Bluewater Lake State Park — Las Tsusa

Three weeks into August. The days are very warm, but the nights at least are cooling down in the higher elevations of New Mexico. 

After a night in yet another BLM-behind-a-gate camp The Chiweenie Brothers and I are up early as usual. In happy antiacipation of our next destination The Chinweenie Brothers are tethered outside while I make coffee and get their breakfast.  No walk this morning boys,” I tell them, You’ll get your exercise once we get to Bluewater. Scoot over to that tree for your morning business, and I’ll be right back with food.”

With the Boys devouring their soaked kibble and raw hamburger meal, I grab my coffee and walk around the area looking for anything that may have escaped our garbage bag and pick up a few items left by others who have come this way.  Our motto has always been and always will be ‘leave your camp as clean or cleaner than you find it’.

We’re soon back out on the highway heading back toward Grants where we will pick up I-40 and head west to Trudeau where our mail should be waiting. I spy a sign for Bluewater State Park   —— division, but Trudeau is farther up the road.  I’m a little puzzled because Bluewater, on the map, looks to be closer to Trudeau. Oh well, on the Trudeau to get the mail then we’ll figure it out.

Before long we’re at the exit for Trudeau and a sign that says Bluewater Lake Stata Park, Las Tsusa.  Oh, nice! There’s two sections of this state park. We’ll be able to get well into September between two weeks at each side.  Loving these cooler nights!!

Mail in hand, I search for a grocery store.  Finding a small mom and pop, I dash inside and pick up a couple of things that I can’t get at Dollar General for Family Dollar.  Oh my word, the prices are outrageous.  What in the world do local people do?  Probably the same thing I am doing, buying only the essentials and only those that can’t be purchased elsewhere.  Grants is 20 miles back if memory serves, and Gallup is 30 miles farther west.

Back in MissAdventure I back out onto the highway and we are headed north to Bluewater. It’s a nice 11 mile drive.

As we pull into the this state park I can’t believe my eyes.  The lake, a pretty blue color (With a name like Bluewater, I didn’t expect it to be any other color. Ha!), is the only thing beautiful about this park.

DSC_0069Bluewater Lake SP, La Tusas

There are two vault toilets, one here on the flat, one higher up on the knoll.  Picnic tables are metal and rusted, none looking very level.  Fire pits are circled with rocks.  Here and there broken glass can be found, and there’s very little shade.  NO WATER AND NO GARBAGE. Dirt roads, no pavement anywhere.

A small travel trailer and a tent are parked along the shore of the lake; other than that there is no one here, except for a white pickup which turns out to be the ranger. I ask him about this area,  He must read my mind from the look on my face because the first thing he does is tell me there is another section to the lake.

I remember the freeway sign back by Grants. I tell him that I was looking for an electric hookup as my solar setup isn’t working.  He assures me the other part of Bluewater has electric and is all but empty since school started.  I ask about the country road that looks like it might take one back to the other side without going back out on the freeway, but he says it’s not a good road and is about an hour and a half drive even though it’s the shorter route.  Back to the freeway takes about 20 minutes.

Because we need to spread out our travel a bit more—Quartzsite in August/September is still broiling—I decide we can at least stay one night here.  The phone can be charged with my backpacker’s solar unit, and that’s the most important thing.  I have a couple of movies downloaded from Netflix that can be watched offline, and my Kindle for reading so we’re good for another day.

We take some long walks, biding our time, and get a great night’s sleep.  This side of Bluewater may be lacking in amenities, but it is long on quiet.

The Boys are anxious to get moving, and we head out early.  DSC_0070 (1)MissAdventue and Fries at Bluewater Lake La Tusas side

On the way back out to the freeway I spot these wild horses on the other side of the highway.  Beautiful animals!!

