We Met a Living Legend!

Employee loyalty begins with employer loyalty Harvey McCay

State 20: Oregon - November 13, 2017


We woke up at a Walmart in Beaverton, OR feeling ready to seize the day! Today, we drive 19 miles Southeast to Oregon City to visit the Cross Country Couple's Historic Location for Oregon; The End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center. The Oregon Trail is a historic 19th century 2,170 mile East to West US wagon trail. It began in Independence, Missouri, went through present day Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho, and terminated in Oregon City, Oregon. From the early 1830’s through 1869 over 400,000 settlers, farmers, miners, ranchers, and business owners and their families migrated West along the Oregon Trail. In 1869 the first transcontinental railroad was completed, leading to the inevitable decline of the Oregon Trail.

We have been following the Oregon Trail for months as we have meandered across the Northern US from it's beginning in Independence, Missouri, through Nebraska at Chimney Rock and Scott's Bluff, through Wyoming at Fort Laramie, and Independence Rock, and now we finally arrived at the end of the trail in Oregon City. The outside of the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretative Center was very unique. It depicted 3 separate buildings and each were enclosed by a huge covered wagon in a semi-circle. It was quite the sight to be seen! Please see the pictures below.

We made our way to the entrance to pay our admission, which was a bit steep at $13.00 per person with no discounts. The museum featured 3 sections and the 1st of which began by depicting a 19th century general store in Independence, Missouri. Here we learned about the pioneer’s preparation for the trail, and how much supplies they needed to make the journey. There were interactive displays where you could build pretend settlements with lincoln logs, dip candles, make rag dolls, churn butter and dress up in period costumes. In addition, this section featured historical information, maps, artifacts, journal entries, and knowledgeable staff dressed in period clothing. Please see the pictures below.

There was even display where you could take supplies off the shelf of the general store, and load them up in a wagon. During our visit, I saw 3 adorable 8-year-old blonde identical triplets enter with their father. By the time their father had finished paying for their admission, the three of them already had the wagon packed to the brim, and the shelves of the general store were bare! I couldn’t help but laugh! I wanted to take pictures, but the three of them were moving too fast! Certainly, these triplet girls would have done fine on the Oregon Trail, and they are going to be handful for their father when they become teenagers!

Another display which caught my attention featured buffalo chips. While one might think buffalo chips are the newest flavor potato chip by Frito Lay, nothing could be farther from the truth. In the pioneer’s days, buffalo chips were dried buffalo excrement used as fuel for fires, and even as recreational activities for the children. Apparently, one of the children’s favorite pastimes on the Oregon Trail was to toss dried buffalo poop to each other over the covered wagon. One can only wonder how they washed their hands! EEK! Perhaps this is one of the reasons why disease was the number one cause of death on the Oregon Trail. Please see the pictures below.

The next section of the museum featured a 25-minute movie entitled "Oregon Bound", and highlighted what daily life was like for the Pioneers on the trail. The 3rd and final part of the museum was a large room depicting 19th century Oregon City, and even included a land deed office where we went to stake our claim for 340 acres. Don’t I look so happy holding up the deed to my new land! LOL! Albeit a tad bit pricey and obviously geared towards children, we had quite an enjoyable afternoon at the End of the Oregon Trail Museum. Please see the pictures below.


Lori and I feel a deep connection with the pioneers of the past. The daily struggles we experience on our cross country journey such as where to park for the night and where to find the cheapest gas, are but a whisper compared to the daily life threatening dangers faced by those who traveled the Oregon Trail. Although today, we make our journey by V6 powered van instead of ox pulled wagon. Although today, we buy our food at Costco, instead of trading with the Indians. Although today, we cross rivers by bridges, instead of forging through them. The reality of our journeys has remained constant through time. We go even though we know not where we will settle. We bring supplies, even though we know not what we will actually need. The road is long, and the destination is unknown. Over 150 years has elapsed since those brave souls left everything behind, and embarked on the Oregon Trail in search of a new home. It is in the same spirit of those who have gone before us that we too set off on our cross country journey abandoning the familiar, and embracing the unknown in search for a brighter tomorrow.


