Oregon Trail–Blue Mountains


We have had a wonderful trip over to Eastern Oregon visiting our friends.  On our way, we stopped at a place we had not stopped before–the Blue Mountain Crossing of the Oregon Trail.  We got off of I-84 and followed the signs to the “Oregon Trail Park.”

There was a nice paved trail and it led to these ruts.  It absolutely blows me away that these are the remains of the actual Oregon Trail.  So many years later, the gouges in the soil remain. At some places, trees have grown up into the ruts, but this was one of the most clear spots I’ve seen.


There were informative signs, giving details and diary entries from people who had crossed this place.  It amazes me to see the terrain they had to cross.  It amazes me when I think of the stamina and sheer grit it took to travel 2,000 miles toward an unknown destination.  They got to see marvelous views, such as this one, but I felt spoiled at the ease with which I was able to arrive at this spot on the hike.

After taking the kids on the short, 1/2 mile trail, we returned to our road trip.  Hopefully, they have caught a bit of the wonder of that epic journey and  share at least a little of my amazement when I ponder the achievements of those brave pioneers.

I can’t help comparing my camper life to the journey of these pioneers.  It makes my journey seem less daunting, when I compare it to theirs.  In fact, it makes a lot of things seem downright easy.  I’ll try to remember this the next time I have a grumpy moment over a missing jar of tomatoes, or have to live without my crock pot:)  I’ll just have to look back and remember this arduous mountain pass, and remind myself, “Relax.  You have air conditioning, a soft bed, a car engine that works and plenty of food.”  A better life is worth a struggle.  It was then, and it is now.  It’s all in the attitude.

10 thoughts on “Oregon Trail–Blue Mountains”

  1. We saw those in Wyoming. I also could not believe the ruts were still there! I don’t think I could have made it through that kind of experience and I always wonder how lonely they were. Have you guys started looking at new places yet?

    1. We have been looking on line, but haven’t physically went out to any. Maybe next week, but we will have to see how it goes Cherry season starts Tuesday, and we need to help with that, but will try to slip away if we can

  2. That is fascinating! I didn’t know that you could still see the Oregan trail. That does put our present day problems in perspective, doesn’t it. Love your attitude! “A better life is worth the struggle.”

    1. Thank you. I’ve always been fascinated with history–I’ve seen other places with carved out ruts but that was the deepest I’ve seen! It does help me keep the big picture in mind.

  3. How interesting that the trails are still visible! I remember when my husband and I went to Rome and took a side trip to Pompeii. Of all the thing that were preserved in that city, the ruts carved in the stone roads from so many wheels traveling over them just fascinated me!

    I’m so glad you enjoyed your trip to Oregon. I hope your children learned lots about how tough it was for those pioneers. Nothing like seeing something for yourself to appreciate what you read about in history books!!!

    1. I think it is great for them to get to traverse the state, too. It is such a contrast between the west side where we live, to the east side–a total climate difference.

      I hope they do come away with a love of history. I love history and hope to pass that along. I’d love to travel over more of the country to see more historical sites some day, but for now–I’ll stick with things that are close.

  4. I have never had the opportunity to visit Oregon and your pictures of the countryside is beautiful. (I live in Tennessee) I hope you and your family have many fun adventures this summer. May God bless all of you.

  5. I love adventures like this. Your so right. How amazing to see the ruts and to imagine the journey. I would have never made it.

    1. With how hot it was while we were visiting, we figure we would have wilted!! They were tough!! We read one diary entry where they lugged water straight uphill a half mile–amazing.

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