“Cabbage Hill” it sounds so sweet, like the title of a children’s book. In Eastern Oregon Cabbage Hill is “the big hill” between Pendleton and La Grande. It’s not especially steep at 5 to 6% but it is 8 miles up. On a sunny day it feels even longer because there is no shade along the way. We climbed Cabbage Hill on September 6th, it was a sunny day.
The route for the rest of the day followed the “Old Emigrant Highway” which is part of the original Oregon Trail. Since it parallels modern I-84, traffic was pleasantly sparse, an occasional rancher and his dog. Like earlier Oregon Trail travelers we set up camp for the night at Emigrant Springs. It was remarkably cold that night and I slept in all the clothing I was carrying.