Saturday, October 5
We wake to a frosty morning. By mid-morning the sunlight clears the tops of the pine trees and the day starts to warm up. By noon it’s a beautiful day at our boondock in the Deschutes National Forest south of Bend, Oregon.
Only two vehicles pass our camp.
I hear a few gunshots in the distance, but I reassure myself the forest is very large and hunters aren’t going to come this close to the highway. The crew and I stay in camp all day anyway.
I clean the bathroom and then wash the dishes in a basin outside.
That’s about all the energy I have. I didn’t sleep well last night. I made the mistake, right before going to sleep, of letting past heartaches and regrets wander around the empty spaces in my head. I don’t usually allow myself to do that. My lack of mental diligence set me up for a night of wakefulness and weird dreams.
I’m sleepy all day. I sit in my camp chair in a sunbeam, soaking up the warmth and forest stillness, doing head-jerks as I nod off. Bridget and Spike nap at my feet.
Sunday, October 6
I wake completely rested. (No, I didn’t sleep in the camp chair all night!) We are going to put some miles behind us today! We have to get away from these cold mornings!
When we reach Collier Memorial State Park, I turn onto the park road even though the park is closed.
I park the PTV in the shade of the pines and let the crew run around for a while. This gives me a chance to look at my map again and decide where we will look for tonight’s camp.
Well, we’ll go through Klamath Falls, turn onto 39 to Merrill, and continue southeast on 139 into California. We probably could make it all the way to Canby. We’d have the Modoc National Forest all around there for possible campsites. That’s a good plan.
“Okay, nut cakes! Time to go!”
A few miles and we arrive at the Crater Lake Junction Travel Center. I remember stopping here last year. It’s run by Native Americans and I was impressed by their courteous and efficient manner. I tell the attendant to “fill-er up with 87.” That done, he meets me over at the propane tank and pumps 3.9 gallons into the empty tank.
After that stop, I keep the pedal to the metal.
Gee, the PTV runs great on her new tires! Klamath Lake comes into view — a brilliant blue today — with snow-covered Cascade Mountains in the background. I can’t stop for photos because there are no turn-offs. It’s concrete barrier all the way. Klamath Falls is easy.
Living as a vagabond I get to see where my food comes from.
I enjoy that. Today dump trucks loaded high with potatoes rumble out of huge fields of dark, overturned earth. Signs on metal buildings announce the potatoes . . . yukon, russet, red bliss. I smell onions. I don’t know if they’re wild or cultivated.
Balers churn up hay, press it into blocks, and drop the blocks in long rows. Even though it’s Sunday, the farmers are hard at work. Well, “make hay while the sun shines.”
The day is sunny and bright.
We travel about 200 miles or so. Shortly before Canby — about seven miles, more or less — we pass a road going off to the left. It’s marked Forest Road 46. Hmm . . . I wonder if that goes to Duncan Reservoir. I remember seeing that reservoir close to Canby when I looked at the map. I pull off the road and check the atlas. Yes! That’s where it goes!
I make a U-turn and go back.
After about three miles of washboard road, we reach the reservoir. The road loops around two trees. A sign says “pack it in-pack it out” and there’s a vault toilet. Two campers are set up. No one is home at this one.
Four guys in camouflage sit around talking. Actually, one of them is wandering around. Probably hunting for another beer, judging by the color of his face. Well, maybe it’s sunburn. Nope, see a little stagger there.
“Hi!” I shout as I approach. Bridget and Spike run ahead of me. “I didn’t drive out here to crowd your campsite!”
One of the men hollers, “C’mon over!”
“Looks like you’re doing some hunting. What are you hunting for?” I ask.
“Deer. There were some duck hunters out here this morning. Where you from?”
I tell them I drove from Bend, Oregon.
“You drove some miles today,” another one of the men remarks.
There’s no sign of anyone camping on the other side of the reservoir.
“Is there any other place to camp around the reservoir?” I ask.
“Yeah, you can camp on the other side. You’ll be by yourself over there. Go back to the main road, turn right, and continue out about three miles. You’ll see a sign.”
I thank them, gather up the crew, and leave to find our camp!
I turn at the sign, “Duncan Reservoir – 3 miles.”
“Um, three plus three equals six.” The road narrows and wends it way through tall pines. At last it breaks out into the open and there’s the reservoir!
I pass the “pack it in-pack it out” sign and park in a pull-out. I could park the BLT in some shade, but as cold as the mornings have been, I’d rather have our home parked in the sun. This will do just fine!
Our long walk makes us even hungrier than when we started. We hurry back to camp.
“I’ve got to get my camera!” I jump out the door and take one last shot for the day.
The After-Sunset Sky at Camp Duncan
THANK YOU FOR SHOPPING AMAZON FROM MY BLOG!
Here are a few recent purchases:
Pet Gear Sportster Pet Stroller for cats and dogs up to 45-pounds
Viair Portable Compressor Kit
Samsung 32-Inch LED HDTV
Philips Norelco SensoTouch 3D Electric Razor
GrillPro Non-Stick Hamburger Broiler
Run Silent Run Deep – Movie Poster
CHECK THE REAR VIEW MIRROR!
In April 2012 the crew and I camped in west-central Arizona and Spike soaked in Burro Creek!