This post is sponsored by Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
Starting in the 1840s through the 1880’s many made the 2,170-mile journey starting in Independence, Missouri (read about Making of a Mom’s journey here) and ending in Oregon City, Oregon. This year, 2018, marks the 175th commemoration of the Historic Oregon Trail. To celebrate that milestone many social media influencers have been picked to feature sections of the Oregon Trail.
Jason and I were lucky enough to be one of those people and we couldn’t have been more excited. Honestly, I was also very scared. Not only was I doing something totally new to me as in getting sponsored to go somewhere and do something, but also I had an activity to do that I had never done before. It helped to be able to have Jason there too and since he is also such a huge part of this blog, it made sense.
We spent a full two days exploring what Oregon City, Oregon has to offer in the terms of the history of the trail and the modern day pioneers. The adventure we had was one of the best and we can’t wait to share with you all the fun little details of our weekend adventure. This first post will just be a brief overview and then over the next few weeks, I will put some in more detail that they deserve!
Get comfortable and get ready to learn about the end of the Oregon Trail.
Immersing Ourselves at the End of the Oregon Trail
Early Saturday morning, June 9th, the sun was shining brightly and making the start of our little journey more welcoming. We left Roxy, she couldn’t join us on this adventure, at home where she was going to get loved by Melissa for the weekend. Knowing rain and heavy rain at that was making it’s way to us but enjoying the sun when we had it, we stopped in at a local place to eat some breakfast to get us fuel to start our day. After that, the dark clouds were starting to flood in, making our bright sun a memory.
Driving down to Oregon City, Oregon, which is about a 35-minute drive, was a smooth one. Arriving at our first destination for the day, the Museum of the Oregon Territory.
Museum of the Oregon Territory
Being a local history buff, reading or watching anything to do with the local history, walking into the Museum of the Oregon Territory, which we’ve never been, was a pure heaven to me. Filled with so much history, both things to do read and just things to absorb and look at. Towards the end of the museum area was a few things to get interactive with, which I’ll show you in a later more detailed post.
Right now to mark the 175th anniversary of the Oregon Trail Migration, the museum has on exhibit focuses on practices and cultures surrounding death and birth in the region. Which was truly interesting.
But the thing I most loved and couldn’t keep my eyes off was the house replica of John McLoughlin house. The details blew me away and really I just wanted to take it home.
That is just a slight peek on the rooms in the replica house, what do you think? I just personally couldn’t get over it. And having gotten a taste of the John McLoughlin house at the Museum of the Oregon Territory, the actual house was our next stop in our journey.
Side note – our entrance into the museum also got us entry to the Stevens-Crawford Heritage House. While we didn’t get a chance to go this day, it’s only open Friday & Saturdays, but you have a full month to be able to go back. And we will be going back to get a peek at it.
John McLoughlin Historic House and the Barclay House
Arriving at the Barclay House, you wait to join a free tour of the John McLoughlin house. The house is right next door to the Barclay House. While not the original location of the John McLoughlin house, you get the feel of what the house was like.
Walking into the house, I quickly smelled an old house. For me, that was a welcome smell that I very much liked. I could imagine living in the house and enjoying it greatly. The rooms are big and have a very homey feel that can’t be matched with newer homes of today.
No kitchen was built to this house. During that time kitchens were built elsewhere and servants brought over the food.
Being that it was late afternoon, after taking the tour of the John McLoughlin house, I was starving. By this time too, it had been raining heavily on and off with earlier having a HUGE hailstorm. So off we went to downtown Oregon City to explore and find a place to eat.
Downtown Oregon City
Did you know that Oregon City’s downtown shops were voted one of the top 3 downtowns in America? I sure didn’t and the cute and walkability showed when we got out to find a place to eat.
Finding a little place called Masu Box, we ate our late lunch while watching the weather throw a major fit outside. Our bellies filled and the weather being nice again, we walked over to the Municipal Elevator.
The elevator connects downtown to mid-town and the only outdoor elevator in the U.S. and one of only four in the world. There was an actual elevator attendant in the elevator as well and I spied doggy snacks for him to hand out all the cute dogs that walked into his elevator and that made me smile.
The view from the top of the elevator was beautiful. From the top, we walked a bit of the John McLoughlin promenade and got some breathtaking views of Willamette Falls. The sun was doing a little bit of a peek-a-boo for us which made for some amazing photos.
After making our way back to the downtown area of Oregon City, and waiting out a bit of a downpour. It was decided we were going to make our way to the hotel for the evening. We were staying at the Monarch Hotel & Conference Center. Plus my lower back was killing me and my legs were feeling kind of weak for whatever reason.
After getting a good rest that evening, we woke up bright and early Sunday, June 10th to get to our next adventure.
Our scheduled appointment with Kurt was at 10am. Being that I had never kayaked before and fearful of downpours, I was a nervous wreck until we got there. A light breakfast was had and we made our way over to eNRG Kayaking.
Quickly they got us geared up wet weather gear and chit chatted some. Some of my nerves went away as soon as we walked in because we were made to feel so welcome. Jason and I were the only ones on the tour, which was kind of perfect. Letting us do a tandem kayak, which was good since I totally sucked at doing left strokes. Therefore, Jason did most of the paddling. Which worked out as I was trying to get photos and video.
We had such a great time and I felt so comfortable. In fact, we enjoyed it so much we are looking to buy our own kayak. Can’t wait to give you more details on this in a later post. Read about more of this in detail – What Happens When You Kayak Willamette Falls.
After we walked away wet but happy from eNRG Kayaking, we made our way to get a coffee to warm back up. Then find the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive and Visitor Center.
End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive and Visitor Center
The last stop of our little weekend journey where we did truly feel we were immersing ourselves at the end of the Oregon Trail.
The official end of the Oregon Trail historical site at Abernethy Green. This 8.5-acre site served as the main destination area for the Oregon emigrants in the 1840s.
There were so many hands-on items in this to truly learn and feel like we were exploring those emigrants. How they might have felt, what troubles they found, and how they might have dressed. We would have dressed up in the clothes available in the second barn area but being that it was pouring buckets by this time, that didn’t have come across as an option. Jason did make a candle, which I’ll show a video of in the later post.
The little replica school room really got our attention and a bit of fun was had for a bit.
All Journeys Must End
And our little Roxy was anxiously awaiting our presence back at home.
This little weekend getaway was truly a gem. I highly encourage you to explore parts of the Oregon Trail for yourself. Even more, I recommend you to stay somewhere along the route. Living so near Oregon City, staying seemed almost silly. Staying though, made us feel truly like we were immersing ourselves at the end of the Oregon Trail. Do it and you will not regret it.
Look for a few more posts about this weekend in more detail in the next few weeks. Saving this post for future reference would be helpful. I will be linking in this post with the more detailed posts.
Exploring the Full Oregon Trail
As I mentioned in the beginning, this is the 175th anniversary of the Oregon Trail. With that, there were several of us in the influencer world that were able to explore the history of the then Oregon Trail. There were many wonderful major stops & places along the Oregon Trail and with that you can check out the rest of my fellow influencers journey below.
I already shared with you all the beginning of the journey with The Making of a Mom in Independence, Missouri.
But there are many more, check them out now.