Around the beginning of May, I packed up my stuff and my dog, and headed out on a trip in the ranger. The truck held up surprisingly well, even though I need to get the front shocks done so there were some bumpy rides.
After visiting with my parents in for mother’s day and spending some time in Portland, I drove to Hood River to visit with a friend and stop in the area before continuing to Eastern Oregon to see my sister. I stayed one night in the Hood River area at Tucker Park, which was a reasonable campground that was pretty quiet and not too far of a drive.
The next morning, I started the drive to La Grande. It took a few hours (I am one of those drivers that likes to stop and take stretch breaks and much needed bathroom breaks, especially when I have coffee), and Toby and I made it to La Grande comfortably mid day.
We met up with my sister and checked out a local campground, Morgan Lake, which was up a gravel road and did not charge a fee for camping (currently, the limit to stay is 7 nights, but the property owners are going to change it to 3 nights and have more of a registration system, but still no charge). The spots are right by the lake with an open field on the other side, surrounded by cow fields and other properties. There’s a nice trail that goes around the lake, though we didn’t get the chance to walk all the way around.
On the first night, there were some college students hanging out at the lake, but they left around when it got dark, so the noise level was not bad. The second night was pretty quiet and the third night included a lot of people fishing and a couple of families, so overall it was a nice lake to camp at.
Not to mention, the sunsets were very pretty.
Toby enjoyed his perch on a camp chair, surveying the landscape and the neighbors.
My sister and I visited several places in Eastern Oregon – we went to Union and got some tasty caramel kettle corn, went to the farmers market and ate at Jaxdog Cafe in La Grande, picnicked at Catherine Creek along the river, and went into a (not) haunted Hot Lake Springs Hotel (we’ll definitely have to go back for the full tour some day, when the dog isn’t in the car).
On the fourth day in La Grande, we met up earlier in the day prior to me driving to the Bend area, where I stayed at a campground in Sisters overnight. It was near the main road, but the showers and bathrooms were clean, and I got a good night’s sleep before finishing the drive back to Southern Oregon the next day.
The drive back took me through a ghost town which I will have to visit again one day (Shaniko), mountains with forests still with snow, and a couple lakes. Hopefully, I’ll get to spend more time at some of these places as the season continues.