Day 210 Mitchell, Oregon
Nov 8, 2008
|Day 210 Saturday 8th November Mitchell, Oregon
Despite traffic, and car park noises, planes overhead we both slept reasonably well, having said that there was semi trailer next to us who saw fit to start his engine at 6am and left if idling for the next 3 hrs – we felt this was totally unnecessary and most annoying to say the least.
We headed north on the I84 to Baker City. The highway made its way thru the valleys with steep mountains on either side. The countryside was rather desolate and really not suitable to anything other than quarrying. Not a tree in site or even a blade of grass would grow on these mountainsides, except at one stage we did see a concrete manufacturing plant.
The only thing of interest was watching a concrete machine laid the cement base for a new stretch of the Interstate highway. The machine laid a continuous 12 foot wide strip of concrete, possibly a foot thick. The machine also did the “smoothing out” of the surface.
Approaching Baker City the heavens opened up and down came the rain. We refuelled, Murphy’s Law prevailed once again, thinking we were in Oregon and no State tax and the gas would be cheaper, but alas it was 20c per gallon dearer than in Boise, we got stung good and proper.
The route west on # 26 took us over several mountain ranges to a height of around 5,200 feet, a lot lower than yesterday, but we still saw a moderate amount of snow. Visibility was very poor in places due to the low cloud and rain. Temperatures today were quite moderate, almost warm in fact, so no chance of any snow falling.
Once on the western side of the mountain range the weather improved considerably bringing us nice blue skies and sunshine.
Once of the areas we travelled thru was the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. If you are a Palaeontologist this would be your ‘heaven’, and the greatest place in North America to find and study fossils and old stuff like that.
The visitors centre had a brilliant display of samples that had been uncovered in the area, you could also see once of the Palaeontologists working on a fossil of a dog that had been uncovered some years ago. The public was able to view her work on this piece by a TV screen, which was rigged up with a built-in camera in the microscope she was using. Unfortunately all of this was well over our heads and we only absorbed a minimal amount of the information given to us. It was definitely a need to know basis and I exceeded that very early in our time there.
Tonite we are camped in the township of Mitchell. We are actually in the main roads/council depot – there was a lot of flat ground and no gates or signs to say we couldn’t enter, so we did. It’s been raining since we arrived around 5pm.