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.
After two busy weeks at home, Susan and I were both itching to get back out on the road, so last Monday we loaded the Casita, hitched it to Susan’s truck and headed out to La Grande for a few days to visit with family. This morning, we have a few errands to complete, and then we’re headed up to the Wallowas for a week, to do some exploring and hiking in one of my favorite parts of the Northwest.
The area is like a cul de sac in eastern Oregon: there’s really only one main way into it, with the pretty little town of Joseph and Wallowa Lake at the very end, surrounded by the Wallowa mountain range.
It is a bit early in the season—Wallowa Lake State Park wasn’t taking reservations until next Tuesday—so we’re expecting cooler climes than what we’ve been experiencing in Portland the last week, but it should be beautiful, and the Casita will keep us snug and warm.
After a week in the area, we’re planning on heading up to Walla Walla; it’s a place both Susan and I have wanted to visit for some time (wine country!). We’ll only get a short taste of the area, but it should be enough for us to scope out future visits.
We’ll post a bit more about our last few travels, but we did want to let people know that we made it home, safe and sound, after a very nice extended weekend visiting with members of Susan’s family.
The FJ and the Casita have been stripped, and will be cleaned over the next couple of days, and we’re also in the process of washing everything we had with us on the journey (there was a lot of sand in the desert, which I think I’ve mentioned). Next up, Pete and Michelle’s wedding! After that, we’ll be getting ready for our May adventures, which will be to the Wallowas and Walla Walla.
We spent a good week in the Moab area, camping at Archview RV Park, a perfectly fine park about 10 minutes north of Arches National Park. We probably wouldn’t stay there again—the park really catered to folks driving ATVs—but it was a fine base of operations for us.
As I noted previously, we didn’t plan to hit Arches at all on this trip, and we focussed instead on the northern section of Canyonlands National Park, which includes the rather unbelievable Island in the Sky. Susan and I hiked together a bit, and she also went out for a day by herself to do a longer group of hikes (my knee can’t take too many long hikes, and I overdid it the past couple of weeks).
I have to say that Canyonlands is nothing short of breathtaking in its scope, and worth a visit from anyone looking for something a little less busy than other national parks in California and Utah. From the Needles to Elephant Rock to Island in the Sky, to the Green River, the Colorado River and more, it is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been, and Susan and I both felt as if we missed quite a bit. As was the case with our trip to Zion, Canyonlands is one of those places on our shortlist for a return visit.