6.20.2018

175th Commemoration of the Oregon Trail//Part One

This post is sponsored by Oregon's Mt. Hood Territory 
but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

I am so excited to be part of the 175th commemoration of the Oregon Trail with Mt. Hood Territory. Myself and several other influencers across the Oregon Trail territory are sharing the history of the trail. The Oregon Trail stretched from Independence, Missouri to Oregon City, Oregon. It's a trail that was over 2000 miles used by immigrants, fur trappers, traders, and gold miners.

Last week, Alan and I made our way just a couple hours away to the cutest little mountain town of Soda Springs, Idaho, which was a major stop on the Oregon Trail. I think now-a-days it is a place that can maybe often go overlooked, but we found there is so much there to take advantage of! We were thrilled to be able to spend a couple days there learning the history they have, seeing the area from a SMALL PLANE, and enjoying the beauty it has to offer. I had to break up this post into two because we had so many wonderful photos from our time there. Thank you to to the local pioneers of the area who made our time there so special! Roger (our pilot), Dan, Robert, Galen (our tour guide!), and their wonderful families!! 

I wanted to start the introduction of our trip as if you're heading there yourself (which I highly recommend!) We drove through the Lava area and right away ran into a historical marker, Hudspeth's Cutoff. This is where the Oregon Trail would have cut off to head to California. Those who traveled were always looking for a quicker way to get to where they needed to be to FIND GOLD!
^^Look at that gorgeous view. Soda Springs is just down in that valley there.

We arrived in Soda Springs and checked into our beautiful, historic hotel-Enders Hotel. We went to bed pretty quickly because we were to be up the next day and meeting our tour guide, Galen, at 8AM. We had breakfast in the Geyser View Restaurant which is attached to our hotel and headed out to meet Galen, Dan (who set up everything for us), and our pilot Roger to take a beautiful ride over the area where we got to see all the directions of the Oregon Trail.
^^Are you serious? Roger let me fly the plane!!!
 Alan nicknamed Roger "Clint Eastwood of the Sky." He was such a cool guy who we instantly were grateful to meet and know. 
After our plane ride, we headed to go tour the area and see all it had to offer! Galen took us around to so many fun sites. Oddly enough (being sarcastic) the area is known for it's springs with water that is fizzy! (aka Soda Springs) So we drank right from the springs at Hooper and then Octagon which was Galen's personal favorite. This was a big part of why the Oregon Trail ran through this area. Theres a river and a whole handful of natural springs.
^^Look how cool! It literally just bubbles up from the ground.
After we tasted the spring water, we headed to go see Brigham Youngs home (he is one of the first prophets of the Mormon church who helped settle and establish the area.) It is just behind me in the next photo. It is now a resident of someone there so we didn't want to get too close. 
Directly behind our hotel is a Geyser. The story of this was that they were trying to dig for water to make a pool, and what happens? Gushing fast water is coming out of the ground. So they kinda left it that way and now every hour on the hour the geyser goes off. We went a couple times, first time was super windy so we hoped to see the water in its fullest without wind.

^^This was a spot where we learned about Father De Smet, who was a catholic missionary who was a big supporter of the Indians in the area. He was in Soda Springs on August 10, 1841, as part of the first Oregon Trail Wagon train.
^^This is a grave of an unknown family who were killed on the trail. They were buried in their wagon box which was by them when they were found by trappers and immigrants. Sad story.
^^This is the site of Camp Conner, where the military was stationed in the area, which was there during the time of the Oregon Trail. Now it is covered by a beautiful reservoir that brings water in for the community.
^^We went back to Enders Hotel, where we were staying, to go through their museum. It was so fun to see so many collected historic artifacts from the area. At one point, the spring water was being bottled and sold. I think now-a-days that could be quite a successful drink if they decided to bring it back. The pioneers back in the day believed that the spring water had medicinal benefits....
^^This Pioneer cemetery had lots of old graves. Many children who had died of diphtheria. It was very humbling and interesting to see.

We then got to see an entire new playground that several mothers in the area envisioned and made happen! With over two years of them putting together fundraisers, applying for grants, and making a dream a reality in the community, the vision became true! It wasn't quite finished while we were there but we got a great idea of what it will be. It was just so inspiring to see how the community in Soda Springs came together to make a safe and beautiful space for kids to play.
K, I'm going to stop there for this post because next I get to introduce the modern pioneer we got to meet! 

xoxo

2 comments:

  1. So fun! Definitely adding this cute town to my must-see list!

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