Lake of the Woods, Oregon

Oregon Detour: Camping in Lake of the Woods

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Once we were in Coeur d’Alene, I had this odd sensation that we were nearly home. After all, it was the last “real” stop on our route, and it was nearing the end of week six. We’d be back in California in a jiffy, right?

WRONG. Silly me and my lack of perception when it comes to distance: There were actually a whopping 851 miles to go! So, while Oregon wasn’t necessarily on my initial list of “must stops”—SVV was born in Portland, I had spent some time there during college, and we were primarily targeting destinations neither of us had ever visited—it did wind up being a great way to wrap up our time on the road.

We cut over through Spokane and entered Oregon from the northeastern corner. We had originally intended to drive down through Boise, a town I really want to visit someday, over through Burns and come back through California via Plumas National Forest. SVV, the geeky son of a geologist, was chomping at the bit to see some obsidian deposits near Alturas, but once we had driven just a third of the way through eastern Oregon, an endeavor that was not only boring and monotonous but took all day, we realized how slow Highway 395 was and that it might take us an additional day to get back to Sacramento at this pace. So we ditched the obsidian, rerouted and decided to head for Bend instead.

We stayed just outside the town in one of the nicest RV parks we’d found yet and spent the next morning wandering through the artsy little town and its green spaces.

Some of us had more fun than others (that would be the party who is more than content finding a pine cone or feather to chase).

We even let her have one last road trip thrill and chase the geese off leash.

Then, it was onward…through fields and fields of cows! Don’t worry: You guys taught me the difference between a steer and a heifer. I won’t make that mistake again.

It was here and now that we realized the pup’s affinity for cows, which was a hilarious sight to behold.

Ella was going absolutely nuts whining inside the truck at the fields of cows we were passing by, so we pulled over to the side of the road, at which point she LEAPED OUT of the driver’s window and onto the pavement below in pursuit of the bovine. Luckily, SVV caught her leash just in time to prevent a full-on cowtastrophe and stampede.

We’ll make a herding dog out of her yet!

While initially we were just going to drive through the whole state of Oregon without making a stop, we decided we wanted to see Crater Lake after all, so we found a camping spot about an hour south of there in Lake of the Woods. The “resort” wasn’t the nicest—not sure I would stay there again, as management was run by college kids with little knowledge of how to man such an operation—but it had a killer location right on the lake.

Thanks to the sun setting at 10pm each night, we arrived with plenty of sunlight remaining to take out a canoe for a couple hours. We paddled to the far side of the lake and tied up to a floating log so we could just chill out and enjoy the cool early summer evening.

Lake of the Woods, Oregon
Lake of the Woods, Oregon

And naturally brought a six-pack of Deschutes from the general store for the occasion. When in Oregon.

We’re bad parents, because the pup even stole a few sips. She’s been a beer lover since birth—who are we to deprive her, even if she still is underage? Pretty soon, we’re moving her on to the “hard stuff”—you know, Jack, Jim and George, all my favorite men. (I’m from Tennessee. Cut me some slack.)

The following day, we would put the pedal to the medal and wrap up our trip with a 343-mile drive back through Northern California, so it was nice to enjoy one last relaxing evening while we still could.

That night, we continued to chill with a campfire and enough s’mores to make us both sick.

It was the perfect final note to our 42-day trip, because Lord knows, the craziness to come was going to be far from relaxing.


Week 6 Overview: June 19-26

Distance Driven: 1420.7 miles

Total Trip Distance: 5744.3 miles

States Visited: Idaho, Oregon, California

Gas Used: 130.8 gallons, $499.75

Cheapest Gas: $3.65/gallon; Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Most Expensive Gas: $4.19/gallon; Dale, Oregon

Best Gas Mileage: 15.9 miles/gallon

Worst Gas Mileage: 6.3 miles/gallon

Lodging/Campground Fees: $207

(Week 1 totals; Week 2 totals, Week 3 totals, Week 4 totals, Week 5 totals)

COMMENTS
  • July 24, 2011

    It has been such fun following your road trip! Eastern and southern Oregon are some of my favorite places to explore on the planet, glad you got to cruise through. That little dog of yours sure is cute, and photogenic;)

    Cheers.

    • July 24, 2011
      Kristin

      Thanks, Gwen! We were so close to your house, yet still so very far…guess we’ll just have to come see you in Hawaii again =) (Twist my arm.)

  • July 24, 2011

    I was going to say that one false step and a cow would squash Ella in a second, but clearly they were more afraid of her which is hilarious! Crater Lake looks cool, still have to get there as well.

    • July 24, 2011
      Kristin

      I had a near heart attack when she launched herself out the truck window–she would have totally run right into the field and gotten trampled–but luckily Scott has those cat-like reflexes!

  • July 24, 2011
    Ris

    We had a horse that loved beer. If you gave him a longneck bottle he’d tip it back and drink the whole thing! Glad to see Ella has similarly good taste.

    • July 24, 2011
      Kristin

      I’ve heard elephants are big fans of whiskey. Now that’s an animal I can get along with!

    • July 25, 2011

      I had a horse like that too, plus really like potato chips with the beer.

  • July 24, 2011

    Obviously Ella is just very on-trend with this love of cows. I hear all the cool bloggers are talking about them these days 😉

    • July 25, 2011
      Kristin

      Ella is fully dedicated to keeping the #cow hashtag going strong. 😉

  • July 25, 2011

    Oregon was a perfect way to end your journey, and what a journey it was. You make me itch for a good long road trip.

