Thursday, June 18
The crew and I pull out of Fishermen’s Bend Campground after a one-night stay. We like it here, but it’s best that we go.
Well, everything is great about the place except our campsite is a gravel-covered spot in full sun. If we stay, undoubtedly we will lie about on the bed like moss on a log, soaking up air conditioning and watching television. Not the way I want us to live.
Besides, other people want our campsite more than we do.
Before we leave this morning, one of the volunteer hosts tells us seven rigs wait in line for a campsite and she’s found only five that are checking out this morning, including us.
Fishermen’s Bend certainly is popular!
I drive us east on Route 22 to Detroit Lake.
The lake level is very low. The blue of a lake is always pleasant to see. However, the shore of Detroit Lake is ugly! Hundreds of tree stumps (dark dots in photo below) stick out of the barren, exposed lake bed.
Campers and vehicles are lined up like Saturday at the mall parking lot. For $28 a day you can step out and view your neighbor’s car or turn your head to view tree stumps on bare ground.
The close atmosphere makes me shudder.
After touring one loop, we leave, passing this man sitting at a picnic table in the shade.
Very pressured traffic, too. We arrive at the town of Detroit. It’s not a regular town, more like a section of a town. You pull off Route 22, drive a parallel street of cafes, bars, and businesses catering to people seeking fun and relaxation.
I am starving!
We left in a hurry for the sake of incoming RVs and I didn’t eat a substantial breakfast. I need food. I can tell my blood sugar is fixing to throw a fit. The smell of barbeque wafts through the open window of the Perfect Tow Vehicle.
Oh dear, let me at it!
I scan for a place to park the PTV and BLT.
Most towns catering to travelers provide a place for big rigs to park. I see it. There’s room for three big rigs. A tractor-trailer is parked just close enough to the fence to take up two places. And then, smack dab in the middle of the third space sits a motorcycle. Not enough room in front of it nor in back of it.
I have to find something fast because vehicles are lined up behind us, of course.
I pull into a lot for a lounge/restaurant and park out of the way along a retaining wall. The cars of customers are in a row in front of us. They have plenty of room to back out.
“Okay, crew, I’ll be right back. I’m going to score some bar-bee-cuuuue!”
I take off across the street.
I want a chicken barbeque sandwich, but the burly guy with the big cookers in the back says it only comes bone-in.
“You can have a pulled pork sandwich,” he suggests.
I haven’t eaten a pig meat product in several years. Well, there was a pork roast . . . I hate how the animals are treated. Not that chickens have it much better. Anyway . . . I’m terrifically hungry, I’m weak, and, at the moment, I can’t find my moral compass.
I order the pulled pork.
While waiting for my order, I examine the decor, what there is of it. A small sign in the style of the fifties shows a smiling man in a fedora holding up a cold one.
“Beer — It’s what’s for dinner.”
This strikes me as hilarious. Must be the low blood sugar.
Oh my, is the sandwich good!
I eat it back at the PTV. The sauce is the right amount of sweet and tangy, the beans are spicy, and the cole slaw fresh. I pull some of the pulled pork for the crew and find out that Bridget and Reggie love twice-pulled pork!
In the few minutes I was at the barbeque place someone parked their white SUV close to the PTV’s passenger door. Huh? Why so close? They could’ve parked ten feet or more away.
Not only that . . .
The SUV is parked far enough ahead to make it impossible for me to go forward and make the turn to the right without scraping their front end.
I’ll have to back up. Along a wall. Into the street. A busy street.
With careful effort I back out without incident. Oh well, that sandwich was worth the trouble. I’m sorry, piggies, and I do appreciate your sacrifice.
I change my plan to camp in one of the inexpensive campgrounds around the lake.
Instead we take Route 46 which runs along the Breitenbush River.
I find exactly what I want!
Humbug deserves a better name!
We cruise the loop and discover only one camper here. I find a site that will put sun on the solar panel and shade on the BLT.
I back the BLT in.
Everything looks good about this site. It’s large, open, level, has the sound of the river (You can’t see the river from any of the campsites.) and has a mix of sun and shade in which to relax.
However, something doesn’t seem quite right.
“Ya’ know? I think we can do better. Let’s walk the loop and take a closer look at the campsites.”
It’s smaller and the sound of the river isn’t as strong. More importantly, it has what the other, bigger site lacks . . .
A water spigot, trash bin, and kitchen waste drain are nearby.
Because of the downward slope toward the front end, the tongue is cranked high. I move the PTV to put the solar panel in sun and run the extension cord from BLT to PTV.
Boy, did we miss a bullet by choosing this site! The larger site I first chose at the other side of the campground, plus the ones next to it, attracts three large families. A spirited game of volleyball is in progress as the crew and I pass by on our nightly walk.
The weekend goes by quietly at our campsite.
We meet the camp host couple and have a few pleasant chats. The internet connection is spotty so blogging takes a lot of time. We ride to Detroit Lake and check out Santiam Flat Campground. I think it’s a party place that sees heavy use. We go past the barbeque place without stopping.
Most of the time we stay at camp.
The weather is perfect for sitting outside to read and relax with the crew.
It’s beautiful here.
There are rhododendrons all over, some twenty feet tall or so. They’re mostly past their bloom time. I do find a few for this photo.
This next one is a favorite.
The trail is above the river which runs through a gorge. We can hear the river rushing over rocks. The vegetation is too thick to see much of it though and I don’t want to bring the crew close to the edge trying to take photos.
Instead I look for the smaller wonders of the forest.
It seems that anything eye-pleasing that has been created by people has first been created in nature, such as Chinese lanterns.
I would like us to camp in a campground similar to Humbug Campground for the fourth of July holiday weekend.
I’d stay here but we’d be past the 14-day limit and I’ll need a few supplies soon.
While searching for a quiet place to make our next camp, I’ll keep in mind what my father said to me a long time ago when I was overwhelmed and discouraged trying to find a job. I may have shared this with you before . . .
“You only have to find one,” he said.
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