Outdoor Paradise

I’ve never been to Oregon (I know!), and I have found it to be wonderful. The whole state is set up for outdoor recreation and every citizen seems to take advantage.  Again, we took advice from a few readers and headed to Lake of the Woods. We set up our camp at a forest service campground right on the lake and then headed for the ‘resort’ area a short hike away. I love that all these camps have started calling themselves Resorts. It makes it seem like I’m on a completely different vacation.

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Anyway, the Lake of the Woods resort has a restaurant, store, bar, cabins, and marina with free wi-fi. Bode explored and played on the beach and docks, but it was much too windy and cold to swim.  We enjoyed the amazing view from the deck, the grownups with a beer and Bode with a plate of fries.

It is at this beautiful resort during a charming game of Candyland, that my son attempted to stack the deck….and lie about doing it.  Although I was a little impressed at his card-sharking, we had to explain that hoarding the Princess Frostine card was uncool. And so, the game had to end. The night picked up when we met some really cool women with four girls. Bode had playmates for the evening as we enjoyed popcorn around the campfire.

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Crater Lake was our next stop, and one I’ve always wanted to make. Arrival at the park coincided with nap-time, and Bode was crashed out in the back. There is something about a van doing 40 that knocks him out.

When we got to the Ranger Station, we were given these two options:  if you’re hungry, turn left and go clockwise around the lake, if you’re not afraid of heights turn right and go counter-clockwise around the lake.  Not wanting to question this logic, we decided we were not hungry and headed right.  We drove around Rim Drive and took in the scenery. It was a little overcast and windy, but the lake was still very blue and picturesque.

Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the US, and was formed inside a collapsed volcano. This concept was explained numerous times once Bode woke up.

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Without a clear plan for what was next, we continued north. This is when things got ugly. Bode was in a mood and we were all too tired to deal with anything. We set out for a highly rated campsite near Bend, but one wrong turn later and we were lost.

It was getting dark and I just wanted a shower. Oregon is set up for camping, so it was fairly easy to find a random campground in only a few minutes. They didn’t have a shower, so I opted to leave the boys to themselves and hole up in the pop top and read. We arrived just before dark…and were out of there by our earliest start time yet….9:30.

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–headed to Portland via McKenzie Pass

13 thoughts on “Outdoor Paradise

  • September 6, 2009 at 6:50 AM

    I see you let Bode take his Spiderman fishing pole after all. It doesn’t take up much room.

  • September 6, 2009 at 9:13 AM

    If anyone needs to be shocked awake, go to “About Us” and click on Angela’s picture…scared the heck out of me.

    Jason, you really didn’t bring a hammer with you and had to use a rock? That seems so alter-ego of you not to remember everything….


  • September 6, 2009 at 10:26 AM


    We’ve crammed everything the family needs for a year into a VW. No room for a hammer… still.

    Me like rock. Rock good.


  • September 7, 2009 at 9:13 AM

    Love reading about your trip. Makes me want to pack up the camper and head out!
    I understand your comment about just wanting a shower all too well. My wife and I have a Eurovan Camper that we use quite a bit. I don’t mind getting sweaty and dusty, but I want that shower at the end of the day. Here’s how we resolved that for all of our camping trips:

    It pops up in about 5 minutes. Water boiled on the stove and you have a shower ready in about 15 minutes!

    Safe travels. I look forward to reading more…

  • September 7, 2009 at 10:31 AM

    never heard of this place…gorgeous, marking this place down as “places to go before I die”.

    Of course when you get to “bridge city” you may have to spend an afternoon exploring downtown.

    Happy labor day

  • September 7, 2009 at 9:07 PM


    It’s now on the map. What would you like sacrificed?

  • September 7, 2009 at 11:14 PM

    Id like to suggest the old tie rod for the sacrifice.

  • September 8, 2009 at 8:11 AM

    Now you know why Michael and I love Oregon. It is a great place for outdoor anything! We loved our visit to Crater Lake but did not know about Lake of the Woods. Now we have a good reason to re-visit Oregon. And of course get in a visit with you guys, wherever you end up!

  • September 8, 2009 at 11:37 AM

    If you head out into the Columbia River Gorge, I highly recommend spending a night at Memaloose State Park. Hot showers! I highly recommend site A57 if you can get it – stuning views. Nice swimming beach a 10 minute walk away… Enjoying following your travels. One day my 72 Westy and I will hit the road for an extended trip.

  • September 9, 2009 at 9:37 AM

    you can probably die happy without seeing it, but it was really nice.

  • September 9, 2009 at 9:39 AM

    thanks for the tip. we’re getting close, so we’ll check it out…

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