DSC_0071Stallion on the bluff, love this shot
The Stallion

DSC_0072Mare Navigating the Path     DSC_0076 (1)Wild Horses

 

 

Thanks for joining us!  See you on the other side of the lake! Hugs, Shawna

Edson Creek Campground, Sixes Oregon

 

It’s almost the end of September. We are about 10 miles inland from the coast, and the nights are cool and the days pleasant. Sparse traffic makes for a peaceful camp, and The Chiweenie Brothers and I enjoy lots of long, leisurely walks along paved road.

DSC_0007

I had not planned on staying so long here, although it’s a lovely campground, but an order I placed with Amazon is taking its sweet time to arrive. Part of the order has been delivered,  but the other half is napping in Salt Lake City ….

DSC_0001

My phone doesn’t work here, but I can text. My Mobely hotspot signal comes and goes, but at least it works sometimes.  It’s all good.  The boys and I deal with what’s handed to us and make do, happily.  Most times. Ha!

Beside the walks, I read and crochet and check Amazon  a dozen times a day to see where the other half of my order is languishing. We drive into Port Orford to purchase ice and a few supplies and drive down to the harbor. The view of the bay provides a gorilla’s profile in the large rock in front of us. Do you see it?

DSC_0012Bay at Port Orford ORHow about a cow’s face in a tree at our camp site? DSC_0001

Back at camp I fill out another tag and write out another check for three more days then take the boys for a walk where we discover Mr. Wooly Bear caterpillar. Next spring he will become a tiger moth.  Folklore says you can predict the weather by how much black is on the coat of the wooly bear. The more black on their coat the colder and wetter the winter will be. Looks to me like it’s almost a tossup this year.
DSC_0008We continue to bide our time over the weekend, and finally, FINALLY, on Tuesday the package is delivered. Amazon’s Prime 2-day delivery only took a week :), but you gotta love UPS! Those dudes will deliver anywhere; right up to our campsite at Edson Creek Campground in Sixes, Oregon.

It’s late in the afternoon by the time my Amazon order arrives so we will stay another night here then head south early tomorrow morning on the last leg of our Oregon Coast summer trip. Getting so excited to see family and friends.

Thanks for stopping by!!!  Hugs, Shawna and The Boys

CAMP AMENITIES
Water:  Yes. I spigot near Host’s site    Garbage: Yes
Bathrooms:  Yes, vault                            Electricity: No
Tables: Yes                                                Shower: No
Fire Pit:  Yes                                              BBQ: Grate on fire pit, but is non-adjustable
# of Sites: 20                                              Fee: $8 per night, seniors with pass $4
Other:

 

 

 

The Painted Hills

It’s Thursday, July 19th, and  we are up early and ready to rock and roll.  I packed up before bed last night after a couple of gals pulled into the campground in a small gold passenger car, threw up a tent, and proceeded to build a huge campfire.  From my perspective it looked like the flames were four feet high.  The wind usually comes up in the evening here at Barnhouse, so it had me a bit worried.  No harm getting ready to roll just in case.  To their credit they stayed right with the fire until it burned down a little and didn’t throw any more wood on it. 

The boys fed and out for a quick potty run, I get the big green machine on the road.  The morning air is nice and cool and we take our sweet time wending our way down the mountain.

The boys are suddenly on high alert when they notice a herd of antelope crossing the road ahead of us.  I slow down from a meander to a crawl and get as close as I dare to get a photo.

DSC_0022 (2)Antelope on road into our Barnhouse CampAs we gain Hwy 26 the plan is to take in the Painted Hills Unit of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. I spot this old barn along the way.

DSC_0054

DSC_0071

These hills are fascinating and beautiful.

DSC_0068Painted Hills

Once we are finished drinking in the odd, stark but colorful Painted Hills we head west again on Hwy 26 and go through Prineville purchasing gas here.  Almost $100 to fill up!! Welcome to the west coast.  Just prior to landing in Redmond, I get this shot of The Sisters through the trees only because there was a place to pull over.  Most two lane roads are not conducive to photography for lack of sufficient places large enough to get off the road, but I was lucky with this one.

DSC_0073 Sisters Mtns

And I wasn’t about to pass up stopping to photograph this gorgeous old building when a parking spot right by it called my name. Of course it was too close to get the whole beautiful building in the shot, but I will take what I can get.

