No Reservations & 5 Campgrounds

Leaving Olympic NP we began our trek south and without any plan or reservations except to be in Portland by Friday for the weekend. We had heard about Dossiewalips SP from the park ranger at Olympic, so headed there. The drive along the Puget Sound is great and arriving at the park we were able to stay two nights in a site with hookups, shade and sun. Missing the sun made us choose a very sun filled site #43.

Enjoyed this campground and the staff was great.

The camp hosts let everyone know when the elk were available for pictures.
After breakfast, the next morning, we put on our suits to go kayaking and drove to Seal Rock SP just up the road. We could have stayed there, but sites are limited from sun, and not very big. The Hood Canal in the Puget Sound is not very clear, but it’s full of wildlife as we saw seals, eagles, fish jumping and lots of oyster beds. We were on the water about 90 minutes with an easy paddle. We spent the afternoon relaxing and watched the resident elk herd come though the area.

The Hood Canal area is spectacular!

Heading south towards Portland we stopped for the night at Seaquest SP and easily found a site. This park is across from a visitor center focused on Mt. St. Helens and Silver Lake. After setting up camp we walked over to the visitors center and toured it, watched a movie and hiked around the lake. Up in the morning we drove to a boat landing on Silver Lake and kayaked enjoying the calmness, the lily pads, circling the island and enjoying a perfect morning.

So lucky to have good campground apps and to only need a reservation for one night.

Silver Lake

Great spot to walk to, from the campground.
We were in Gresham, Oregon by 3:30 and parked the trailer in Cathy’s driveway for the next two nights. She had talked about going up to Timberline Lodge at Mt. Hood for the sunset and eating dinner. It was awesome to do this, look at the lodge history and have a great meal with a view. Saturday we hung out, biked, walked and went to REI. Leaving on Sunday and heading south the air started to get hazy from both California and Oregon fires.

Nothing better than a weekend campground with family in their yard!

Salmon was awesome, and so was a dinner out at Timberline Lodge!

Loved exploring Timberline Lodge!

The focal point besides the lodge is the mountain. 

Such a great spot to watch the sunset on the lodge deck.
We had hoped to camp in Bend at Tuala SP but it was full even though it was 1:15 and a Sunday. Driving further south we secured one of three sites in the park left at La Pine SP, walked to the river and relaxed. In the morning we checked out and parked at the day use area to hike to see the giant Ponderosa Pine. We hiked the road and then found the trail for the hike back. The air was getting more smoky as we headed south and we discussed heading on until we hit clear skies, but chose to stay at Collier Memorial SP. Upon arriving we managed to get the last spot, take a look at the Williamson River before having to retreat into the trailer to avoid the smoke. Up in the morning we hiked over to the Logging Museum. It sits by Spring creek which flows out of Crater Lake and is one of the clearest creeks I have ever seen. The museum grounds are well done and I highly recommended it.

La Pine SP

Always visit the biggest, or greatest, or unique tree you can when you are married to a Forester….

Collier Memorial SP

Awesome spot if the sky was blue.

Always visit museums when they are about history, the environment or just accessible to the campground. Such a gem!
Driving south the smoke got worse and after we ate in Dorris at El Tapatio (the best food) we decided to try Etna for camping. Stopping in Yreka to stock up, due to 299 being closed, we headed on. The skies weren’t to welcoming but when we went over the other side of Highway 3 and Scott Mt. they looked 100 percent better, but not clear by any means.

Great food – not from appearances though. FYI
Driving into Trinity Lake Campground, which has 13 sites and no water, we set up in a site we have always wanted to stay in. We barely had any water but managed, as we wanted to stretch out the last drops of vacation and the month of July. In the morning we left to head home and to decide if we needed to stay hitched just In case the fire made a run again towards us.

A little campground not far away from home!

Yard views..and update…100 percent contained after a month.