!) Between leaving in the morning and arriving in the evening. Many of them are taken through the open window of the van. Almost invariably they are shown in the same sequence that I took them because that's the sequence they appear in my file. I generally don't drive very far in day, particularly if the scenery is pretty or I've found something to look at.

Now here's just the thing to get you going in the morning. All in the open air.

I've got to be fair to the Oregon National Forest people. This is not signed as a campsite, primitive or otherwise. So even this "bathroom" is more than you have a right to expect.

I returned the 23 miles back to the main road following the same charming stream back down.

At the entrance to the town of Halfway I say a sign for a museum. I didn't find it and asked a lady about to get into her car in the centre of town. It's just down there she said, but it's closed on weekdays. There's some numbers you can ring though. I was just peering through the window when the same lady arrived. Actually I'm the museum secretary she said, but I didn't realise I had the key with me. So I had a private opening, it was a nice little museum, someone had recently been reworking the signage.

I headed towards Baker City en route to Bend. There is a more southerly route but I've already done that, and this one is marked as pretty.

These pictures show the scenery. It's mostly brown, with fertile valleys.

Just before Baker City is the Oregon Trail Interpretative centre. Wow! I've been fascinated by the Oregon Trail. Almost 2,000 miles, it took the emigrants almost 6 months with their covered wagons to do it.

Mostly they walked, the wagons were full of possessions, about 15 miles a day. Between 1840 and 1860 almost 400,000 people crossed the trail. To avoid travelling in the winter, they had to start in the spring. So often there would be an almost continuous stream of wagons passing by.

Previously I had put Chisholm Trail Heritage centre in Duncan in my top spot. I think this centre has just pipped them to the lead.

All the land round about is BLM owned so I just returned down the drive, crossed over the main road, and pulled off the side of the track opposite, and here I am, writing this note to you.

I'll catch that damn mosquito first though. Mosquitoes are not allowed in my living space.

Best regards

David Barker
On the road in the USA

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