Dis[ersed Camping Near Crater Lake NP and Stuck Behind a Tree
But like some National Parks I’ve been to, it’s kind of a one-trick pony. After you’ve seen the one truly majestic thing it offers, you’ve pretty much seen it all. Another one that stands out like that is Bryce Canyon National Park, once you’ve seen it’s hoodoos you’ve seen the whole thing. Of course there are some amazing hikes around Crater Lake that are wonderful, but we really didn’t have the time and it was too hot. So while we were glad to have seen Crater Lake National Park we weren’t there very long.
Picking up where I left off in my last post, we were camped on Four Mile Quarry 30 miles west of Klamath Falls Oregon. Other than the heat we loved our camp and I had especially loved going over to Medford to spend time with my sister. We lived for 40 years in Alaska but soon after I retired in 2006 she moved to Florida–since then we’ve had just had a few vacations together. So we loved catching up in Medford! We also planned a family reunion for Thanksgiving with my mother and son flying in–something we hadn’t done in quite a few years.
Because our camp was so close to Crater Lake National Park we knew we couldn’t miss the opportunity to see it. So on one of our many beautiful sunny days, off we went. Crater Lake is as beautiful as everyone says. When you drive up to it for the first time you are just awestruck by its amazing blue color! Then, as you climb up and around the rim, it’s through a beautiful forest with great views–it’s a drive you don’t want to miss! (Most of the photos in this post were taken by Carolyn.)
Once back to camp we settled into our time there. Since we both work online, and had good internet, we spent quite a bit of our time working, walking and just enjoying the beautiful Forest.
One thing Caroline and I have in common is we both have itchy feet, we can’t stay in one place for too long without wondering what’s just down the road. Combine that with the heat and it was soon time to go. We started looking for a place that would be higher (and therefore cooler) and hopefully have better views.
The nearest thing that was close by and exceptionally beautiful was the Three Sisters Mountains outside of Sisters, Oregon. The one bad thing about it was there was no good shopping nearby. The nearest big town was Bend, Oregon which was 20 miles away and had all the shopping we could possibly want. We made that work by spending most of our time in camp and then getting fresh foods in Sisters. We only went to Bend when supplies were so low that we simply had to go.
We studied our maps and saw that we could camp just a few miles from Sisters in the National Forest. We found many pictures that showed the Three Sisters Mountains were gorgeous and we wanted to be near them. So that’s settled it we knew we were going to Sisters Oregon, plus it was time for Caroline to a dump her tanks and fill with water, so we headed out.
On our last night at Four Mile Quarry we headed out for our usual evening walk. Lo and behold we headed down the road and there was a tree over it! A strong wind had blown up that night and knocked it over. This was simply an adventure filled camp for us. First she had gotten stuck on the way in and later I had gotten stuck in that wash, and now a tree had fallen and was blocking the road. We remember the old Chinese expression may you live in interesting times and that was certainly true of our time here.
At one time I carried an electric chainsaw but it just become too much weight and space and I’ve gotten rid of it, but both Carolyn and I always carry a hatchet because they’re such useful tools–very multi-purpose. It was a small tree but still too heavy for us to drag across the road so we decided to chop through one end and then we could drag it off the road. So we went over and both of us chopped away at it for about an hour until we got through it and could easily drag it off the road.
You might think these sorts of things would discourage us, but not true at all. They’re part of the life that we have chosen and we consider them one of the best parts of it! Sure, we could be in a house and living an easy, luxurious life, but that’s not what we were born for! Humans evolved to live life deeply and intensely, facing difficulties. By embracing and overcoming challenges and obstacles, we prove who we are and live a genuine and authentic life. By keeping a right attitude we turned what most people would see as a reason to quit into a reason to love our nomadic lives even more.
Nearly everyone I know looks back at their memories of life’s little hardships with their biggest smiles and greatest pleasure–we cheat ourselves out of our best moments in life and best memories by insisting on perpetual, ease, comfort and safety.
The next day we headed up 97 which is a nice pleasant drive all the way to Bend. While we were there we went shopping at the Costco and Whole Foods which we had not been to for quite some time. We bought much more than we should but that’s the way it works when you are generally so remote from real towns.
When we got to sisters we found a camp which was only two miles from town and had a very good internet signal. Surprisingly it had very little traffic and noise, in fact we rarely saw anyone. We stayed there for 3 or 4 days and enjoyed it. But we both wanted to see if we could find a view of the mountains and be even more remote. So we started looking for new camps.
We headed up Forest Road 15 and turned off on Forest Road 1513. Then we turned off of it onto another smaller Road, and then turned off of it onto an even smaller Road where it dead-ended into a great camp. The forest is very heavy and so we did not have a view but the views on the way into and out of Camp were great, so we settled for that. As is our normal way we started taking walks and we were delighted to find that there was a spider web of roads all around us. We could easily walk for however long we wanted to and it was all pretty forest. We also we’re very happy to find that there was a beautiful little creek nearby. We found a campsite on it that we would love to have but we were confident her RV would get stuck again. After our last adventure getting stuck at 4 Mile Quarry we did not want to repeat so we gave up on that idea.
After we’ve been there for about a week our itchy feet started up again. We found a new road on that creek that was very near it and made that our new home. That was the third campsite we had in sisters .
One of the things I had desperately wanted to go and see while we were in Oregon with Smith Rock State Park. All the pictures I had seen of it were gorgeous and I knew it was a place I must go while we were there. So we made plans and did that while we were there I’ll tell you all about that in my next post.