Wednesday, August 29, 2012

US Hwy 30: Pendleton, Oregon

Pendleton is an historic frontier location, notable since the early 1850's as a cowboy town. That motif prevails today, for which the annual Round-Up is clearly the highlight. The old town area is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is an enjoyably quirky place for a stroll. Besides that, I didn't have much success here.

The local museum is a collection of what-not, ranging from a group of early license plates to correspondence from the WWII front. The defining feature of the place is that it's housed in the old train depot, conveniently vacant because Amtrak doesn't run here anymore. More decorative than useful, it's mostly just for touristic diversion.

The same is pretty much true of the town's other attractions: The underground tour, river walk, hall of fame, etc. That's not to say it isn't a pleasant little town. The surrounding area is quite pretty and the folks are very nice. It's also quite possible I'm just a little filled up on frontier stuff, and a visitor who hasn't just spent a month following the Oregon Trail might find it very diverting.

I did thoroughly enjoy my visit to Hawley's, an historic mega-plex of shop, saloon, restaurant, cafe, etc. It was a treat for me to spend time walking around a store in which I had almost no idea at all what I was looking at. Just reading labels and scratching my head, I learned a lot about horse-related gear. There was plenty of it, as you can see in this photo of one small area of the store.

The food was good -- though ridiculously over-priced -- and the whiskey selection was adequate. If you visit here and some of your party want to spend time at the famous woolen mills, Hawley's -- or almost any of the many, many saloons in town -- would be a good place to wait.

I'm heading into the Columbia River Gorge tomorrow and expect to spend a few days there. I'm looking forward to enjoying an emphasis on natural beauty rather than frontier history… Stay tuned!

Click here to see exactly where I am posting this from on Google Maps.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I' m excited for you! You will not be disappointed! Now, leave the pioneers behind and turn back the clock further. Get ready to imagine what Lewis and Clark must have felt coming through the gorge in dugout canoes

Louise and Stella