Dog Camp in the Pacific NW: Trip Summary

Total Miles: 2,560

Nights: 18

Average Camping Fee: $26. Half of the time was boondocking for cheap; the other half was some nice state parks in the mid $30s and a few resorty places in the $40s and $50s.

Average MPG (overall): 15.5

Maintenance Issues: On first day (of course), the Check Engine Light (CEL) came on. Same problem as we experienced in Quartzsite in January of this year--another glow plug went bad. We knew we could keep on trucking, so we did.

Surprises: Getting the best haircut/color of my life at a cute salon in Bend, Oregon. Yelp worked this time. And how very crowded the state parks were this time of year, especially around the Columbia River. Turns out this fall there's an epic salmon run!

Challenges: Lots of health issues this trip: inflamed eyelids, GERD, ganglion cyst on foot, and toothache. Nothing major, but enough to harsh my vibe. Made lots of medical appointments for our return once we stopped boondocking and got AT&T back.

Roadfood: Heaven on Earth outside of Canyonville, Oregon. Famous for cinnamon rolls the size of your head. We tasted, were not bowled over, so we pitched it. Also got a pumpkin bread pudding. Now THAT was epic. We made the one serving last 3 days. Some nice eats in Walla Walla and Bend, too.

Favorite New Camping Spots:
  • Cove Palisades State Park north of Bend
  • Tumalo State Park near Bend
  • Susan Creek BLM  or really any place along Route 138 in the Cascades
Bago's Swimming Holes:

  1. The rapidly drying up lake at the Thousand Trails CG in Oregon City, CA
  2. Deschutes River at Cove Palisades State Park near Bend, OR
  3. Lake Wenatchee
  4. Columbia River near Goldendale, WA
  5. North Fork of the Umpqua River at Susan Creek OR

Lessons to Relearn Again, Apparently:

  1. Don't pass up local produce stands! If you see something you want, turn around! I never did get my McIntosh apples, and there we were in the apple capital of Washington State. Sigh. Reminds me of the clementines I missed in Louisiana. But I did score a Walla Walla sweet onion!
  2. Don't trust the assurances of someone who has never driven an RV (the camp organizer, for example). Trust the grinning guy in the beat-up truck at the top of the steep, forested hill who says, unbidden, "Ma'am, you're gonna wanna drive that RV in down the hill through the back entrance." He was our guardian angel. 

The Reason for Our Trip: Maian Meadows Dog Camp, Lake Wenatchee, WA

Bago anchoring winning corner of Doggie Tic Tac Toe

And no, we didn't even TRY to get Bago in the boat. Harper, on the other hand, was beside herself with worry about her momma Karin in the canoe, so she swam out to get her.

Other scenic stops along the way:

It was such a relief to exit High Desert back into lush Oregon forests--ahhh.

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