Tag Archives: Bend

High Desert, extended version

Our first stop after departing Portland was Camp Sherman, an outpost on the Metolius River, outside of Sisters, OR.  We discovered this gem on our last trip and we were excited to return to the area.

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The Metolius River is a designated Wild and Scenic River that is birthed from springs just above Camp Sherman, and runs at a steady 100 cfs or so constantly, with an average temp around 48 deg.  This makes for an amazingly stable, chilly, and productive river = big, smart, well-fed fish. You know the odds  aren’t in your favor when the first  three people you encounter related to fishing the river note that it is an “expert fishery”.   Even still, I bought my three day license and hooked a few fish, lost a few flies, and had a great time.  I met a mysterious, wise-in-the-ways-of-the-river native american man one evening, and shamelessly asked for advice.  Bud light and cigarette in hand, he looked as if he was done fishing for the day.  He was beyond helpful and humorous, sharing his own disappointments and battles from years of trying his luck with these elusive bull trout.  I walked away from that exchange and realized that I was actually fishing for ghosts.  That took the pressure off.

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Camp Sherman was supposed to be the launching point for Crater Lake and then Redwoods in California.  We decided it was best for us to stay put for a week longer, skip Redwoods, and day trip to Crater instead.

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Crater Lake was awesome in every way.  It is a truly beautiful, natural wonder.  It is hard to take your eyes off of it.

We settled in the Bend/Sunriver area for the next week or so, and took it easy.  We kayaked on the Descheutes, and pretty much laid low.  We thought about heading home at that point to take care of family issues, but decided instead to head on to Lake Tahoe.

We very much enjoyed our high desert time and know we will return.

 

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High times in the High Desert

Central Oregon is in the rear view mirror, to our dismay. This may be the 26th time I have sat down to write a summary of this leg the trip…it has been a busy one!

We were sad to leave Portland and plan to return as soon as we can! The Bend/Sisters area took a little of the sting out though. Our campsite was one of the nicer (from an amenities standpoint, not view) that we have inhabited so far. So much so that our arrival resulted in a period of awkwardness, and we (The Leadbetters as Brad refers to our clan occasionally) felt a little out of place. Our “vintage” camper was overshadowed by some seriously big rigs and fancy set ups.

The high desert area provided us with our first sustained days of sunshine and warm temps so far on the trip. Thankfully the campground had a nice salt water pool that we visited everyday!

Day 1 was finding our way around Bend, lunch at 10 Barrel (at Heathers suggestion, good stuff!), grocery shopping, and a stop at the Bend Rock Gym for Virginia to get her climb on! Day 2 landed us in the McKenzie River area and Brad tackled all 26 miles of that amazing trail. Thankfully he took his GoPro and video recorded segments of the ride, which took him 4 1/2 hrs! We picked him up at the bottom and headed back to camp.

Day 3 brought a trip to Shevlin Park in Bend, one of many areas they have for biking, hiking, etc. I fished Tumalo Creek and actually landed a few trout…as Brad put it, knocking the stink off of my dry spell thus far!! No Go Pro footage of that, but I swear it happened! That afternoon I was lucky enough to try my luck on the beautiful Metolius River…

Day 4, July 4th, we headed back to Bend for the Annual Pet Parade (what an event!), a festival in the park by the Deschuetes River, and some bike riding that afternoon. We met some new neighbors in the campground and made fast friends as did the girls.

Day 5, our last full day, we took in the Museum of the High Desert. It is a very nice facility with wonderful exhibits on animals, Native Americans, and history of the area. After a few hours we headed back to camp for dinner and some live music by the lake.

Sunday (yesterday) was a “road day”. If someone tells you there is not much in southeastern Oregon, they are not exaggerating in the least! Probably the most desolate stretch we have experienced so far. Five and a half hours later we pulled into a little park next to the Snake River in Ontario, Oregon to cook dinner and try to cool the camper off. It was 104 as we crossed the desert and 100 at 8:30pm as we pulled into the truck stop to overnight. Not the best sleeping!

We are back on the road today, hoping to end up somewhere near Salt Lake City. We are treating ourselves to 2 night in a hotel there while Brad flies back to CA for a work trip.

Photos of the experience:20140707-134122-49282722.jpg

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