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wish2no

7 annual park passes to buy before exploring the Pacific Northwest

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One of my friends and his wife spent a couple weeks traveling the west camping out in different parks, it was like a dream vacation


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IMNSHO, this is the prettiest state in the union. We have everything from high deserts, to mountains, to scenic beaches. In among that we have rural farmland, some of the best in the nation for certain crops. Abundant wildlife, great hunting and fishing, and unparalleled access to public lands to enjoy all of that. But the state is now infested with liberals, and I'm just marking time until I can escape to a free state, and become a tourist in Oregon. 

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5 hours ago, Pepper said:

IMNSHO, this is the prettiest state in the union. We have everything from high deserts, to mountains, to scenic beaches. In among that we have rural farmland, some of the best in the nation for certain crops. Abundant wildlife, great hunting and fishing, and unparalleled access to public lands to enjoy all of that. But the state is now infested with liberals, and I'm just marking time until I can escape to a free state, and become a tourist in Oregon. 

 

Yep, it's a very beautiful state......

 

Bend reminds us of Boulder Colorado.....even smelling pot last summer :lol:

 

If we get the Raptor back in traveling shape. me thinks we will be back this summer, looking for campgrounds where we can put up the tent and use it as a base to play tourist from for a few days & then move on to a different area.

 

However, also have a funeral in Arlington National Cemetery in June, so I'm not sure what we will end up doing, hate funerals, but one with full military honors for a brother, might end up going out that way & staying on Ft Myer as it backs up to the cemetery and has a private walk thru gate.

 

Only time will tell what we end up doing......

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13 hours ago, wish2no said:

Good article from The Organian on PARK PASSES that will save you money if you visit on a pretty regular basis:

 

https://www.oregonlive.com/life-and-culture/j66j-2020/01/9ef6b862e23752/7-annual-park-passes-to-buy-before-exploring-the-pacific-northwest.html

 

For out of state idjits traveling around Oregon, on no set scheduled...what national and state parks are a must see......what are must visits in state, places to put up a large tent and camp out for a few days....just need access to a potty as the Mrs demands a real potty and not a log and hole out behind the tent :lol:

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16 hours ago, Rampy said:

 

For out of state idjits traveling around Oregon, on no set scheduled...what national and state parks are a must see......what are must visits in state, places to put up a large tent and camp out for a few days....just need access to a potty as the Mrs demands a real potty and not a log and hole out behind the tent :lol:

Ok, there are a few things I suggest, you hit some cool places your last trip. First, if you're coming in from the east, and come through Bend, turn south on Highway 97. Go about 15 miles south, and head up towards East Lake and Paulina Lake. The lakes are cool, but the obsidian flow is amazing to view, and even better, is the view from Paulina Peak. On a clear day, you can see Mt. Hood to the north, and Mt. Shasta to the south. It's a somewhat washboard road, but passenger cars go up it regularly. Amazing views from there, I could spend literally a couple of hours just sitting there on a rock staring off at the lakes and pine forests. Then, head south through LaPine for the cutoff headed west, towards Crater Lake National Park.  (the drive from Paulina Peak to Crater Lake could be a couple hours, so you may want to split these up and go back to Bend before  heading southwest for Crater Lake NP)There's no camping there, but within an hour's drive, you can get to the next place on my list and camp. Crater Lake must be experienced by anyone within driving distance, it's awe inspiring. The rim road is open from about the end of June through the middle of September or so, because it snows, and when it does, it gets DEEP up there. You're not only at a high elevation for Oregon, you're at a high elevation for anyone. IIRC, I saw elevations of 8,000 feet in places on that road. I noticed it hiking around away from the car. You'll literally take hundreds of photos of that lake if you take the rim road. In the wintertime they try to keep the road to the lodge plowed and open, but the rim road is hopeless, and it would be incredibly dangerous for them to try. You can snowmobile around it in the winter, and I hear that's THE thing to do if you're into snow machines and sightseeing from them. 

 

Next, just west of Crater Lake, is a fairly popular fishing lake. Diamond Lake, it not only has decent USFS campgrounds with flush potties, it also has a resort with cabins available, or at least did the last time I was there. It is another beautiful lake, and well worth the time spent exploring the area around it. The views from that area are spectacular. 

 

Then continue west, and go to the area of Central Point/Grants Pass. Sign up for a jet boat tour of the Rogue River. It's an amazing excursion, that any tourist should try. Costs a few bucks, but you get some amazing scenery, and you get to see it at river level, at high speed. Expect to get a little damp, they spray the riders for fun. They have short and long rides, take the long one with a lunch stop, they don't get you as wet. The area around Grants Pass, Roseburg, the Rogue river valley, that's truly God's country. It's rugged, somewhat remote, the scenery is everywhere. Someday I'll tell you of my adventures gold mining in southern Oregon between high school and college. If you finish up with a day or two on the south coast around Brookings/Bandon/Gold Beach, you'll have seen some of the best scenery that Oregon has to offer. The views of the south coast particularly around Gold Beach are breathtaking. The California tourists seem to barely slow down on their way north. 

