CRANE PRAIRIE CAMPGROUND – OREGON

Crane Prairie Reservoir is a man-made lake located about 42 miles southwest of Bend in Deschutes County, Oregon, United States. The reservoir is named for the cranes that thrive in its habitat and for the upper Deschutes River prairie that once covered the area before the dam on the Deschutes was constructed in 1922. One of the most scenic lakes in Central Oregon with amazing fishing and large open campsites.

Cons: Mosquitoes and tree stumps in the lake- good for boat repair shops, bad for your prop.

Crane Prairie is a great place to go if you are wanting to catch large fish, I caught a 22 inch trout myself and many more fish 18 inches and above. The locals call these giant fish cranebows, this year was a very good fishing year for us. We were lucky to reserve site 113 right on the water’s edge which enabled us to scoot are boat right up to the shore line, which saved us having to load it on its trailer everyday. The view from our campsite was poster perfect, with bird life abundant, eagles, asprey and hundreds of white pelicans. The campsite itself is dry camping with a rustic table and an even more rustic fire pit, but lots of room for 2 rigs, a boat trailer and a 25 ft RV. With clean restrooms near and a very nice fish cleaning station you are all set with all of the amenities you need. I especially noticed how quiet it was at night which made for a very relaxing camping experience.

Senior Pass price was $8.00 a night and we stayed a whole week.

Talk to the employees at the lodge as they will help you figure out where the fish are and what they are biting on at that particular time of the year of your visit. Very friendly and helpful staff and they know the fishing tricks for Crane Prairie and have a well stocked store for all of your camping and fishing needs.

CHEERS UNTIL OUR NEXT ADVENTURE JEFF AND LIZ

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CHANNEL ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK – CALIFORNIA

Our life goal is to visit as many National Parks as we can. National Parks draw you in with splendid beauty, history and protected wildlife. We chose Santa Cruz Island as the park rangers advised it had lots of hiking, animal life and spectacular cliff edge views.

Channel Islands National Park comprises 5 ecologically rich islands off the Southern California coast. Anacapa Island has trails to a 1932 lighthouse and clifftop Inspiration Point. Santa Cruz Island’s many sea caves include the vast Painted Cave. Santa Rosa Island features rare Torrey pines. Thousands of seals gather at San Miguel Island’s Point Bennett. Southernmost Santa Barbara Island draws nesting seabirds.

We began by pre purchasing our tickets the day before through Island Packers Cruises – 805-642-1393 – info@islandpackers.com. You are required to call for reservations and they fill up fast. Super friendly and very helpful people, from making reservations to boarding the boat. At $52.00 a person for round trip tickets it was a bargain, Highly recommend.

So the very early morning began our trip. Up at 5 am packed a lunch, snacks and water bottles for a full day. Water is available at several camping sites but no food, snacks or vending machines available. This is a very remote and protected island twelve miles from the mainland. The catamaran ride from Island Packers dock to the island was spectacular. Smooth sailing, lots of dolphins diving out of the water following our boat on either side. As we approached the island I felt like I was in a Jurassic Park movie. The dock was safe but rustic and no building in site just beautiful hills blooming wildflowers and the deepest green terrain I have ever witnessed. Just approaching the dock was breathtaking, wow what would the rest of the island be like.

We opted to join a 2 hour ranger walk to get a real feel of the island. Highly recommend as he directed us to trails and viewing of wild island foxes, explained the abundance of wild flowers and the protected island scrub jay, also where to view the world largest sea caves. After the tour we set out on our own following the trail map the ranger provided us. The trails were well marked and led to pristine beaches, views of rugged mountains, pure paradise. We decided to stop and have lunch on a cliff overlooking a sea lion rookery and sea caves. Hard to eat when the Ravens wouldn’t stop begging us for food, but rules are do not feed the animals, the birds just dont know the rules. As we continued our hike we periodically came upon small gray foxes as large as house cats and were not frightened by us all which gave us great photo opportunities. The island fox is only found on 6 of the 8 Channel Islands and found nowhere else on earth. They would walk up to you within feet without any fear and they are adorable.

No cell coverage allows for shear peacefulness of this island with only the sound of the rhythmic waves, salty breezes and over 2000 species of plants and animals made us want to stay for longer. We had a full day of hiking over 6 miles and it was now time to head back to the dock. What a wonderful day and we would definitely do this again, possibly a different island next time.

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CHEERS FROM JUST AROUND THE BEND

Grand Teton National Park

Words haven’t been designed to explain the beauty of the Tetons. We have traveled to a lot of amazing National Parks, for this one Jeff and Liz are finally out of words to describe.

