Sunday, August 9 (continued)
Bridget, Reggie, and I park in the lot next to the police station in John Day, Oregon. An online check of maps of active fires in the Northwest convinces me to drive eastward.
(Note: I’ve been informed in real time – 8/15/15 – that areas near Canyon City are being evacuated due to an approaching wildfire. This is several days after we were there.)
The Perfect Tow Vehicle carries us through Prairie City on Route 26. . . The Journey Through Time Scenic Byway.
The first one is Oregon Campground, a small campground with signs of heavy use. I note a dusty parking lot in the campground, specifically for off-road vehicles.
In spite of the wear, the crew and I walk around until we find this pretty site.
He tells me I’d like the next campground better. “It’s a lot bigger than this one,” he says.
“Actually, I prefer small campgrounds like this,” I reply.
“Then go to the third campground, Wetmore. It’s small and it’s prettier than this one.”
We cruise through Yellow Pine since it’s the next one we come to.
Although the understory consists of low-growing plants, the campground road curves and dips in such a way to give a feeling of privacy at each site. The wide spacing helps, too.
Next we look at Wetmore Campground.
The charm of this little campground and our campsite is not apparent from these photos. It’s difficult to capture the beauty of the towering ponderosa pines and firs in a photo and impossible to convey their fragrance in words.
What makes a place charming has more to do than its appearance. All the senses contribute, plus there’s an “atmosphere,” a sense of being wrapped in solitude. During these quiet days I savor the peaceful enchantment the forest provides.
The crew and I walk/ride the wheelchair-accessible nature trail.
This photo was taken through the back window glass of the Best Little Trailer using the camera’s zoom. She senses she is being watched.
They aren’t alarmed and continue grazing.
Bridget doesn’t need her stroller for morning walks.
Occasionally someone will drive into the campground, use the vault toilet, and leave with hardly a glance at what is here. During our time at Wetmore, a fifth-wheel and a travel trailer come in — I hold my breath — and they leave! Yay!
Funny how having a water spigot feels like a luxury.
I use a light, aluminum stock pot on the BLT’s stove to heat water for baths. With plenty of water available I fill up basins and take long baths outside in the sunshine. (I can hear anyone driving into the campground which gives plenty of warning!)
After a bath I sit in my lounger reading my Paperwhite while my feet soak in a basin of hot water. My hair dries quickly.
He is the founder of Kinzua, Oregon, a lumber company town existing from 1927 to 1978.
Here’s what I found on Wikipedia:
“In 1965, Kinzua included 125 homes, a community hall, church, library, store, and the golf course. When the mill closed in 1978, the buildings were removed and the townsite was planted with trees, mainly ponderosa pine.”
The camping fee at Wetmore Campground is five dollars.
For me and my crew only $2.50. Pretty nice, eh?
Next post: The crew and I leave Wetmore Campground on August 12th and hurry away from Oregon wildfires.
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