Long Day’s Trip Was Normal
Next time you feel hassled by the freeway traffic as you’re travel between Salem and Portland, Oregon, a distance of about 40 miles, you might consider this trip taken in 1865. It was written by Rev. Samuel Parker in his “Journal of an Exploring Tour Beyond the Rocky Mountains.”
“In 1865 Monday, June 5 clear and pleasant. Arose quite early; packed things for trip; ate breakfast; called at printing office (Oregonian where I had been setting type for more than a year); went down to the boat, anxiously awaiting the hour of departure up the river.
“Started at 7:00 a.m. on the Senator with Captain Pease as master; fare to Oregon City, one dollar; walked the portage; [The portage referred to the first railroad track in Oregon built in 1846. It transported travelers around the Willamette Falls at Oregon City.] threw carpetbag on tram, drawn by a skinny, discouraged horse; went on the Reliance at Canemah; arrived in Salem at 6:30 p.m.; fare four dollars.
“Pleasant trip, though monotonous. Reading most of the time. Saw a deer swimming in the river.”
One thing that hasn’t changed: at today’s gasoline prices, the cost is about the same for this trip.
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