August 1, 570 miles to Astoria
After riding through some of the steepest and hottest terrain on the route yesterday, it was a miracle that we where able to wake up early and get going by 6 am. The reason for our early departure was to beat the daytime Oregon heat. To get out of Hells Canyon we had to climb up 1,300 feet over a big hill and into Richland, which sat in the middle of a green valley surrounded by the dry hills of the high desert. After that first long climb, we rewarded ourselves with a long breakfast stop at a place where the locals gathered for conversation and coffee. They showed a lot of interest in our vehicle, and my dad got a lot of advice on how to improve it, whether he wanted it or not. After getting fully charged, we set of into a 40-mile stretch with no electricity, food, or water. The only interesting thing about the road we where on was that it followed the Oregon Trail, which was the route that pioneers took to Astoria long before us. Once we made it through the wasteland, the last few miles to Baker City was an easy downhill run. Baker City has a big historic district with a lot of buildings dating back to the gold mining days. We checked into the Geiser Grand, the town’s oldest and nicest hotel, and napped through the afternoon heat.