Oregon, Ho!: Deadman Pass
The Oregon Trail and modern-day Interstate 84 wind and meander through the Blue Mountains in NE Oregon. Here are the oldest mountains in the state. The sub-ranges of the Blue Mountains were once an arc of volcanic islands thousands of miles south and further west in a giant ocean called Panthalassa. These volcanic islands violently merged with the coast of the North American continent through plate tectonics, between 119 and 95 millions years ago.
We began the ascent up into the Blue Mnts. Leaving the valley, the grasslands began mixing with the fir, pine and spruce trees.
We stopped at a rest area nicely isolated from the highway by a thick stand of tall trees. Interpretive murals guided readers along the Oregon Trail and two hiking trails led to long sections of the trail with visible ruts.
It was after this stop that we were treated to a view that still lingers: the descent down Emigrant Hill.