As I am writing this I am sipping a robust cup of coffee in front of a roaring campfire watching geese chase each other up and down the river. Wood ducks are floating by, being carried by the current while a husband and wife make their way down the other side of the bank dressed in waders, carrying wicker baskets, ready for a morning of fly fishing. Across the way, the river bank is lined with cabins built in the 1940s, complete with sleeping porches and rocking chairs. It feels like we are characters in a Norman Rockwell painting.
It’s such a wonderful place that you almost don’t want to tell people about it. Even many life long Oregonians have never heard of Camp Sherman or the Metolius Natural Area. If coming through Portland though, on the way to Bend or Sisters, it’s a place you don’t want to miss. Even if it’s just for a stop at the old General Store or a quick walk along the river through the stately Ponderosa Pines.
There are many campgrounds in the Metolius Natural Area. We are staying at Camp Sherman this time – the one closest to the little Camp Sherman Store. This is one of only two campgrounds in the area that stay open all year. Farther down the road you’ll find several other beautiful campgrounds located right on the Metolius River. Most all of the campsites we’ve seen in the area are great…some a bit more awesome than others, but none are bad! These are federal campgrounds, so the only amenities are water spigots and pit toilets, but the trade off is huge, beautiful campsites just feet from the water. If you’d like a list and description of all the campgrounds in the area, check out the Hoodoo website for more information. (Todd says I shouldn’t be telling anybody about this…you’re welcome 😉
This was a quiet trip for us. The weather was unseasonably warm and honestly we were happy to just spend time relaxing in the sunshine. We made a quick trip out Saturday morning to check out an alpine lake not far away in the burn zone of a devastating fire that hit the Jefferson Wilderness Area not long ago. It was a pretty drive up gravel roads to Round Lake. The landscape reminded us very much of the Mt. Saint Helen’s blast zone, but the stark scene offered it’s own kind of beauty. We stopped several times to get out and walk through the bark stripped pines. The white trunks, provided a striking contrast against the blue, spring sky.
A special treat this time was a chance encounter with a friend who was staying in a family cabin. You cannot buy property here. The land was leased out in the 40’s by the National Forest Service and about the only way to own a home here is to have inherited it from family. We were invited in for a quick tour….check out the old stove!! If we had a cabin here we’d never want to leave!
We are most grateful for the opportunity our Bambi has afforded us to get out and experience the beauty of the Northwest one weekend at a time!