"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Friday, October 26, 2018

Baker City, OR - Beautiful Buildings, Wagon Ruts and Art

Baker City, Oregon
Baker County Fairgrounds

Our next few stops will just be a few days in each place and a couple hours drive apart.  We chose Baker City because it was convenient and on the way.  It turned out to be a great town.  Baker City was named after Edward D. Baker, the only U.S. Senator ever killed in military combat.  With a population just under 10K, it has a large, lively downtown.
We had high hopes of scoring some great local meats, but it turned out to be just a small market and bait shop.  It did have beautiful murals of the town and some sculptures painted on it though.
We stayed at the county fairgrounds.  Small and clean with just 5 sites with W/E.  The water had just been turned off for the season.  $10 dry or $25 with W/E.  No dump station but there is one nearby.
There is an Interpretive Center for the Oregon Trail that you cold spend a few hours in.  Many interactive exhibits and movies.  It sits up high on a hill overlooking the plains.
If it were a clearer day you'd get a fantastic view of the plains below.

Outside there were some replicas of the early types of covered wagons.  The actual Oregon Trail is just below the Interpretive Center and you can walk to them and see the ruts still visible.


Just down the road is this nice memorial.
We took a visit to the local brewery, Baker Brown Tap House.

We took a nice walk around town on a brisk fall afternoon when we came upon this unusual sculpture.  Even more interesting was the name of the sculpture.
Really?  I wonder if they said the name out loud?  Was this by chance or on purpose?  Wonderful cause either way.  We thought it would make a great place to hide a geocache.  The name?  Who Farted, of course.

The buildings and murals are gorgeous.  Quite a large downtown for the size of this farming community. 


The 1929 Art Deco Baker City Tower (above) is Oregon’s tallest building east of the Cascade Mountain Range, and the Geiser Grand Hotel (below), a three-story Victorian jewel that features the third elevator built west of the Mississippi. It opened in 1889.
Another fun stop in town was Glacier 45 Distillery.  It was a quiet night so the owners daughters gave us a nice tour and filled us in about the distillery and the town itself.  Nice girls.


These painted rocks are really popular.  Here are a few that visitors bring in for them to keep.


  1. It does look like a nice place to stop. We need to get out west again.

    1. You should. Smoother roads, no humidity and much less bugs!

  2. Amazing that the ruts are there after all these years! That "sculpture" "art" or whatever you want to call it is bizarre and the name is even weirder.

    1. I was more excited about the ruts than the entire museum. I forgot to mention the "art" was fashioned after a salt lick. And to think how many of those we had on the ranch all those years. We could've been famous!

  3. What a nice find. I'm sure glad we don't have to travel on those wooden covered wagon seats :-)

    1. That and that most of them walked the entire way. Some with no shoes. I don't know how with all those nasty goat-head stickers!

  4. We've visited some of the wagon rut sites in other areas and found them fascinating. Some are very deep! We tend to romanticize our history, but as you said, it was a grueling walk for most of the settlers. Baker looks like our kind of town - have to put it on the list for sure!

    1. I thought those ruts were really cool too. I don't think I would've liked to take that trip by foot!


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