Be Prepared

We had every intention of heading further, but with the holiday weekend and our realization that we were completely exhausted, we headed back into Bend and got a motel with a heated pool.  Bode now insists that all pools must be heated.

I acquired a coupon for beer (!) at the Silver Moon Brewery, so we added that to our attractions list. Beer, college football, and a happy kid eating his veggies. Bode practiced his magic tricks and got a full explanation of disco balls. When our Betty Page waitress transitioned the house CD from Wilco to Pavement, I knew there was a very good chance we’d be there for a while.  Jason later referred to this as ‘subtle genius.’

It was a very slow day and everyone was happy about it.  There was one occasion today when we simultaneously burst out with multiple verses from the theme song from “The Greatest American Hero“. After 15 years together, who knew? Neither of us claim to have ever watched the show, but it’s a catchy song!

In the morning, it was finally time to leave town. McKenzie Pass was next on the scenic drives list, so we finished our shopping in Bend and headed out. I wasn’t any sort of scout, so the rule about being prepared was not in my mind. When you travel around with all your possessions for a few weeks, you sort of assume you are prepared.

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McKenzie Pass was not so scenic in the rain and fog, and we saw almost nothing from the Dee Wright Observatory. We did see lots of lava rock. We never really thought about Oregon having so many volcanoes, but they’re all over. On the way down from the pass, we managed a short hike to Proxy Falls. The rain had cleared during our hike, but we still got a “Where is your rain coat?” from some concerned Oregonians.

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Next we headed to the fabulous camping at Belknap Springs. Well, fabulous when the weather is clear. Fortunately, they had two hot spring fed pools to keep us warm. Just about everyone spent the evening lounging around in the hot pools in a cloud of steam. You don’t really notice the raindrops.

Since it was a holiday, we were lucky to find one vacant spot.  We were later told that the person before us had just got up and left after getting tired of the rain.  Anway, we nestled in between two enormous rigs. California seemed to be filled with lots of rental RVs (mostly driven by people visiting from other countries), but just about everyone here was local and took their “camping” to a professional level.  In our VW Bus we constantly get passed by RVs and campers larger than a San Francisco apartment.

Luckily, one of these pros took pity on our starting a fire in the rain (everything was immediately soaked) and came over with a blow torch. Ta-dah!  Wet wood lights just fine with a torch – a trick we will not forget.  We were all wet and a little cold outside, but old Red Beard kept us dry and warm overnight.

This was the end of a holiday weekend, so everyone was very happy when things finally cleared up the next day. After living in the Bay Area for a while, we’ve grown accustomed to the exact same pleasant weather every day for months on end.  This was our first rain for the trip, so we’ll have to start paying closer attention.

We learned 2 things today: 1) check the weather and 2) we need to be better prepared for camping in the rain.

Lessons learned, we’ve already decided tomorrow is going to be AWESOME.

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8 thoughts on “Be Prepared

  • September 9, 2009 at 5:09 PM

    Ah yes, rain…Belknap Springs…rain. I remember those things well. Mostly the rain.

    You’re headed to Portland at some point, yes? I recommend OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) and the Portland Zoo for Bode. They were frequent destinations of ours. And if you decide to splurge on a hotel downtown, I can send some hip recommendations your way. We’ve had some good experiences.

    I’m enjoying the blog. Keep those entries coming. Onward!

  • September 9, 2009 at 7:27 PM

    Glad to see you all got some more rest. You all looked a little tired. Sure enjoy you blog. We are hitting the road tomorrow, we’ll be thinking of you guys. Living on the road is a live and learn experience. It’s all part of the adventure. Just think of all the great stories you will have to tell.

    Gary & Evelyn

  • September 9, 2009 at 10:31 PM

    The weather’s getting a bit chillier in the South Bay and I’m guessing some of that Oregon rain will be heading our way soon! I’ve only visited Pland and Ashland, now will be sure to add Bend to the list. Wonderful writing and pics ….

    I took my kids to Yosemite last Memorial Day and was also completely unprepared for rain …. it’s amazing how much we take being dry for granted!

    I’m looking into a few options for volunteering on either side of our border and hope to have some ideas for you soon. Just swamped with those soul-sucking but necessary for-hire corporate videos 🙂

    Safe drivin, till next time ….

  • September 9, 2009 at 10:34 PM

    forgot to day, Greatest American Hero was a childhood fave! Whatever happened to William Katt? Banished to the after-midnight adult fair I believe …

    “Look at what’s happened to me
    I can’t believe it myself
    but believe it or not
    I’m walking on air”

    or something like that ! 🙂

  • September 9, 2009 at 11:53 PM

    Hi! I’m a friend of Jennifer Moline’s and she sent me your link as I currently live in Eastern Oregon. Be prepared! If you are headed to North-Eastern Oregon next week, the Pendleton Round-Up will be in full swing by Wednesday, Sept. 16th! It’s a four-day outdoor rodeo and is world famous! You are totally welcome to join in the festivities and stop by the Pendleton Woolen Mills for a visit and see the famous Indian Trade blankets being made (free tour!). Ask for Jennie, I’ll be there everyday, all day!

    Also, I can HIGHLY recommend the Joseph/Wallowa Lake area (a few hours north-east of Pendleton and go over the Tollgate way). It is one of my all time favorites. They call it the “Little Switzerland”…beautiful, tall, craggy mountains (may even be some snow on top already), an amazing glacier-carved lake with an awesome example of a moraine, glacial rivers and streams…hike Hurricane Creek if you get the chance. Eat at the Ember Brew House and have the salmon fish and chips.

    Good travels! And may the sun shine upon you and the rain rinse you!

  • September 10, 2009 at 9:22 AM

    bode looks older! i hardly recognize him … = (

  • September 10, 2009 at 9:40 AM

    Hi guys! I’m sorry I missed you all when you stopped by our elk ranch the other day. I’m Alan, and my wife Brenda took you on the tour of our ranch. Anyhow, Brenda and I are loving the blog and the entire fantastic adventure you guys are on. Very, very cool.

    Hey! I read Jennie’s recommendation about the Pendleton Round-Up and that sparked a thought. Why not mix the Round-Up with some great Pendleton’s whiskey? I’m not a whiskey man myself, but if you’ve never tried Pendleton’s then you’re missing out. Or even better, upgrade to “8 Seconds”, which I think is their premier version. It’s a very nice sipping whiskey. There’s just something “right” about having a “Pendleton” in Pendleton while watching some guy get the stuffing beat out of him from a rodeo bull. 🙂

    I also second the Joseph, OR recommendation. Lake Joseph is amazing with the Oregon Alps as the backdrop.

    Another thought for you: If you’re going to be near the Ontario/Nyssa, OR area think about driving down to the south end of Lake Owyhee (sounds like Hawaii). My dad and I drove that a few years back and the rock formations, colors, etc. were awe-inspiring! I love Oregon, and that particular drive has got to be my all-time favorite site to see.

    Vaya con Dios!
    Alan & Brenda Ross
    Molalla, OR

  • September 10, 2009 at 7:21 PM

    Now there’s the Northwest that I know and love…all rain-slick and dewy and such.

    You kids, I’m loving every posting – I’m kind of a geek about checking for new ones!

    Bad news, Julie: I think you’re right. Bode DOES look older. Wiser, somehow…that’s life on the road 🙂

    Hugs to you 3!

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