We left Phillips Lake campground where if you remember we met up with are goods friends and camped. Jeff with his traveling brilliance came up with a great idea of since we were already halfway to The Grand Tetons, why not just head that way. Long story short we did just that and now here we are camping at Gros Ventre Campground – site B99, just spectacular. At $15.00 a night (golden age pass) we stayed for a glorious 13 days. Now this is dry camping, so our solar really came in handy as the nights got down into the high thirties. But the views from every angle were priceless. Gros Ventre is just yards from the Snake River and sometimes inches from Bull Moose. Gros Ventre Campground has over 300 first come, first serve sites with one loop of full hookup ,one for employees only, one tent only no generators and one group Loop. Always Remember National Parks have strict rules on pets so check regulations before you come. BE BEAR AWARE. Bring bear spray and carry it at all times. It is much cheaper to buy at home than in the Tetons.

So much to do, the pristine bike trails are a must and kayaking the many lakes as well as the Snake River will leave you with endless memories. A word to the wise..hit the lakes and trailheads early which means by 8 am.Those happy campers can clog a parking lot like a bird getting the early worm. You can find yourself parking on the road side where allowed and hiking an extra mile or more to the trailhead parking lot. Also the best photo opportunities of nature and wildlife are early. Moose and Bears are not much for luncheons. Our Bull Moose showed up at 5:30 am by our campground and left by 7:00 am for the river wilds.

If you get burnt out of nature things to do there is always the town of Jackson to explore.You can shop, eat and drink to your heats content. Jackson is very popular, traffic and parking are a challenge. We did find some great Bakeries, Ice cream and really enjoyed Snake River Brewery which had a lot of healthy choices of pub food which we found to be much better than our local Bend Oregon Breweries. The town also has numerous Art Galleries and Museums.

Until our next adventure – CHEERS from JUST AROUND THE BEND _ Jeff and Liz

Union Creek Camp Ground Oregon 2018

Every year we migrate to Union Creek Campground, it happens to be one our favorite peaceful RVing locations. This year we are being joined by our good friends Dave and Jen and Ross and Cheryl, fun times ahead with this group of friends.

This year we decided to mix it up a little and ride The Historic Narrow-Gauge Sumpter Railroad. A six-mile round trip ride staffed by all volunteers and two fully restored original steam locomotives we were sure to have a great experience. Running on the reconstructed gold rush train tracks between McEwen and the historic mining town of Sumpter, its a guarantee that the whole family will enjoy this relaxing trip back in time. DON’T forget THE TRAIN ROBBERY BY THE GOLD RUSH BANDITS!! A historic shooting group with period firearms, costumes, all performed on horseback. This was a highlight of the train ride.

Your round-trip ride begins at McEwen station to the rustic town of Sumpter. The train allows you to get off to tour the town and visit the

historic dredge. For reservations call 541-894-2268,  

 sumptervalleyrailroad.org.

 

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Now back to our camping experience, Union Creek Campground offers a wide range of amenities and activities. Boating and fishing is one of our favorites as catching fish is abundant. The water is a very comfortable degree which makes kayaking, paddle boarding and just plain old-fashioned swimming an enjoyable experience. A well-groomed 6.5 mile hiking trail traverses around the lake with numerous scenic views. The trail is one of several mountain bike and hiking trails that are found in the Phillips Lake Trail System.

Campsites are very large, spaced well from each other and set in the pines. Includes water, electric, fire ring, BBQ, picnic tables, immaculate restrooms  with flushometer toilets. A Boat launch with bait shop is a nice amenities with the most helpful and friendly staff we have ever encountered they will even deliver worms and ice to your campsite. Golden Age passport rate was $13.00 a night, we love site B17 very private, flat with a scenic view of the lake.

 

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Until our next destination CHEERS from Jeff and Liz

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Sequim Bay State Park- Washington

Sequim Bay State park is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Hiking through pristine forests, biking the Olympic Discovery Trail,  which runs right through the middle of the park, or go kayaking in the Bay. The park itself is well maintained with state of the art restrooms and token showers. Absolutely the cleanest grounds we have ever experienced and the staff and ranger so nice and helpfull. We chose site 83.

Amenities : Firepit, picnic table, water available and a million dollar view of the bay. We paid $30.00 a night. Quiet, pristine, I rate this park a 8.

Things To Do:

We Geocached at John Wayne’s Marina. With breathtaking views we sat for sometime taking in the busy boat traffic and watching the crab fisherman bringing in their catches of the day.  Sequim is also known for the longest sandbar, a mere 5 1/2 mile walk one way-well maybe next time. Don’t forget the Lavender farms, there are many, Purple Haze Lavender Farm was our favorite and their lavender ice cream – Soooo good. There is also cute boutiques for fun shopping, bistros and good coffee shops. We also found  the best bakery ever ” Pane dAmore” with fresh bread made daily, their whole wheat sourdough bread is amazing. I am sure I am forgetting lots of things to do, but if you visit Sequim this will give you a good start.

