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Halfway woman missing in Wallowa Mountains near Cornucopia


Search crews will be gathering in the southern Wallowa Mountains above Halfway this morning to look for a Halfway woman who went missing Monday.

Alice Covey, 65, was camping with her husband and two or three other people in the Little Eagle Meadows area about three miles north of the Summit Point trailhead, Baker County Sheriff Mitch Southwick said this morning.

The group started out on a day hike toward Cornucopia on Monday, but Alice Covey turned back when she twisted her ankle, Southwick said.

When the others returned to their camp, Covey was not there. They searched but could not find her.

The Sheriff's Office received a call at 5:25 p.m. reporting that Covey was missing.

Southwick said several members of the county's Search and Rescue unit hiked into the area but they had little time to search for dark.

Some searchers camped overnight so they could get an early start today, he said.

An aerial search is also planned today, Southwick said.

Covey did not have a coat when she was last seen, he said. 

 

 

Beasts of Burden

Reliving Pioneer Days At The Oregon Trail Interpretive Center 


Kathy Orr / Baker City Herald Sheryl Curtis — Bullwhacking’ Kass — holds one of her oxen, Job, as the Stoltzfus family pets the steer and gets ready to pose for photos Saturday. From left to right are Janna, Lisa, Caroline and father Myron Stoltzfus. The family visited the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center as they get ready to move to Payette, Idaho, later this fall.

By Coby Hutzler

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The Oregon Trail Interpretive Center was the site of an historical wagon camp re-enactment this weekend, playing host to demonstrations of blackpowder shooting, Dutch-oven cooking, dancing, and more.

Ox handler “Bullwhackin’ Kass,” also known as Sheryl Curtis, was on hand to explain how oxen were used to haul wagons along the Oregon Trail’s 2,200 miles.

Curtis, of Okanogan, Washington, had two oxen with her this weekend, Saul and Job, ages 17 and 11. The two form a gargantuan team, with a combined weight of 6,538 pounds. 

Curtis said that oxen, despite being commonly understood as a particular breed of stout, sturdy working bovine, aren’t a breed at all. 

“(That they’re called oxen) only means that they’re trained to work,” she said.

Curtis said that while oxen are usually steers, bulls are also used. 

“If there’s no cow (nearby) there’s no problem,” she said. 

As the wagons on the trail were prone to accidents, and since some branches of the trail passed unpalatable grass and water too alkaline for the oxen, Curtis said that it was a rare thing for the animals to survive the whole trip. 

See more in Monday's issue of the Baker City Herald. 

 

 

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