DSC_0072In Redmond, OR   Then we make a dog park stop.  The Redmond dog park is one of the cleanest dog parks we’ve been in.  I was a bit weary and didn’t bother bringing the camera in with us, but the boys had a marvelous time!

With no place found to stop for the night we head on to Madras. I have enough time to do laundry and get ice and then we’re back on the road heading to the rest area just north of here.  It’s in a construction zone and they worked far into the night, but a place to park is a place to park, and I am grateful I didn’t have to drive on in search of a camp.  AND, I found out who discovered Mt. Shasta.  Say what? One finds this out in Oregon?  Yep.

DSC_0075Sign at the rest area

Thanks for stopping by 2DogsTravel! Hugs, Shawna

 

 

Wetmore Campground, Hwy 26, Oregon

As we leave the valley floor behind after our visit to Unity, Oregon and the history of the fight for water from the Burnt River, we begin to climb in elevation. I am very happy about this as it will mean a respite from the building heat.

Amongst the tall pines we find the Forest Service campground, Wetmore, and it’s totally empty. I choose a nice shaded site and we settle in. The breeze floating through the pine boughs murmurs a sweet welcome.

After lunch the boys and I take a nap. A few people drive through but no one stays; perhaps because it’s right by the highway? I do not find the sparse traffic annoying, and here we will stay for five days. Tomorrow we will explore the walking trail.

There is a lovely walking trail between Wetmore and the next campground, Yellow Pine, and only a half mile hike.  It does have a couple of switchbacks to gain some elevation, but it’s an easy walk. The Chiweenie Brothers and I walk this every morning.

DSC_0027 (1)Bridge to the Wetmore CG trail

DSC_0030 (1)Chweenies on Wetmore CG TrailDSC_0022 (1)Huge Rock along trail in Wetmore CampDSC_0031 (1)Wetmore trail to Yellow Pine CG

We hate to leave this camp, but supplies are

running low. Time to move on.  Thanks for stopping by 2DogsTravel.com  Hugs, Shawna

CAMP AMENITIES

Water:  Yes            Garbage: No

Bathrooms:  Vault Toilet at upper tier    Electricity: No

Tables: Yes             Shower: No

Fire Pit:  Yes           BBQ: No

# of Sites:   !2         Fee: $5/$2.50 

Other:  Don’t leave your doors open at night.  Lots of mice. Ask me how I know this.  😦 — But it’s okay. The Chiweenie Brothers are perfecting their eradication skills. 

DSC_0032 (1)Wetmore to Yellow Pine trail

Scooteney Reservoir

June 29, 2018. We leave Moses Lake after our morning routine is taken care of; The boys are fed, I’ve had coffee, and The Chiweenie Brothers get another romp in the dog park.  

As the sun climbs higher and the day gets warmer, we take Hwy 17 south scouting for places to call home for the night.  Sometimes that has worked out better than planning too far ahead or travelling too far in one day to reach a certain point. . . sometimes it doesn’t. Today it works out.

Seeing a sign for a Bureau of Reclamation reservoir called Scooteney,  I make a right turn into the area and we drive down to the lake to check things out.  Nice campground!  A bit higher than we would pay in a national forest camp, but the heat has been building and I am already hating it. Just looking at the large shade trees and that blue, cool water makes me feel better.

DSC_0069
The picnic area at Scooteney

 

I find a spot to my liking–site number 18–that has a good shrubbery fence that will at least keep the ice chest side of the van shaded.  Even block ice isn’t lasting long in this heat.  There is also enough privacy  to allow me to keep the side doors (with lace curtains drawn) open and the back doors cracked open letting in enough air to keep it a bit cooler

in the green beast than it otherwise would be.

The boys are beyond excited to check out our new digs. I leash them up,  and in their eagerness to check things out I am practically dragged along on the way to the pay station.  WHOA!  Settle down you little hooligans! I pay half (it’s that senior thing again!) at $7.50. Getting a little wild with my money 🙂  Checkout time isn’t until 2:00 p.m.  Unusual, but nice! We can lollygag  all we want tomorrow morning.