    Ella is a real wind dog, I always see her with her tresses blowing. Probably the smell of those cows getting her all excited.

    • July 25, 2011
      Kristin

      I think you and Ella would get along swimmingly. She loves the great outdoors nearly as much as you do! And yes, her little nose was sniffing frantically at all the “delicious” cow smells (ewwww).

  • July 25, 2011

    My hubby’s old dog jumped out of a truck window to chase a cow one time too! Maybe cows and dogs are kindred spirits?

    • July 25, 2011
      Kristin

      Or maybe they just smell too good to pass up? Her little nostrils were flared the entire time we were driving through Oregon!

  • July 25, 2011

    I always forget how far away Sac is from Oregon – not really “northern CA” at all in the grand scheme of things! Looks like a fun trip, and Crater Lake looks so refreshing from the 100 degree concrete jungle of where I currently am residing!

    • July 25, 2011
      Kristin

      I know, right? Sac and San Francisco neither are true “Northern California” if you think about it, given that it’s a solid five hours from either to reach the Oregon border! This state is soooo massive.

  • July 25, 2011

    That video is so adorable! Also, those lake photos are particularly beautiful, with the sun dropping on the water. Very nice.

    • July 25, 2011
      Kristin

      Thanks, Margosita! Was nice to have a sunny backdrop for a change to take some photos 😉

  • July 25, 2011

    Mmm… good beer 🙂

    Your dog is adorable!

  • July 25, 2011

    That Ella and the cows video is just adorable! The photos of you guys rowing on the lake are gorgeous and I love the baby duck pic too. Sounds like it was a great idea to detour through Oregon!

  • July 25, 2011

    Great photos. Oregon is amazing, and looks like you finally had some terrific weather. Fun trip!

  • July 25, 2011
    Leslie

    It’s been great traveling vicariously through you 3. Awesome that you ended up going through Oregon. That’s my state! I call it Gods Country…amazingly beautiful! I’m over in the Valley but have also traveled through the not so exciting Eastern portion. Bend is awesome. Can’t wait to hear about your next adventure 🙂

    • July 28, 2011
      Kristin

      It IS a beautiful state, but the eastern part does get a little monotonous. I like the area around Bend and the Gorge the best, though admittedly I have a lot of the state still left to see! One day…

  • July 25, 2011

    I’ve thoroughly enjoyed tagging along on your roadtrip and now that I’m in Oregon, I’ll be using your post as a reference guide.

  • July 25, 2011

    Camping, canoeing, s’mores and beer? You’re my kind of people.

    The lake looks just gorgeous. It looks like a little bit of what we love here in the Adirondacks, plus the lake. Lovely, lovely, lovely.

  • July 26, 2011
    k

    I drove through northeast Oregon last year and man, those roads are winding! (is that how you spell wind-ing?) I actually was starting to feel a bit carsick (and I was the driver) heading towards Hells Canyon.

    I love Bend! And Deschutes! Black Butte Porter is my all time favorite beer!

    • July 28, 2011
      Kristin

      It just gets really monotonous, and with the dappled lighting seeping in through the trees, I was seriously getting carsick, as well (and an odd sense of vertigo). I was so happy to finally reach Bend and then get back onto I-5 again!

  • July 26, 2011

    Oregon, woooo! I grew up in a small town on I-5 just north of Medford (where it looks like you guys hopped on the freeway). Lake of the Woods is gorgeous, as is Bend… though of course this summer was the first time we’ve made it up there. Oof.

    • July 28, 2011
      Kristin

      I loved Bend–Lake of the Woods, too! I only went to Costco for gas in Medford, so I can’t really comment on your place of upbringing =) But everything else in Oregon was lovely, so I’m sure it is, too. I really wanted to stop in Ashland, but alas, there just wasn’t the time…

  • July 28, 2011

    Ella is getting so big! Just catching up on your trip now. I love that you put the gas prices used in there! And that might b the best picture- you hitting the sun with your oar and Ella in the back!

    • July 28, 2011
      Kristin

      I think she’s all of six pounds now, ha! In other words, twice Darcy’s size =) By the way, Scott is obsessed in creating Morkies–have you seen the product of when our two pooches mate? Google Image search if not; they are ADORABLE–if your little man needs a mate, ha.

  • July 28, 2011

    Love these pics, they put the biggest smile on my face! I want to have some smores with you!!!

  • August 7, 2011

    Ella and the cows = priceless.

  • April 3, 2012
    Mary

    I love your adorable little dog. I have one much like that.
    Wjere did you get her amazing little jacket.
    By the way, over here in Aussi you can’t have an unrestrained dog in a vehicle as they can become a very dangerous projectile in a colision. Let alone you wouldn’t want your fur baby killed.

    • April 10, 2012
      Kristin

      We ordered her jacket on some website a couple years ago, but usually we get most of her stuff at Petco or Petsmart. I always worry about the possibility of collision when she rides with us, but luckily on this road trip, we were a huge truck towing a 19-foot trailer, so we couldn’t go very fast!

  • April 3, 2012
    Mary

    Also I did enjoy the video.

  • May 10, 2012

    I’m from Oregon and still have never been to Crater Lake. After seeing your photos, I’ve just placed this destination at the top of my list. Thanks for the inspiration and the kick in the pants I needed.

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