Galley Wench Tales

Exploring the world through the people we meet
and the food they eat.

Gorilla hanging out on Main Street, Baker Oregon.

We stopped in Baker, Oregon on a lark in May of 2019, returning to Portland, Oregon from an eight month stint in Florida. We vowed to stop there again if we were passing through. 

Incredible cement work on art deco building in Baker Oregon.

If I could pick any town to live in Eastern Oregon, I’d choose Baker. It’s got a great art vibe, fantastic, well-preserverd and restored architecture, lots of sunshine, mountains a short drive away and strikes me as big enough. I loved Joseph, but it seemed a little too small.

Masking pleas, Baker Oregon style.

Once again, we took an all-too-breif drive and walk through town. “We should spend more time here, next time,” I said. “We said that last time,” Wayne reminded me.

More humor to encourage mask-wearing, Baker, Oregon. “Practice Safe Six feet for social distancing.”

Despite COVID, I swear Baker offered even more cool diversions this time than last, with a definite alternative vibe melding nicely along with the area’s pioneer-cowboy-rural roots. I couldn’t resist buying all three of the  Ruby D tonic syrups, hand-blended on the spot at Bella’s. It’s a good thing I didn’t have more time; it would be a seriously easy place to empty my pocketbook.

Curious criters in bronze, Baker, Oregon.

If you’re into sculpture that’s a walk on the wild side, definitely take a walk down Baker’s Main Street. Alas, we were aiming to reach Nevada by day’s end, putting an end to my gawking alonf the streets of Baker.

Leaving Baker, I got a bit of a scare heading onto I-84 behind a semi whose tires were shredding in bigger and bigger chunks in from of my low-sling Prius. I pissed off the truck driver behind me, who leaned on his horn as my speed dropped to 60 mph while I slalomed the bouncing rubber chunks. Next time I’ll pop on my hazard lights or change lanes, even if it means getting behind a much slower vehicle.

Burnt River Farms cannabis drive-through, Ontario Oregon.

Since the RV burns about 8 mpg, finding affordable gas is a big deal. I pulled over into Ontario, the last town on the Eastern border of Oregon off I-84 to check out my Gas Buddy app for the miles ahead. Costco in Nampa netted the cheapest price; Wayne believed there was enoug gas in our best to make it there. 

I couldn’t resist snapping a photo of the drive-through borderline cannabis shop, Burnt River Farms, complete with the sculpture of a lit reefer on its rooftop. Pot is legal in Oregon, but not in Idaho.

Idaho’s Western-most rest stop off Hwy. I-84.

I didn’t really need to stop so soon, but after wishing I could take a photo of the river running along I-84, I notices the first rest stop in Idaho offered a nice overlook. They were generous with water at the rest stop, its green, green grass (the other kind) an oasis off the dusty land of I-84—except the patches of watered agricultural land for grass, hay and corn.

Dusk at Rock Creek RV Park, Twin Falls Idaho, $20 for a pretty spot with power and water.
Thanks Patty Gilles-Hamilton for your tip to use

We stopped in Twin Falls because it was one of the last places for a few hundred miles where I could stop in for an oil change. We originally planned to dolly my Prius, so I didn’t try to change the oil before we left Portland, Oregon. I pulled up to Jiffy Lube 10 minutes after they closed. So instead of making to to Wells, Nevada tonight, we’re aiming for Nevada’s Great Basin National Park tomorrow. We’re giving ourselves as much as a month to make this trip, so logging 298 miles today was good enough.