Last weekend’s two day adventure really got me wishing for an extended road trip. When my parents lived in Rapid City, we’d pack up at least once of year and drive from Portland to South Dakota through beautiful country. We spent countless spring breaks and summer vacations with our kids exploring National Parks of the western U.S. and we have lots of great memories we’ve made along the way.
Since neither of us are retired yet, our Aistream adventures are usually just weekend trips that consist of no more than 2-3 days. We pick campgrounds close to home so we don’t spend more time driving than we do camping. Lucky for us Oregon is a beautiful state and we have a large variety of beautiful places to visit just an hour or two from home. These close-to-home trips are great little getaways that we always look forward to, but it’s not quite the same as jumping in the car and just driving…until you find something/somewhere that you want to explore.
This weekend started out as a typical “Let’s just get out of town” trip. There was nothing we had to do at home this weekend and the forecast was calling for overcast skies and drizzle. So, I searched online for the nearest campground that at least had at least some chance of sunshine. I grabbed a spot at Memaloose near the Dalles and off we set. No adventure expected. Just some quiet time in the sun with a cribbage board and some good books. We spent Friday night at Memaloose State Park which we usually really enjoy. But, since I booked so late, the only site left was near the highway and you couldn’t get away from the constant hum of traffic. We rolled into the campground around 6 pm…enjoyed our evening free of rain and then decided to pack up and leave early in the morning and head east. We had no plans, but figured if we couldn’t find anywhere to stay, we’d just head home early.
Saturday morning rolled around and we were off with no particular place to go. The drive down the gorge toward central, Oregon is a pretty one. I love driving through the huge windmills through farmlands and small towns. We ended up heading through the Ochoco National Forest towards the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. We passed many, many federal campgrounds along the way and most were almost completely empty. This was something we don’t see often since campgrounds closer to Portland are usually always full. We ended up finding a sweet little spot on BLM land right on the John Day River – it was beautiful! We ended up camping near another couple in a 19ft Bambi that were recently retired. They both played the guitar and it was quite wonderful sitting outside at night listening to sounds of the river, crickets and the soft strumming of guitars.
We spent a little time at the John Day Fossil beds the next day – but with a 5 hour drive home so we didn’t hike around as much as we would have liked. We saw a lot of beauty in a short two days – most of it from the car windows. Looking forward to that time in life where we really do have the freedom to just keep going..
Love your blog! We live in Vancouver, b.c. and discovered you as we are just starting to think about purchasing an airstream. We are 50 & 53 yrs old and have our own gourmet food business so time is limited still but we are starting the future thinking. Do you have any recommendations for places to look for a trailer. I know I love the 20ft Safari se 2008 – although your 25 is sweet! So know you are taking us on your travels as of last January and you are inspiring as we look to doing less Europe adventures and more westcoast adventures! My husband says if you are looking to sell your 25 put us on the list! We are just raising our carport roof so we can accommodate a trailer- Oh and we found the keychain for our future trailer in Astoria! We love Oregon! Thanks & keep blogging! Karen & Chad
Thanks to android I bought an iPhone.
Hi Karen and Chad…If you like to cook, you’ll probably love the 20 foot model with the big kitchen! Hope we meet up on the road in the future 🙂
Love your posts!
Hi from Vashon Isl, near Seattle. Love your stories and pictures. We changed from a 19′ to the 2016 25′ FC FB twin and love it. We have not yet explored eastern Oregon so enjoyed the pictures you posted! Have to get there soon. We are heading to Glacier, Yellowstone then Tetons and back through southern Idaho for month. Our travel log is at MelchertRoad.com
Hi David and Susan,
Your blog is wonderful. Just followed the link onto your Amazon store and ordered the black walnut sink cutting board. I’ve wanted one of these for some time and can’t wait to get it! I’ll be sure to provide a link to your site when it arrives! Looking forward to following your travels!
LOVE your blog. We have a 28ft Airstream (upgraded from a 23 after the kids grew). I love reading your stories and looking at your very talented photography to get ideas of where our next adventure will be. Would you mind leaking the details of where that amazing shot on the John Day River is? This years goal is to explore new territory and that photo looks like the perfect dream spot!!!