winter rivers 12/4 – 12/9 2018

Vacation days needed to be used before the end of the year. So what to do? Where to go? We were hoping to spend a week skiing at the local resorts but the snows have not come. There is very little at the resorts. So now what? We decided to spend some time in Oregon along the Deschutes river. We would start our vacation at the Deschutes River State Recreation Area.  The campground is located near where the Deschutes dumps into the Columbia river. The park was partially open for winter. The water and bathrooms were not available during winter but trash collection and power was. The best part is that that park is very busy during the summer but not at all during winter. Just they way we like it.

We would take our time getting there and do some geocaching along the way. We eventually arrived at the campground around 1pm. We got things set up and relaxed for the rest of the day and night.

Stopped for a geocache on the way to camp.

We always love finding old roads.

The campground.

Got camp set up for the next few days.

Another view of our camp.

A view upriver of the Deschutes.

A view downriver of the Deschutes.

Sitting in my chair in camp watching the river roll by.

Sun setting on our first day at camp.

Joanne cooking up some burgers for dinner.

We had a pretty good nights sleep. There are trains that blow their horns nearby but still far enough away to not be real bad. Other than that, it was very quite. We had the campground to ourselves but sometime during the night two others came in to stay. Not a big deal at all, having to share around 30 sites for us three RV’s is pretty easy.

The next morning after breakfast Joanne and I along with two of our dogs would do a nearly 5 mile hike. It would be a loop hike up the river then up the hills to the east and back to camp. A few geocaches were found along the way and many amazing views were seen. There was a fire that came through the area last fall but the views were still amazing.

Some informational signs on the area.

More historical information.

Old wagon near the park entrance.

The fire line.

The trail along the river.

Joanne and two of our dogs along the trail.

An old mine, not sure on the history of this one,

Joanne resting while I check out the mine.

Our hike taking us higher above the river.

The trail climbing higher.

Buddy was loving the hike.

Looking back at camp and where the Deschutes dumps into the Columbia.

A last look up the Deschutes river.

We got back to camp about 3 hours later. We had some lunch and played some games with Cody. It was a nice afternoon.

People ask us why we love to camp in the winter. Well why not? As long as you dress correctly so you stay dry and warm, it is a wonderful time to be out. On this portion of the trip the highs would be in the mid 30’s and lows in the mid 20’s. So yes, dressing correctly is what makes it fun to be out.

My hang around camp in warm gear clothes.

Having a nice warm adult beverage helps stay warm too.

The next day we would do some geocaching and work our way to The Dalles and Hood River Oregon. Today was our sons 13th birthday and we promised him pizza for lunch. So going into town would allow that. It just so happened to allow us to stop at a brewery as well.

Views of the Columbia below.

A stop for a geocache.

This is Oregon Trail country.

Only geocaching brought us to this historical monument.

Still one of the best geocaching RV’s.

The Dalles dam.

An interesting stop in The Dalles.

A brewery stop in Hood River.

No Cody didn’t get any beer, he only turned 13 today.

Easy parking with a truck camper.

We returned to camp and made dinner. We talked about what we would do the next few days. We could stay here, that was the original plan. We talked about driving west along Washington highway 14 then head north at Interstate 5 and up to Kent to see family.  In the end that is what we decided to do, make our way to Kent Washington. Of course we would have to stop for a few geocaches along the way. One being a hike to the top of Beacon Rock. That is something I have wanted to do for a long time now. This trip would allow the time to do that. The hike was simply amazing to the top. Sure it was windy and cold but still a great time.

This section of the highway you go through a few tunnels.

A fun drive.

A view of the Columbia river.

Some information on Beacon Rock.

Beacon Rock.

Hiking up the rock.

We really loved this hike.

Really amazing how they built this trail up.

Going up and up.

Joanne taking a short rest.

We made it to the top. Very windy today so we did not stay long at the top.

One of the views from the top.

A look back down the trail.

We would continue to make our way to Kent with a couple other stops. One was in Winlock to see a fun roadside attraction. After that stop it was nonstop to Kent.

A fun roadside attraction.

We love these kind of things.

Our family live in a gated community in Kent so we had to get a pass to be allowed to park our camper there for two nights. Not a big deal just rules you must follow. Their driveway is far too steep to pull onto so we had to park on the road.

Parked for a couple nights.

We did not go anywhere during the two days visiting except for a short time to take our granddaughter to go find her first geocache. Of course she is too young to remember it but we will.

Granddaughter at a geocache location.

On Sunday we left Kent and made our way home to the Spokane Washington area. We stopped to find a couple more geocaches in central Washington. One was at a hidden public area for fishing I never knew existed.

A lesser known fishing area.

It was yet another great trip. A mix of different things but still plenty of time to simply relax. Now it is back to work so we can go on other trips in the future. We do have plans for New Years for our next outing with the camper. You never know though, something may come up before then too.


winter rivers 12/4 – 12/9 2018