Tag Archives: fishing

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.


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.


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.


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.



Roaring Fork Valley: Aspen, Snowmass, Carbondale!

This will be short and sweet in light of recent family events.

We had a wonderful time visiting with friends, Joel and Bonnie. Joel biked with brad on trails at Snowmass, we rode the gondola, enjoyed dinner at Woody Creek Tavern and explored the valley.

The campground south of Carbondale was relaxing and being a stones throw from the Crystal River was a plus.

We hope to return to this area soon for more exploring! Thank you Bonnie and Joel for making it extra special!!

I am back at home with the girls as of yesterday and brad will hopefully begin his journey back tomorrow. Thanks for enjoying the trip journal with us. We look forward to sharing more adventures in the future!!






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








Yellowstone Round Up

Due to our lack of wifi and minimal cell service in the park, updates have been few and far between…but it certainly wasn’t for lack of doing!  I think we drove every road in the park, some several times over.  Each time was like the first though, as we constantly marveled at the scenery, wildlife, and how the time of day and lighting affected some of the features.

Lower Terrace at Mammoth Hot Springs

Lower Terrace at Mammoth Hot Springs

On Monday we visited Old Faithful first thing, the crowds were not bad and we arrived about 10 minutes before an eruption…got lucky on that one. It was interesting how built up that area is compared to other park “centers”.  Our next stop was a family favorite, Grand Prismatic Spring.  It was like being on another planet, and the wind being strong that day, made the steam even more dramatic.  It was in that area that we found the Fire hole River.   I had received a tip to fish that and/or the Madison and despite the high water in most places, both were quite fish-able.   I tried my luck, yet without some “local knowledge” on what flies to use I couldn’t manage to catch the attention of the fish.

We later headed to West Yellowstone to check out the Wolf/Grizzly Discovery Center and I stopped by a fly shop (Blue Ribbon Flies) where I got the “local” I needed…a few flies in hand we headed on back to camp.


Tuesday, Brad decided to bike for a bit and I had the girls in tow as I tried my luck again on a much too popular fishing hole further downstream…they bit, but I never got to bring one in for the girls.  I was disappointed but it was still fun!

Getting to that area of the park was about a hour+ drive each way for us, and the travel times were starting to wear us down.  We took a breather on Wednesday: laundry, showers and making blends took up the morning.  Not being ones to sit still too long though, we headed up to Canyon in the afternoon to check out another overlook of the Yellowstone Canyon and grab dinner.  I am sooo glad we went as a traffic jam alerted us to something “good”…we pulled over and joined the spectators as they watched a very large grizzly dining on some delicacy along the banks of the Yellowstone River.   We were all about 400 ft away and he still looked big!  My point and shoot camera didn’t stand much of a chance though.

Girls working on Junior Ranger books at Steamboat Geyser

Girls working on Junior Ranger books at Steamboat Geyser

Discussions Thursday morning led us to decide to head out of the Park a day early, feeling as though we had covered the ground that we could…it is hard sometimes for Brad and I to remind ourselves that the girls don’t have the stamina we do and carrying Kimberly up and down these trails was not so much fun after a while.  Ironically enough, it was a fruitful drive out.  We took the route: Fishing Bridge to Canyon to Norris to Mammoth (for those of you familiar) and were rewarded with a wolf sighting in a small valley near Norris…and another grizzly sighting, this one much closer, about 150 feet away, along a small stream, also eating…and finally, a big Bald Eagle as we neared Mammoth for our exit from the park.

Exiting the Park through the Roosevelt Arch

Exiting the Park through the Roosevelt Arch

It was a fantastic visit…one I will never forget and I hope it has a lasting impression on the girls as well.  My most memorable moment:  watching Virginia AND Kimberly receive their Junior Ranger badges at the Lake Visitors Center…







Girls receiving the badges from a Seasoned Ranger at the Lake

Girls receiving the badges from a Seasoned Ranger at the Lake