In the summer months, you can take a ride on the Sumpter Valley Railroad and feel like you have stepped back in time. Riding on a steam train is an experience that I really enjoy. The Sumpter Valley Railroad operates in the warmer weather and has a few trips in the fall and for Christmas. My plan was to go for a ride and get some fall color pictures since I was in the area for a business meeting anyway. This historic area has been on my bucket list for a while. Unfortunately for me, the weekend I was there was one that the railroad was not running.
They had stopped for the season and the next weekend was the fall colors ride. Sometimes it seems like that’s the story of my life (right place, wrong time). Well, since I was there, I still got some great shots of the awesome historic sites and beautiful scenery of the Sumpter Valley.
Since I wasn’t going to get a ride on the steam train, I drove into Sumpter to check out the historic gold dredge they have there. You can go on a self guided tour of the dredge during the daytime and I loved it. I was the only one there for a while.
The massive buckets would dig up the stream bed and dump the material inside the dredge for classification and to extract the gold. The left over gravel would be discharged out the back and create tailing piles. I have been on another of these dredges in Bonanza, Idaho and the size of these monsters is impressive. I took full advantage of my alone time and got some great HDR shots inside the dredge.
If you like those type of pictures, make sure you check out my full gallery for the others. I tried some black and white HDR shots of some old equipment at a roadside museum on the way into Sumpter.
I had a great pizza from Mad Dog Saloon in Sumpter and walked around the town a little. I didn’t realize that the wildlife was so intelligent in Oregon. Apparently these deer could read.
Here is a historical sign at the park.
The next morning on the way to Baker City for breakfast I stopped along the Powder River and got a few fall color pics.
Even though I got to see the area, it hasn’t been crossed off the bucket list yet. I will be back to ride the train and maybe get robbed by masked gunmen, or visit the Sumpter Flea Market. If you know of any old mining areas or ghost towns that I might like to visit, please comment below!