As I write this, we are entering the third week of our Oregon trip, tucked among the brushy hummocks on the edge of the playa in the Alvord Desert, one of our favorite places in Oregon. It is a fitting place for Susan and me to close out our Casita travels, after a wonderful week in one of our old favorites, Waldo Lake, and a short week (five pretty awesome nights) in a new favorite, Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge.
Susan’s shoulder surgery was much less invasive than it could have been (they fixed a rotator cuff flap, removed some scar tissue, and did a bit of clean-up), and her physical therapy sessions have been going quite well. So much so that we decided to keep our original reservations at Waldo Lake for the week after Labor Day, and head out on our planned three-week trip through southeastern Oregon.
We’ll be at Waldo Lake for at least a week, followed by a trek to the Alvord Desert, and then on to Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge. Waldo and the Alvord are two places we love to spend time at; Hart is a place we haven’t been, but it looks to be quite amazing. We’re not sure of our itinerary after that; it will depend on how we’re feeling. One of the exciting things about this trip for us is that we will be ‘dry’ camping the entire time–there will be no hookups for power or water–and we’ll largely be disconnected from the world (also awesome). (We’ll use the generator sparingly, just to keep the Casita’s battery topped off for light and heat.)
We’ve been very busy since we returned from our last trip: I went to Syracuse for my niece Eileen’s beautiful wedding, and we’ve had both Susan’s daughter and one of her sons in town for extended visits, which was also lovely. We did get away before the 4th of July, spending a few nights up in a campground near Mt. Hood (Lost Creek Campground; a very nice place to spend a few nights). Susan and her son and daughter-in-law did a bunch of great hikes on the mountain, while the gimpy-kneed me stayed close to camp and acted as sommelier and sous chef. Continue reading
After our week in Eastern Oregon, we spent another two-and-a-half weeks on the road, traveling from Walla Walla, Washington to Central Oregon (Bend/Sisters), and returned home last week. The Casita has been cleaned, inside and out, and now sits in its resting place for a few weeks, while we tend to some local things and figure out where we’re off to next.
We spent the last week camping at Wallowa Lake State Park, which is about six miles south of the town of Joseph, in the northeastern corner of Oregon. The park is one of the small jewels of Oregon’s park system: the lake and surrounding mountains are gorgeous, unlike anything else in the state, and there are lots of hiking trails that take you deep into the Eagle Cap Wilderness area. The town of Joseph is pretty: small and arty, but it’s clear that farming and ranching remain the lifeblood of the area. The big event every year is the Chief Joseph Rodeo, which reportedly draws thousands of people to this tiny town.