Second Annual WetWesties/Bus Pilots Reunion
Catherine Creek State Park
September 25-27, 1998
Since I assume that most of you will be coming from the I-5 corridor, the easiest way will be get yourself to I-84 and head east to exit 265. Last year the Eugene/Corvallis folks took State 26 over the mountains on the way over and returned on the freeway. I believe that they were glad to see the superslab... Anyway, after exiting at 265, turn right and head to the town of Union (~10 miles). If you have to provision, the Union Shopping Center located on the right at the creek has excellent meats (this is cattle country) and is a reasonably well stocked grocery store. Their hours are from 7am to 7pm (9am to 5pm on Sundays).
In Union, proceed to Beakman (landmarks: Bare's Hometown Hardware on the right and The Hut diner/saloon on the left.) Turn left. Proceed on State 203 ~9miles to Catherine Creek State Park on the left. Stop by and say "Hi!" to Henry, our campground host and he will direct you to the far end of the park where you'll find Lisa, myself, maybe a kid or two and Misfit, the frisbee eating wonderdog all hanging around Bleu.
FWIW, the "spirits" store is located on Main St. one block beyond Beakman on the left.
For the Idaho folks: You too need to get yourself on I-84. I suspect that you'll probably want to head in a westerly direction though. If you need to provision, you'll want to get off the superslab at the thriving megalopolis of North Powder (about 30 miles beyond Baker City) and turn to the right. Proceed through N.P. and enjoy the drive down Pyle's Canyon (my commute... I work at the mill that you drive by as you're leaving town.) 15 miles down the road you'll get to Union. If provisions are needed, look for the store mentioned above (it's really the only game in town...) then you'll need to backtrack to Beakman and continue as above.
If provisions are not needed, you might want exit 84 at the Medical Springs exit and come into the park the back way. Not sure of the mileage (maybe 25 miles?). but it will be a few miles shorter than the above route. You could also stock up at the Safeway just off the interstate at the second Baker exit.
I'm really not too familiar with the area, but the ONE time that I commuted there, I went over Snoqualmie (If you're there, you know the way...) on my way there and returned by way of I-5 to I-84. Timewise it was a wash. Wear and tear wise I would probably vote for the return route. Fewer mountains to climb.
Since I'm not too familiar with the routing from the area, I wrote Fred Stoermer and asked for his comments. He replied;
There are a multitude of route possibilities from The Seattle/Tacoma area to Catherine Creek SP/Union OR. Choice depends on available time, desire for scenery, driver's adventurousness, etc. The 2 primary routes would be as you suggested.
The route via Vancouver WA, Troutdale OR, the Dalles, etc., all on Interstates, is probably the one with the easiest grades overall, but there are still some pretty mean hills between Olympia and Vancouver and between Troutdale and The Dalles.
The Snoqualmie Pass, Yakima, Tri-Cities route on the Interstates is actually significantly shorter, and the Pass is overall a relatively easy grade. There are some very long and fairly steep grades on the Interstate between Ellensburg and Yakima, but they can be bypassed by using the old Canyon highway which is basically at river level.
Sticking with Interstates all the way, the Snoqualmie Pass route is about 50 miles shorter and about an hour quicker. Of course, beyond the I-82/I-84 junction the route would be the same (except for bush-apes like me that can't stand to pass up any interesting byway that'll get me back to 2, or better yet 1, lane roads).
I can provide detailed route instructions, with milepoints, etc., if necessary. Maps, too, for those that can handle attachments/graphics. And there's always the links to Yahoo Maps or Mapquest.
As a last resort, let the net do the routing. Mapquest© will do city to city routing easily enough. Destination: Union, OR