oregon tour 6/20 – 6/25 2017

An Oregon tour, a five night drive through Central to Eastern Oregon was our trip for this outing. Even better was that we would be touring with fellow truck camper friends from Western Oregon and Central Montana. It was a great trip and even though we kind of moved along quickly, it showed us where we want to come back and explore more. A perfect way to put those future travel plans spinning in my mind.

We started from Spokane Washington from my work at noon. We made the drive down to Tri Cities then on to I-84 to Memaloose State park in Oregon. That state park is just a few miles west of The Dalles Oregon. Anyone who has traveled along that portion of I-84 knows that the winds can kick up strong through that section. The winds were there for sure, head winds the whole way and very strong. By the time we got to the state park I was ready to unwind and have a beer. It would be the first time we have stayed at this park. What a wonderful place it is. Lots of trees (to block the wind as well as sun), big sites and many spots like ours…with views of the Columbia River.  Our spot had full hookups and had a nice flat parking spot.

The Columbia River in the background.

Nice large sites.

We got a few things set up for the night then took the dogs for a walk. Friends from Montana were already there and we stopped and chatted for a bit. We continued walking the dogs and made dinner. Friends came over and chatted while relaxing in the shade. Our other friends would not arrive until later that night.

Joanne making us dinner.

It was a nice peaceful night. Even though the train tracks were very close to us, they were below and no crossings for them to blow the train horns. The train noise was blocked by being down below us.

The next morning after breakfast we left and made our way to Mosier. You actually have to go west to go east from the state park. That is just they way the highway is. Not an issue because we wanted to drive a portion of the historic highway 30. First was a stop at a little shop in town. It is a ice cream shop and Porsche shop. Unfortunately the car portion of the shop was closed but the ice cream was ready after waiting just a couple minutes for them to open.

Neat little stop along the highway.

We made a stop for a geocache then made another at the Memaloose viewpoint. Our friends from Oregon caught up to us there.

Viewpoint.

Memaloose viewpoint stop.

We were camped down below across from the island.

We continued on until we came to another viewpoint. So many spectacular views along the old highway.

A stop at another viewpoint.

Amazing things to see.

Cody, being Cody.

Our next stop would be at the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center. I have passed by here a couple times and always wanted to stop. WOW, what a cool place. The museum is outstanding. We spent an hour or so and that was no where enough time to see everything. We will be back for sure to revisit this place.

The Discovery Center.

Entryway to the museum.

Just one of the endless displays.

It would be lunch time and we went to Freebridge Brewery in The Dalles for lunch. What a neat brewery and they had great food. They were very accommodating for our group with kids.

Great beer and food.

I will return to the brewery if given the chance.

After lunch we made our way south to Shaniko Oregon. We drove south on highway 197, many great views along the way. A few small towns we want to come back and explore more too.

Rafters on the Deschutes River.

A view point of the farm fields with mountain peaks in the far distance.

Old school in Shaniko.

Lots of old buildings to look through in Shaniko.

I tried to pay this guy for a tour of town but he just sat there stumped.

Really loved the old buildings.

Cody got caught.

After walking around a bit we made the drive back north on highway 97 to Rufus. There is dispersed camping along the Columbia River and yes, it is free. While the winds kicked up, soon they would fade as the day drew to and end. We had another restful nights sleep.

Our spot for the night.

Still a view of the river.

Another great morning for us.

Another great day for our tour. The weather was perfect for this whole trip. Today we would drive southeast through Condon then on through Ruggs  and then on to Heppner where we would fuel up and stop for lunch at a heritage park in town.

We never got tired of the views.

Of course a geocache or two was found along the way.

Our lunch stop at the heritage park in Heppner.

Lots of historical things to look at here.

I really loved this mural.

An enjoyable lunch stop for sure.

After lunch we backtracked to Ruggs then headed south on highway 207. We drove through the little town of Hardman to look at some of the old buildings.

There were lots of old buildings here in this town.

Eventually we would arrive at our camp stop for the day at Morrow County OHV Park. This is truly a great spot. We had full hookups, free showers and big sites all for a very low rate. This place offers several hundreds of miles of trails for you to ride your motorcycles or side by sides. I do not even own any of those toys but I still would come back here again.

Our spot for this night.

A view of our camp from the playground.

Our dogs enjoying some sun time.

Yet another restful night in the camper. Things have been just perfect for this trip.

The next day we would find ourselves driving south towards Spray then south on highway 19. We made a couple viewpoint stops then made a longer stop at John Day Fossil Beds Visitors Center.  This is an area I want to come back and spend more time exploring, no doubt.  The visitors center is excellent and even free.

A viewpoint along our travels and bathroom break.

John Day River.

Lots of pullouts to stop, get out and look around.

Parked at the visitors center.

A great place to stop and see.

Tons of displays to look at.

We needed to move along. So on to highway 26 and to Austin Junction where we went north on highway 7. We made a stop at Sumpter and toured the old dredge there.

A neat viewpoint on our drive today.

Old dredge in Sumpter.

Amazing what they built.

Final resting place of the dredge.

Cody standing next to an old bucket from the dredge.

After a tour of the dredge it was time to make our way to Baker City and our stop for the night. We stayed at a nice little RV Park on the north side of town. It offered lots of shade and full hookups. Once we got our spot figured out, we all went our separate ways for a bit and explored town. We would cross paths at a store and then some of us met up at the local brewery pub for dinner. Joanne and I have been to the brewery pub before and already knew it was a great place to eat. It still was.

Our spot for this night.

Nice sites for low rates.

A view to the west from the RV Park.

Cody found his store in town.

Joanne and I found some wine tasting.

We had yet another restful night, are you beginning to see a theme yet? The next morning Joanne, Cody and I set out ahead of our friends. We wanted to find a few geocaches on our way to tonight’s stop. We headed north towards La Grande then took highway 82 to Enterprise. In Enterprise we all met back up at another brewery for lunch. After lunch we drove north on highway 3 until our turnoff to go to Troy. Troy would be our stop for the night.

Lots of history to take in on our drive.

Some very neat heritage parks along the way.

So many views. Endless.

Small town parks with history.

Enterprise and the town for our lunch stop,

Views of the mountains to the south of town.

More history of the area, good or bad. It is still history.

Lunch stop at the brewery in town.

Another incredible viewpoint stop.

Canyon views.

Stopped at an old cemetery.

A view from the winding steep gravel road down to Troy.

Our last camp night together for this tour, in Troy.

A view of our spot from the river behind us.

We parked along the Wenaha River right where it dumps into the Grande Ronde River.

Another river view from our camp area.

We had a great night talking with our friends. It would be the last night together. What a great trip it was, even better when you can share it with friends.

The next morning it was time to say goodbye and make our separate ways home. For us that meant a drive north on highway 129 and up to Clarkston Washington. We would make a few stops to look for a geocache and a short walk at Field Springs State Park in Washington. We would eventually stop in Clarkston and visit and have lunch with our friend Sally. After lunch we set sail for home, back to the Spokane Washington area.

A view above Troy, looking for a geocache.

Troy is down below.

A stop at the state park, nice walking trails but we did not like the camp spots here.

Cody with one of the great view points in the park.

Funny sign to stop and see.

We really had a great time on this tour. Yes, we need to go back and explore more in detail of some of the areas we went through. In all, we drove just under 1,200 miles on our loop. We spent 5 nights in Oregon, no where enough. We will be back!

 

oregon tour 6/20 – 6/25 2017

 

 

 

 

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