Eastern Oregon for the 4th of July

August 29, 2014  •  1 Comment

Better late than never... Life is busy and it's taken me a while to get this done.  We haven't camped as much as I'd hope but not much we can do about it other than to just roll with it.  

Over the 4th of July, Melissa and I packed up and set out to do some exploring on the central/east side of the state.  We left after work on Wednesday with no real plan.  Our first night we got as far as Jack Creek near the Metolious.  The FS campground wasn't crowded and there was a nice creek nearby that would sing us to sleep.  There is just something about hearing the rush and gurgle of a stream. 

Of course we can't start out the day without a good breakfast.  Fried sweet potatoes, eggs, and venison sausage!

After breakfast we hiked up to the headwaters of Jack Creek.  The creek comes right out of the ground. 

After our morning hike we headed further east.  We decided to head to the Ochoco's, one of my favorite places.  There are a few FS campgrounds around and a lot of dispersed sites as well in the area.  We found a great place all alone complete with a picnic table!  The area is popular during hunting season and "deer camps" make a nice place get away from the crowds. 

Even had a nice little creek here as well.  

This was a nice quiet place.  Not a lot to do here as we were right on the border of some private land.  Plenty of firewood and peace. Well....except for one thing...  Mosquitoes!  We had planned to stay here for another day but by noon, we met our match.  With no bug spray we packed up and headed out toward John Day and the Malheur National Forest.  

With a quick stop in John Day for some bug spray and to top off our propane tank we headed to toward Unity.  While getting supplies we met a nice couple from the midwest with a FWC Hawk on an F-150.  We had a nice conversation and it's always nice to meet another FWC owner.  

Melissa remembered staying along the Burnt River in some FS campgrounds that she recalled to be lightly used.  As one gets older you start to realize not everything is a good as you remembered. We found the campgrounds which now serve an OHV area.  There wasn't a spot to be had anywhere.  Busy was an understatement!  We filed this area away in our minds for a future trip with our quads.  We continued up the gravel road, beyond the campgrounds and with the aid of a an iPad and the "you need a map" app we toured the back country of the Malheur National Forest looking for a place to stay.  It was a long day and finding a dispersed site proved to be rather difficult.  Not many deer camps that we could find and region proved to be rather steep.  We finally found a nice spot about 5 miles before hitting Highway 26 just be dark.

From here we headed back to John Day and turned south on US395 to check out some other FS campground we found using the "Ultimate Campground Project" app.  To our surprise the campgrounds were relatively empty.  There was nice creek with a place to wade which was welcomed with the near 100deg temperatures.  Kokanee enjoyed the cool water.  

From here we decided it was time to head west and get closer to home.  This day would be Sunday and we still had one more day before we had to get back to reality and since the holiday weekend was over we thought we hit the Metolius near Camp Sherman for one last night.  I used to camp there with my Dad when I was a kid and we'd fly fish our brains out.  Some of the campgrounds were busy but we found Riverside mostly empty.  We settled in for the afternoon and relaxed while most of the world was heading home. 

Sure love how clear the water is.  

It was a great trip with no where in particular to be and no itinerary.  With the aid of some maps and an iPad, we easily found places to camp and traverse FS roads for some cross country adventure.  We did a lot of driving and I didn't take as many photo's as I would of liked. The rest of the photo's for this trip can be found here... http://outcastimagery.com/p520717174  

 

Thanks for reading,

 

Rich and Melissa


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