Sunday, August 9
The crew and I leave Idylwild Campground in Malheur National Forest north of Burns, Oregon, and continue northward on Route 395. The road takes us across Silvies Valley and the fields of Silvies Ranch. This is a big ranch. . . 140,000 acres big. Driving across it is like traversing a small nation.
At Seneca I see a sign “Parish Cabin C.G. 11 miles” with an arrow pointing east.
The name intrigues me. On a whim I turn. After about 5 or 6 miles I begin to suspect I’ve made a mistake. We cross open countryside of dry fields of grass. A few houses. We don’t want to be in open country — might become too hot for that. Well, I’m committed. Might as well keep going. Looks like some forest up ahead.
About three miles before reaching the campground . . . .
Uh-oh. A fire went through here. Major ugly.
Well, maybe we will drive beyond the blackened tree trunks and find a lovely campground in a fragrant forest, next to a cheerful stream where birds flit about and sunbeams reach through the boughs . . .
Dream on, RVSue.
Bridget and Reggie know we’ve entered a campground. The two of them commence barking, hopping around inside the Perfect Tow Vehicle as we cruise the campground loop.
Two campers are here.
At one end we have a couple sitting outside in straight-back kitchen chairs listening to talk radio. Kinda’ weird. On the other end of the campground a man sings a little tune, the lyrics of which he makes up as he goes along. Okay, he can’t sing all day. But then he could rev up that ATV or idle that diesel truck for twenty minutes. Neither camper has solar which means. . . .
“Okay! Okay! Let me park and I’ll let you out!”
Bridget, Reggie, and I walk around a few campsites.
Little Bear Creek is all grown up with brush and willows. Gollee, this place is depressing. Sometimes ya’ just hafta’ admit you made a mistake. So big deal. We rode 22 miles round trip, out of our way. Well, is there such a thing as “out of our way” when one has no schedule or appointments or set route to follow?
“C’mon, let’s find something better.”
About ten miles up the road, I pull into Starr Campground. It’s around noon. I’d drive further except the next possible campground (of the type I prefer) would make too long a drive. This is nice. We’ll stay overnight. It’s cool. The crew can explore. I can read. All is well.
Starr Campground is also in Malheur National Forest.
The camping fee is $6 regular and only $3 for us because we have a geezer discount pass. The campground is comprised of two small loops, one near the main road and one back in the woods. A few campers are in the back loop, so I choose a site in the front loop where no one is camped.
The crew and I enjoy a pleasant afternoon together.
As usual we close the day with a walk-about.
Later, after dark, another camper pulls in and parks.
We sleep well and wake to a forest-fresh morning!
Monday, August 10
Starr Campground is near the 5,152-foot summit of the Aldrich Mountains. We leave immediately after our walk.
The PTV follows the road as it winds down a series of switchbacks and flattens out.
However, when we roll into Canyon City, I have to stop to take a closer look!
“C’mon, pupsters. You can do it!”
“It’s okay, crew. We can walk around on the sidewalk.”
The murals are the work of Larry Kangas. Click here to see more.
Two miles further on Route 395 we arrive at the town of John Day.
A decision must be made whether to continue further northward or to head east. I park in a lot next to the police station and go online to research where the wildfires and road closures are at present . . . .
In the next post, we find a gem of a camp!
THANKS FOR SHOPPING AMAZON FROM MY BLOG!