Days 7 & 8 (July 30 and 31, 2013). The Oregon Trail was a 2000-mile route that connected the Missouri River with the Oregon Country (British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, parts of Montana and Wyoming). The initial trail was laid by fur trappers and was only passable on foot or by horse. Later is was developed for large wheeled wagons and used for pioneers coming west. Today we left Mt. Hood in the morning and headed east touching some points on the Oregon Trail (according to the signs by route US 26 which apparently follows much of the path of the trail). Few of the towns we visited, Mitchell in particular, have still an Old West flavor.  A saloon-like café and several buildings, plus the heat of the early afternoon in late July, made us think of the Westerns we enjoyed so much as kids. The roads we covered were quite pretty. Some went through dense forests of pines (Ochoco & Umatilla National Forests); others through drier areas of sagebrush and juniper which reminded us of the Patagonian steppes of Argentina. By the end of day seven we reached Baker City, OR, and stayed at the Best Western. We were finally able to take a shower after several days of camping. For dinner we enjoyed full racks of pork ribs. We also did laundry at a truckers stop. The following day we continued east to enter Idaho through Hells Canyon. We stopped for gas at Cambridge ID before veering north towards McCall—a picturesque town in the mountains by Payette Lake. It was hot and stormy.  We stopped at Cascade ID for a late lunch (it was already 5 pm). We continued south and then turned east onto the Banks–Lowman road—a very pretty road that follows the South Fork of the Payette River. This section of the river seems to be popular with experienced kayakers since in goes through a canyon with class III and IV rapids. By the end of the day we had reached the town of Lowman in the mountains of central Idaho. We were the only campers at the Deadwood Campground at the intersection of the South Fork of the Payette River and the Deadwood River. By late afternoon the clouds had disappeared and the night was very pleasant. We had a light dinner (sardines and cheese with crackers). We made a fire at night and stayed late watching the stars (something I normally find extremely boring).