Oregon Trail Letterbox LbNA # 27265
|Placed Date||Oct 18 2006|
**Replaced 7-8-08 **
As you head out of Vale southeast (toward Adrian, OR) on Glenn St. which quickly becomes Lytle Blvd. you will be following fairly closely the route of the Oregon Trail in this region. Look out to the left as your drive and you will see some posts marking the site of the Trail - there are still some visible ruts/swales along this route. Drive approximately 6 miles to a turn-off for an Oregon Trail Historic Site. The interpretive site/kiosk is to the right and is well marked. This site is Keeney Pass and is named for Jonathan Keeney, who established a trading post on the nearby Malheur River in 1863.
Drive into the site and park near the interpretive kiosk. After reading about the site and the emigrants who traveled this trail turn around 180 degrees and you will be facing the gravel drive. Look to your right - you'll see a series of large rocks bordering the outer edge of the drive. Go to the 8th rock from the kiosk. On the SW corner of that rock there is an overhang with smaller pile of rocks below. Under the smaller rocks you'll find the letter box.
If you have time to look around the site more it is only a short hike up a dirt path to a location where you can get a great view of the Oregon Trail area and look back souteast "one day's travel" - 15 miles. Here's how a pioneer described this leg of the journey:
"... Since crossing to this side of the Snake river again the road has been fearfully dusty. In fact, a person who has never traveled these wormwood barrens can form no idea as to what depth dust may be cut up in them by the passing of a few wagons. To a person walking in the road it is frequently more than shoe deep, and if the wind happens to blow lengthwise of the road, it raises such a fog that you cannot see the next wagon in front." (James Fields, 1845)
Easily accessible location - drive-by.
The box includes a hand-made stamp, journal and pencil. No inkpad provided, please bring your own.
Updates on box appreciated. We just visited it for the first time in two years when we came through town again. It had not been reported missing but it was gone. We have replaced it.