I knew needed to get up and out if I hoped to find any camping spot. So after just one cup of coffee I quickly packed up (whew no camp to break) and had us on the road. Lovely “blond” mountains were the scenery of the day in eastern Oregon. They were mostly dressed out in varying shades of straw, tans, yellows and dotted with sage brush. That gave way to relatively barren ranch land and some broader valleys and farms. Again very scenic Central Oregon Highway. I arrived in Bend, gassed up and headed south as fast as I could. The Gull Point Campground on was about 40 miles and off the beaten path. I arrived to see a campground full sign and all the non-reservable sites occupied. Figured I would head to Tasia that being the case but made a wrong turn instead of the exit and came across one open site that was quite large and quite private. It was the last one available. So I opted to take it for two nights. For whatever the reason I had not yet had my fill of tents, vault toilets, dirt etc. It is on Wicklup Reservoir and seemed quite nice but I had not given much thought to what the focus of most of the campers would be. However as the day wore on I could not get over how much coming and going there was. Numerous pick-up trucks and SUV’s kept going buy.More and more vehicles kept filling the campground with often several on a campsite. Constant coming any going. It is on a lake and the array of toys and the number of site with two or three families on them was more crowded and busy than any of the camping sites. I began to think this was not going to be the peaceful final camping experience in the Oregon Forest that I had envisioned. Kili was on edge and guard most of the time ready to pounce on the kids on bicycles, other individuals walking dogs. Since he was on a line he just about choked himself numerous times. I had an interesting walk around the campground, somewhat astonished by all of the stuff folks had for a week-end in the woods: Power boats, jet skis, paddle boards, canoes, kayaks, floats, tubes, fishing boats, ski boats, bicycles, 4 wheelers, dirt bikes, chairs, satellite dishes, barbecue grills, a myriad of tents in addition to the RV’S, screened dining rooms etc. etc Makes me think the even though I talk about all of my stuff, just how much can a Prius and moderate sized car top carrier hold. I am no completion for these “professional campers.” When the dogs and I settled in for the night, it wasn’t the hoot of owl or howl of coyotes I listened to but the shrill voices of many children having fun and some relatively loud adults as well. I was already beginning to think that one night here would be plenty.
I awoke to QUIET. All the revelers were still fast asleep. That naughty little Prissy inside of me so wanted to whoop it up but I managed to talk her out of it and I sat quietly and had my coffee. I decided though that I was DONE camping and would head down to my daughter Tasia’s near Ashland and bag the second night. I was not having a great experience though I do love to seeing so much family activity and togetherness. But first I had a plan to walk as far around the Wicklup reservoir/lake as I could. So the dogs and I set out on a gorgeous cool morning under a bright blue sky and a shimmering lake. With no one out and about yet, I let the dogs off leash and we had a lovely outing and they were able to romp about on the sand, in the marshy areas, through the fields of violets; terrorize the geese; and just generally have a superb walk
By the time we got back, the camping beach goers and boaters were all gearing up and getting their area for the day established with sun shades, chairs, the rafts and water toys, coolers, jet skis and pleasure boats by the beach. I could recall the days when my kids were younger and we would go on beach outings for the week-end with very much the same process of packing gear, setting up, frivolity, good company, lots of laughs and the kids all having a glorious time.
But now it was time for me to break camp and head out on the last leg of my westward journey. I continued to take the scenic roads through Oregon and drove down through Crater Lake National Park as a fitting finale for a trip that has been replete with so much incredible and astonishing land. I was surprised to see snow still around the lake as eight years ago my daughter Bernadette’s wedding was on the shores of this caldera lake of an incredibly deep blue color.
With a lot of satisfaction, peace in my heart and such positive feelings about my accomplishments, I pulled into Tasia’s after 38 days on the road, camping 26 of those night, traveling with 2 dogs through 15 states, and driving all of the 7268 mile myself.