101 Casita Nights

Orion and the Casita — Indian Cove campground, March 2016
Orion and the Casita — Indian Cove campground, March 2016. This was one of my favorite campgrounds of the year.

A little over a year ago, I left Portland on a lovely September morning, headed for Deming, New Mexico. There, I hoped to purchase a slightly used 17′ Casita travel trailer that I had found on Craigslist. I had an envelope full of cash and a gracious promise from the owner that he would not sell the trailer until I got there.

That drive to Deming took two and a half days; it was exhausting, but exhilarating, and luckily, when I arrived, the trailer turned out to be exactly as advertised. I relinquished the envelope of cash to the very nice couple, took possession of the Casita, and drove home a bit more leisurely than my trip to Deming.

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The Casita’s Farewell Tour: Waldo Lake, Hart Mountain, and the desert

Our camp in the Alvord
Our camp in the Alvord.

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.

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One last jaunt through Oregon

sunset, waldo lake

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.)

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O Canada!

through the leaves-5

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

Home again

walla walla
Walla Walla vineyards

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.

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