Our Last Daze

image …in Spring Drive Campground

We have time for another day of sightseeing and a day of just basking and gazing in our little world in the national forest before heading to the Gorge area.


While I was in Govy I did some info sleuthing at the Museum and Cultural Center. (I was parked for over an hour in front of the museum, blogging, posting, and uploading pictures and considered a visit my civic duty as a tourist. Besides, the air conditioning and bathroom would offer me some relief. 😬)

The gift shop is not tempting but the racks of brochures outside the restrooms are calling my name! I leave with a short stack of pamphlets about Mt. Hood National Forest, the Columbia Gorge, and the Oregon coastline.

Then, as I get in my car, my nose leads me to a food truck parked on the side of the museum… Wabi Sabi… rice, noodles, and sushi.😋🍚🍜🐟❣

I return home and anxiously plan a final outing of gazing and grazing that will be amazing.


So I am in charge of our Friday outing. Once again we head to Govy on Highway 26. As we head out of the campground onto Highway 216 we are surprised by a coyote running across the road. So cool!

Our first stop is Trillium Lake,  a very popular recreation area and campground 2 miles off the highway and about 4 miles outside of Government Camp.

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You guessed it… The lake is well-known for its scenic views of Mt. Hood. And even without the mountain in the background, it still takes a beautiful picture.

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The lake is named for its abundance of trillium flowers.

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Of course we don’t see any because the plant is dormant in the hot summer months. (portlandnursery.com)

According to en.m.wikipedia.org, the lake was created in 1960 by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife by forming a dam on a tributary of the Salmon River. The area where the lake now stands was once a log road over marshes, part of the Oregon Trail.

Our second stop is Timberline Lodge, a 6 mile ascent off the highway and just outside of Govy.

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As we reach the top, the trees thin out and the view opens up.

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The ski lift sits idle until the winter brings skiers and snow boarders. It’s too crowded to take good pictures. We see the lodge from the side but the lot is packed and there is an attendant turning cars away. So I do the next best thing and get a pic from the Internet.

Did you know that the Timberline Lodge is the one used for filming the exterior of the Overlook Hotel Jack Nicholson bought in The Shining? It is also featured in Reese Witherspoon’s trek along the Pacific Crest Trail in the movie, Wild.

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Residing on the south side of Mt. Hood at an elevation of 5,960 feet, the lodge was constructed from 1936 to 1938 by the Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression. Local residents built and furnished the original structure. (en.m.wikipedia.org)

Our last stop is just down the mountain in Govy at the food truck, Wabi Sabi.

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I order noodles, Jeff chooses rice, and we share albacore tuna sushi. 😋😋😋


Saturday we just relax and enjoy the solitude. The campsites are all full now but you wouldn’t know it. It is so quiet and peaceful here. I take a few last pictures. First I say goodbye to the bees.

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Then I introduce myself to our closest neighbor.

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The evening ends as we listen to Fresh Air, the Moth Radio Hour, and Think Out Loud on NPR. (Yes, OPB came in pretty clear so we had the radio, our books, and the game apps on our phone to keep us company.)

S’More About Spring Drive Campground

image Mt. Hood National Forest

Ponderosa pines surround our beautiful, isolated, and quiet campsite, qualities which are the trade-offs for no phone, Internet, or TV service. I mean, which would you choose?

Spring Drive Campground is just about equidistant between Maupin,  22 miles east and Government Camp, 22 miles northwest.

Maupin is on the Deschutes River and caters to river rafters in the warmer months.

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Jeff, the dogs, and I drive here together on Monday, the 8th, to catch an Internet connection. Disappointed, we watch groups of rafters enjoying the river instead.

Government Camp, nicknamed Govy, is a winter ski Mecca.

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Jeff scopes it out the day we arrive, Sunday, the 7th, and returns with a bag of tortilla chips.

Tuesday we return to grocery shop and search for Internet. It’s a chilly, drizzly, gray day and we sit in front of a restaurant while I try to upload pictures to post to my blog. I finally give up and we head to the local market to buy a campfire meal of hot dogs, graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows.

Wednesday afternoon, Jeff returns to Maupin and brings back bacon-wrapped steak fillets.

Today, Thursday I head out to Govy alone and this time I bring my MiFi jet pack, determined to catch up with and publish a few blogs.

Success! (…in more ways than one!!!)

First of all, the day is bright and sunny and Mt. Hood hovers above.

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Secondly, I stop at the trailhead at Frog Lake Campground in the national forest and meet a hiker stopping for a break on the Pacific Crest Trail.

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I learn that he began hiking on April 14th putting in from Campo, Mexico and expects to finish before it snows in October.

As I leave the rest area I pull over to take pics of the PCT as it crosses Highway 26.

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Finally, after posting and uploading photos to my WordPress, I arrive home hungry. Jeff prepares the fillets on the grill and we eat early. Later, we roast marshmallows, eat s’mores, and watch the stars come out. After 10 pop out slowly and intermittently, the rest burst forth like popping corn kernels.

Spring Drive Campground is a special place!

Our Big Backyard

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It is incredibly beautiful and quiet here.

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We are surrounded by tall stately forests of evergreens. Patches of cloudless blue sky peek through the branches and top the clearings.

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We have gardens of color splashes:

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Our “patio” is an elevated terrace with a picnic table and a fire pit.

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Firewood is plentiful within a few yards of our site, supplied by Mother Nature from fallen branches and limbs.

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The main road circles through the 12 campsites, 7 of which are available for reserving. Three other sites house the camp host and national forest managers. The 2 remaining sites have buildings on them.

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Spring Drive used to be a small mobile home “subdivision”, consisting of double-wide trailers, for national forest workers, hence the luxury of having full hookups.

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Yellow jackets range a little too freely here. Butterflies share the flowers with them. Grasshoppers entertain us with their castanet-like cadence of Flamingo dancers. An occasional woodpecker visits the upper trunks of fir trees and teeny tiny chipmunks scurry across the road and through the forest.

Leaving the High Desert

image On to Mt. Hood

We leave River Rim RV Park in Crooked River Ranch, just outside of Terrebonne, and head north. I capture some photos from my passenger seat vantage as we connect with Highway 97.

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Through the screen I get a photo of a lonesome llama or alpaca. Usually, a whole herd can be seen grazing here.

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Highway 97 also offers some awesome views as we leave Terrebonne.

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In Madras we take Highway 26 through the Warm Springs Indian Reservation.

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Finally, we arrive at the junction of Highways 26 and 216 and head east through Mount Hood National Forest on the northern edge of the Indian Reservation.

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We drive another 5 miles and spot the turn off for Spring Drive RV Campground.

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We turn in and eagerly search for our reserved site.

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Within 30 minutes we have unhooked the car and tow dolly, backed into our spot, and hooked up to electricity and water, a real luxury in a National Forest.

Home, Sweet Home for a week:

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