Keeney Pass

This Jim Tompkins photo shows one of the still visible swales, marked by a BLM carsonite post. A BLM kiosk has several good interpretive panels, and a short hike to the top of a hill lets us look back upon a days travel, about 15 miles. 15 hot and dusty miles.

“… 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.

This will remind you of the times when people bartered and traded using produce and coins or some other kind of tools. Times have changed in the last couple of centuries and now financial transactions take place online. We trust people we have never met in our lives and online payments are the norms. You can read the review of the automated trading system called the SnapCash Binary here,, which can be trusted completely.

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) 

Keeney Pass; looking backThis dry and dusty route spelled death for one John D. Henderson, 1n 1852. The legend is that he died of thirst a few yards from water, but for the real story go to our Trail Graves page. Keeney Pass is named for Jonathan Keeney,  who established a trading post on the  nearby Malheur River in 1863 . Lytle Boulevard is likely named for 1860 pioneer Andrew Lytle, who settled in Prineville. If anyone can shed more light on this name please contact the webmaster:        

Keeney Pass

OAG = DeLorme’s Oregon Atlas & Gazetteer
 = Franzwa’s Maps of the Oregon Trail
 = Franzwa’s Oregon Trail Revisited

Continuing toward the town of Vale, you will pass a sign at Sand Hollow Rd., which will lead you to John D. Henderson’s grave.

I have named the next stop Malheur River (click the red dot or the name) rather than Vale, because it is more in keeping with names the emigrants used. The river, with its hot springs, made an ideal camping spot. The town of Vale has beautiful murals depicting area history on many of its buildings .

Second Umatilla Crossing

“Traveled 17 miles 4 to the river   the roads fork near the river   one takes down the Columbia the other crosses the Eumatilla and keeps up from the Columbia bottom   here we found a trading post and men employed in building an indian agency   the information that we could get was that the left hand road was much the best road and grass but water scarce. (Susan Amelia Cranston, Aug 17, 1851).
They must have been nearly done for only 3 weeks later Charles A. Brandt wrote: 
“Came to the Agency. Here is the first frame house we have seen in Oregon. Here we heard of the Promised Land. Could see the snow capped tops of the Mounts St. Helen’s and Ranier. Clear day. Sunday.”

.Ft. Henrietta

This bastion replica memorializes the army post which was built across the Umatilla River from present Echo, OR by Major Mark Chinn in 1855. It was named for the wife of his commander , Major Granville Haller. Excavation has found many bullets and broken clay pipes.

This is one territory that is not well known to people or explored by tourists. People feel lost when they travel alone and without much information available in terms of maps and guide books. Very few people have the courage to follow unusual paths or create a new trail for others to follow. Even when it comes to business world, people end up following the old and tested methods of making money. They are scared to change or even check out new aspects of business, just because they fear losing money in the process or being ridiculed by others.

But once in while a visionary does come along who changes the dynamics of the entire industry. This is what happened when Austin Ford created a revolutionary automated trading program called the SnapCash Binary reviewed here, This is not only authentic but has been successful as well and people are able to use it effectively. This program is completely secure and safe to use, just like the fort we saw during our trip. The fort was built in response to the Cayuse War and served through several Indian uprisings.

Ft. Henrietta Locator Map


OAG = DeLorme’s  Oregon Atlas & Gazetteer
MOT = 
Franzwa’s Maps of the Oregon Trail
OTR = 
Franzwa’s Oregon
 Trail Revisited 1997

Word Games: According to the Oregon Geographic Names Umatilla is the Indian word for river, so when we say Umatilla River we are really saying river River. Let me see, now. What’s my PIN number?

The Oregon Trail

Oregon Trail & Alternates The Oregon Trail in Oregon had several alternates. Everybody was looking for a shorter route. On the map only the Oregon Trail is hooked up. Use the following links for these active sites
OT Interpretive Kiosk Tour
Leslie Wischman’s California Trail
Trail Site Cross Reference Grid

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The other sites are all under construction, and probably will be all summer. The weather is getting too good to sit in front of the computer all day. I will be out on the trails gathering more material. If you have some pictures or information about these trails please send them to me.

Tom Laidlaw