Posted by graywacke on September 30, 2009
First timer? In this (hopefully) once-a-day blog, I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48). I call this “landing.” I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near. I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.
Dan – Oh oh. I’m on a little 0/3 run here with this landing in . . . OR; 67/58; 5/10; 11; 151.7 (drifting ever further away from 150 . . .). Here’s my landing map:
The river to the east is the Snake (which forms the boundary between OR & ID); although it’s not obvious on my landing map, I’m in the Burnt River watershed (3rd hit); the Burnt River flows through Huntington on its way to the Snake (64th hit); on to the Columbia (128th hit).
Here’s a great shot of an eastbound train entering ID from OR, crossing the Snake just east of Huntington. The train had just passed through Huntington and the Burnt River Canyon (which you can see in the background of the photo):
Here’s a map closeup so you can orient the photo (the black arrow shows the view of the photographer):
It turns out that the Oregon Trail went through Huntington. To the south and east, it followed the Snake River, but at “Farewell Bend,” the trail left the Snake, because the Snake takes a turn to the northeast – hardly the direction the pioneers wanted to go after basically heading northwest across the great plains and Rocky Mountains. After leaving the Snake, the Trail headed north through Huntington. Here’s a map showing Farewell Bend (down where Route 30, I-84 and the Snake River come together; you can see “Farewell Bend State Park” on the map). The Oregon Trail headed north from there through Huntington:
From the National Park Service website:
The Oregon Trail followed the Snake River for only a few miles after entering Oregon. At Farewell Bend, overlanders said goodbye to the Snake and turned northwest toward the Columbia River. Even though they were getting closer to their destination, there were still many hardships ahead of them.
There was something contradictory in the mood that struck the emigrants along this stretch of the trail. There was excitement and exhilaration in being so close to the ending of such a monumental effort, but the great Blue Mountains lay ahead and the thought of crossing these mountains worried the travelers a great deal. Though the snow that blanketed these mountains was indeed beautiful, it also posed a serious threat to the weary travelers.
Here’s a picture showing the pioneer’s view approaching Farewell Bend:
Here’s a picture of the Snake (actually the Brownlee Reservoir) from Farewell Bend:
Here’s a piece from an Oregon Trail journal:
“…we came on the Snake river bottom again, here I campt at a very good place, a large dry creek comes in here which has got good grass….There the road leaves Snake river and we see it no more. I was sorry for that, for we have caught a number of fish in the Snake. Willie gets his hook and line in a morning and soon catches enought for breakfast for us. We have travelled down it for about 360 miles, it is a fine stream.
George Belshaw, August 23, 1853
Back to Huntington; here’s a 1898 shot of the town:
Here’s a picture of a lonely fisherman on the Snake near Huntington:
I’ll close with this shot of a cemetery overlooking the Brownlee reservoir:
That’ll do it.
© 2009 A Landing A Day