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See You On The Road Cheers From Just Around The Bend♥♥♥♥

Dillon Falls Oregon Kayaking Adventure

Today we are  kayaking with our friends Dave, Jen and their cool dog Mocha from Enterprise, Oregon. One of our favorite kayak floats is a scenic and relaxing stretch of the Deschutes River just below Dillon Falls.  With 78 degree weather , a swift cold current and wildlife abundant you could not ask for a more perfect kayaking day.

Directions:

From Bend, OR: Travel 7.9 miles west on Cascade Lakes Highway (46), then 2.6 miles south on Forest Road 41. At this junction there are signs to direct you to Dillon Falls and to a decent boat ramp. Day use pass is required.

We splashed our kayaks into the cold water and headed upriver towards Dillon Falls. The current was strong and we had to work at rowing hard and staying in unison, but as we approached the falls maybe a mere 1 mile paddle it was worth it.  The Roar of Dillon Falls one of the mightiest Falls along the Deschutes River can be heard well before one sees it. Strange on this perfect fall day we were the only paddlers on this stretch of the Deschutes River.

A very popular area for Anglers, just ask Dave, he has caught many German Browns in this stretch of the water. Believe me he knows where the fish are hiding, with catch and release his style, he stays true to the environment.

A LITTLE HISTORY:

The Falls named for Leander Dillon, who came with his family from Chico California in 1885 established a Homestead along the river, where he raised stock. Dylan later lost his  land when his claim was denied. He moved to Prineville in 1890.

Cheers Until Our Next Adventure From Just Around The Bend

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Join us as we explore Whidbey Island in Washington State and stay at our first Harvest Host Destination – stay tuned♥♥♥

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UNION CREEK CAMPGROUND, OR

We love this campground, with this being our third return visit. Beautiful, Quiet and well maintained, with the most helpful camp  hosts we have yet encountered. The camp hosts deliver ice and even fishing worms to your camp site on golf carts. Ha, too funny, but we loved it. Our favorite site is # B17, a large very private site overlooking Phillips Lake.

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This year we were very fortunate to be able to meet our good friends Dave and Jen from Enterprise, Oregon. We kayaked, BBQed and drank a lot of homemade Kombucha together and just caught up on our lives and what adventure and great fun awaits us. Planning on making this an annual camping experience with our great friends, oh and Mocha!

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Facilities

The parking spurs are paved and gravel and large enough for any size RV. Several sites offer full hookups,and some others offer water and electric.

Units are equipped with picnic tables and grills. Drinking water and very clean restrooms with yes flush toilets are available. Some of the facilities are handicap-accessible. Upon leaving is a very modern and free dump station, very important.

This camp is part of the Union Creek Recreation Area, which includes a picnic and day-use area. Union Creek Campground is set on three loops with separate walk-in tent camping, and it has four group sites that can accommodate from 60-100 people.

Natural Features:

Phillips Reservoir is a popular destination within the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest because it offers scenic views of the surrounding Elkhorn Mountains. The shoreline is forested with a mix of Ponderosa pine and various firs interspersed with small grasslands.

Visitors enjoy several varieties of colorful wildflowers in the spring.

Recreation:

The campground is near a boat launch and a small, rocky swim beach. Activities include swimming, fishing, boating and water skiing.

Anglers can fish for bass, trout and perch. There’s an access point for the Phillips Lake Shoreline Trail, a 6.5-mile scenic trail for hiking and mountain biking.

Nearby Attractions:

The historic gold mining town of Sumpter is about 10 miles away. Visitors can explore the Sumpter Dredge State Heritage Park, browse the holiday weekend flea markets or take a ride on a historic steam locomotive.

Overview

The Union Creek Campground is one of the largest Forest Service campgrounds in eastern Oregon. It’s nestled on the northern shore of Phillips Reservoir amid mature Ponderosa pine, with a few sites offering views of the lake.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Accessible Boat Ramp
  • Accessible Flush Toilets
  • Accessible Swimming
  • Beach Access
  • Birding
  • Boat Ramp
  • Boat Trailer Parking
  • Boating
  • Canoeing
  • Concessions
  • Drinking Water
  • Dump Station
  • Firewood
  • Fish Cleaning Stations
  • Fishing
  • Flush Toilets
  • General Store
  • Grills
  • Group Camping
  • Hiking
  • Host
  • Lake Access
  • Mountain Biking
  • Paved Parking Spurs
  • Paved Roads
  • Picnic Area
  • Restaurant
  • Security Lights
  • Self Pay Station
  • Swimming
  • Getting There:
GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
44.69694, -118.01861
44°41’49″N, 118°1’7″WFrom Baker City, Oregon, travel south on Highway 7 for about 18 miles. The campground and day-use entrance is signed on the left side of the road. Follow the signs in the Union Creek Recreation Area down to the various campground loops and areas.

Contact Information:

Recreation.gov for reservations

Phone Number: 1-877-444-6777

Cheers from Just Around The Bend♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥
PLEASE JOIN US ON OUR NEXT ADVENTURE AT CLIFFSIDE RV PARK WHIDBEY ISLAND

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