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Pepper is correct.  Having lived here 20 years and explored manu places, here are some other places I think well worth visiting, especially since you will be within an hour or so of each. LOOK EACH OF THESE UP FOR DETAILS ON THE INTERNET, or happy to answer specific questions, just ask..   When near LaPine, one of my favorite spots, cheap hotels and last time I was there FREE camping with lots of amenities, you have Fort Rock...  And a ghost town right there.  Great climbing inside a volcano.  Very Unique.  Dont bother going to "hole in the ground".. just what is what is and takes a long time to see a hole in the ground, personally, not worth the time.  You will be very close to Newberry Crater National Monument...  DO it.  Well worth the time and you have 2 other very great places to visit withing a couple miles of each other.  DEFINITELY visit the "LAVA TUBE" right across the street.  DEFINATELY rent the lantern to take into the tube with yu and wear warm cloths...  can be 100' out but still in the 50s in the tube.  Amazing walk.  Take you about 2 to 3 hours.  THEN, just another 15 minutes up the road is the OREGON HIGH DESERT MUSEUM.... A MUST see.  So there ar 3 things within 5 miles that are magnificent.   If you are headed towards the coast from there, be sure to stop and see SHALALIE FALLS.  BEAUTIFUL..  Park in the parking lot and just 200 feet from there..  There is a second fall maybe 1/2 mile south if you hike the trail.  Again, beautiful.  Just a couple miles from there is Belknap Springs, WONDERFUL hor=t spring.  I would HIGHLY recommend staying at the lodge there, hot spring pool etc... but there is a campground across the road.  SPLURGE.  Stay at the lodge.  You wont regret it.  Be sure to take food with you this entire journey, no restaurants, so plan on cold cuts, or BBqing your own dinners.  Do fill the ice box with snacks.  Such a beautiful area, but no accommodations.

 

Head west to the oregon coast.  Not even going to try to tell you what to visit there without knowing some sort of agenda you want to pursue.  These are things I recommend at least on the way to the coast.

 

If coming through Idaho to OR, if in the area be sure to stop at the OREGON TRAIL MUSEUM, you wont be dissapointed.  In Baker city OR.  Great place.  And every driveway has a classic car in it.  Just seems to be their pastime.  Also a movie filmed there.

 

Hope this helps.

 

John

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19 hours ago, Rampy said:

 

For out of state idjits traveling around Oregon, on no set scheduled...what national and state parks are a must see......what are must visits in state, places to put up a large tent and camp out for a few days....just need access to a potty as the Mrs demands a real potty and not a log and hole out behind the tent :lol:

 

Hope I answered some questions in a previous post.  Let us (Pepper and I) know what direction you tend to be headed.  Once you reach the "NEAR COAST" their are a million things to explore.  Lots of casinos with "To die for " buffets, piers, resturants, things north to south... Astoria to the north, south you have Devils Punch Bowl and Cafe Fowlweather, Haystack rock, Lincoln City. several Lewis and Clark campsites, Florence.. nice tourist shopping town with good restaurants,  Did I mention Casinos????   Some of the BEST BUFFETS you will ever eat.  LOTS OF CHEAP CAMPING ALL ALONG THE COAST.. meaning $5-8 a night.  All have restrooms.  Some i think showers.

 

Keep us up to date on your trip.  Will try to stay on line and help as I can.

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Taking notes and working on a plan of attack.....not sure how we will enter the state, might be on 84 across Idaho, but might be from northern Calif.....lots to figure out. Plus my LEOSA Q is due in July, need to figure out when I can do it prior to that.....and my credentials are only good for 5 years and they expire in July...so need to get the crap together and apply for new ones....

 

Daughter told me about 30 min ago that this past week she saw her supervisors bosses boss and did not ask, but told him she was going to a funeral at Arlington in June and all he said was "put the dates into the computer and why you will be gone"  no questions asked, just instant approval....but he is/was a Marine and understands......so that's means the Oregon trip will be in July sometime, chances are after the 4th of July mad rush.....

 

Last time thanks to Pepper we hit Bend and then the coast, up to Washington and down into Calif....this time, I'm trying to be more better prepared for a longer trip where we can camp out and save $$ over hotels as the DC trip will be stupid expensive....however, I know this one really cool hotel, we might need to make reservations at for a couple nights :tiphat:

 

What I'm working on is taking the notes, marking points on a map and then trying to link them together in some kind of travel path that makes sense and that does not double back on itself all over the place.

Edited by Rampy

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Staying 1-3 days in Bend is a great jumping off point for some great sites. Newberry Crater is where Paulina Peak and East Lake, Paulina Lake, and the obsidian flow are located. There's also the "Lava Cast Forest". It's a very interesting hike if you have the time. It's off the beaten path, and is skipped by many tourists. The lava flow from Newberry Crater flowed north, and as it went through the forest, the lava flowed around the trees. The trees being superheated, vented all their moisture as steam, cooling the lava that surrounded them enough that it began to harden. The trees themselves eventually burned out, or what was left rotted out, and you have many almost perfect lava casts of prehistoric trees. It's a mile or mile and a half hike through it, and it's very cool. The High Desert Museum is a great stop, like Wish said. There's USFS, and state park camping in the area if you're staying out of hotels. More money for Bend based microbreweries. 

 

Shoot, the area west of Bend, through Sisters, and Detroit is very pretty. If I could find some reasonably priced land anywhere around Detroit, I'd probably consider staying in Oregon for retirement. That's a beautiful drive through the mountains... 

 

The more I think about this stuff, the more it pisses me off that G*d D*amned Californians are moving north and screwing up this state. 

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Lava Cast Forrest sounds incredible, problem I’ve got is on a good day I can walk 1/4 mile to 1/2 mile max & then take a couple days to recover. 
 

The tent we have is more of a base camp canvas tent and has a large footprint at 185” long and 104” wide not counting pegs/ropes and fly over the sleeping area. We fit 2 full sized cots in it, a small table & then another table/chairs in the open area & can get a front panel for that & close it off into a 2nd room.

 

This is like the one we have without the fly over the back part where the cots are. We put a small buddy heater in it and Woza is it warm, if we were to get the front panel and close it off it would easily sleep 6 on pads with room leftover 

 

in the bottom picture of you zoom in you can sort of see the fly at the back & inside a table and chairs. 
 

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Edited by Rampy

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