After departing the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, we drove 9 miles North to Milwaukie, OR to learn about the Cross Country Couple's; Famous Person for Oregon; Bob Moore; founder of Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods. You may not know Bob Moore by name, but walk down the aisle of your local supermarket and you will certainly recognize his face. Established in 1978, Bob's Red Mill Natural Foods is a company producing over 400 natural whole grain milled products, and also include baking mixes, beans, seeds, nuts, dried fruits, spices, and herbs. His products are shipped throughout the United States and to over 70 countries around the world. The entire process all starts with the grains! All of Bob’s Red Mill products are Kosher, and Non GMO. In addition, Bob's Red Mill offers one of the largest lines of organic whole grain and gluten free grains in the country! The farmers who grow the grains are required to sign affidavits stating their crops do not include GMO’s, and the company is subjected to a rigorous certification process through the USDA's National Organic Program. The facility even has a separate room where gluten free grains are processed. Each shipment of grains the mill receives are laboratory tested to ensure they are the highest quality before entering the warehouse!

What sets Bob's Red Mill apart from everyone else is the manner by which the grains are milled. The edible part of a whole grain, consists of three major parts: bran, germ and endosperm. Processed grains lack the most nutritional component, the bran and the germ, in order to have a longer shelf life. Whole grains, on the other hand, include all three parts of the grain, offering nutrients like fiber, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and antioxidants.

Today, nearly all grains are milled with high speed steel rollers which destroy much of the nutritional composition of the grain with the heat generated by the rollers. Bob mills his grains utilizing the same old world engineering as the Romans used thousands of years ago; He uses millstones! While stone milling is slower and more labor intensive, the millstones grind the grain at a slow speed and cool temperature, preserving the inherent nutrients and flavor of the grains just as nature intended!

After parking Rosie, we headed into the Bob's Red Mill World Headquarters. Regretfully, pictures were not allowed. Upon entry, our guide led us down a long hallway with windows where we could view their facility. We learned about Bob's Red Mill products, the company and the founder Bob Moore. It was clearly a very clean well run operation, but the best part of the tour was yet to come! As we were about to complete our tour, we were surprised to have Bob Moore personally come down to say hello, shake hands and take a few pictures. I asked Bob his secret for a creating a successful business, and he said, “Provide a quality product, treat people well, stay out of debt, set a goal your passionate about, and stick to it no matter what”. Apparently the man knows what he is talking about! What once started as a small milling operation with his wife Charlee in 1978, has now grown into a 325,000 sq ft, laboratory, and manufacturing plant, and a 127,000 sq ft distribution center! Bob Moore built a multi-million dollar international business from scratch by providing the highest quality nutritional whole grain foods available making Bob’s Red Mill the leading name in health foods across the country. Moore, never ran his business from a penthouse boardroom. He was a fixture on his factory floor, and constantly looked for ways to improve his offerings.

The best example of Bob Moore’s character was on his 81st birthday. He gathered all of his employees together to announce his retirement, and gave his company away to his employees! All vested employees of Bob's Red Mill are now part owners through an Employee Stock Ownership Program. Making every employee a part owner was the only way for Bob to ensure his company continued sourcing, milling, testing, packaging, labeling and selling the finest products available for many years to come. When I told Bob I thought it was great what he did for his employees, he responded by saying, "Well, you can't take it with you!".

Bob Moore’s passion for health, and his belief in taking care of one another is as strong today as when he first founded his mill. Although he is now 88 years old, you would never know it by meeting him. Just a day prior, he had just returned from Israel and Jordan where he was learning about middle eastern grain milling! When he is not traveling or co-mingling with tourists and employees at the factory, Bob can be found at his whole grain retail store down the street eating a bowl of his own oatmeal, and playing the piano for customers. Bob Moore possesses a zest for life, a love of people, and is one of the most inspirational humans I have had the privilege of meeting!

How good are Bob Red Mill’s whole grains? I know this is going to sound crazy, but not only is this is the best oatmeal I have ever eaten, it is the only oatmeal I will ever eat again! Don’t take my word for it! Bob's Red Mill Steel Cut Oats are the 2 time winners of the Golden Spurtle; the top prize bestowed upon the winner of the World Porridge Championship held annually in Scotland! At the age of 87, Bob Moore actually flew to Scotland to personally compete! Next time you are in the supermarket, do yourself a favor and buy a bag of Bob Red Mills Oatmeal! You will never eat Quaker Oats ever again!

After departing Bob’s Red Mill facility, we drove 36 miles North to St. Helens, OR where we found a Walmart to spend the night.

  • Facebook Vintage Stamp
  • Twitter Vintage Stamp
  • Instagram Vintage Stamp