It’s a busy campground, but not an inconsiderate bunch in the lot.

DSC_0058 (3)

DSC_0065 (3)

Thanks for stopping by 2DogsTravel. Hugs, Shawna

CAMP AMENITIES
Water:  Yes                                 Garbage: Yes
Bathrooms:  Yes                        Electricity: No
Tables:  Yes                                Shower: No
Fire Pit:  Yes, with grate          BBQ: No
# of Sites:  20+     Fee: $15, $7.50 with senior discount

DSC_0062 (2)

Other:  Lots of lush green grass, huge shade trees in the expansive picnic area, a boat launch, observation decks in several places overlooking the lake. Paved road, paved parking at each site, tent pads, water spigots strategically placed between campsites as well as garbage cans.
DSC_0064 (3)

 

Fishtrap BLM Campsite

June 26, 2018.  We are up early — and have been most every morning since leaving the mountains of Montana and Idaho.  Dang! Sunrise is early when there’s no mountains to delay it! We really don’t mind because the air is deliciously cool.  I feed the boys and make coffee, and of course the morning walk. It’s quick, quick, quick, no longer than needed to take care of business. I am anxious to leave the city behind; some peace and quiet is needed.

We head to the Laughing Dog Park so The Chiweenie Brothers can get in one last romp here. It’s all but empty, but we three walk the perimeter a couple of times, then back in the van, and I poke the van’s nose out into traffic from the on-ramp and head west on I-90.  Spokane traffic is unbelievable, but I suppose that’s just me.  Not used to it, and don’t want to get used to it.  However, we are soon out of the city proper and traffic thins.

We are headed west is all I know at this point, to eventually get to Moses Lake, when I spot the sign for Fishtrap with the little brown triangular sign that signifies camping. And what do you know, it’s BLM land.  It’s easy to find the designated site, and there’s only two other people here, camped at the only table.  There’s room for four or five very close campers, but we’re only here for a night or two. We’ll deal with it.  There is a vault toilet and gathered-rock fire rings.

The campsite is on a bluff that overlooks Smick Meadow and a lovely little pond.

DSC_0008 (7)

On the bluff to the left is an old barn. I leash the boys and wander over to the sign that tells all about the area.  This is Folsom Farm, or what’s left of it, from the early 1900s. The barn still stands along with another outbuilding.  The house is long gone from a fire.  The farm was sold many times between it’s beginning and end.


DSC_0001 (7)     I am pleased to see that no vandalism has occurred here.  How nice!!!

All is quiet here during the night except for a distant train on occasion.

DSC_0040 (4)

In the morning I hear a coyote howl which reminds me of Arizona, which reminds me of the glorious sunrises and sunsets in the Arizona desert.  As if in answer to a silent yearning, the second morning we are blessed with this

DSC_0023 (5)There are no trees to give shade in this camp and considering it’s almost July, it’s beginning to warm up.  Too warm.  We head out, to once again take I-90 west.

I can’t resist stopping for a few moments to get shots of the wildflowers blooming with abandon along the road into Fishtrap Camp.

Thanks for stopping by 2DogsTravel. Hugs, Shawna

 

CAMP AMENITIES
Water:  No                                   Garbage: No — pack it in/pack it out
Bathrooms:  One Vault Toilet  Electricity: No
Tables: One in Camp area        Shower: No
Fire Pit: Makeshift fire rings   BBQ:  No
# of Sites:  Room for four/five Fee: Free
Other: There are picnic tables past the gates (they ask you that you keep the gates closed) and a hiking trail down to the pond.  

 

 

 

 

 

Sloway and Cabin City in the Lolo National Forest

When we leave the Big Pine Fishing Access campground and continue our westward journey on I-90 I keep my eyes open for an improved campground, meaning one with pavement, water, garbage, tables, firepits.  We don’t need electricity or sewer so I’m not looking for THAT level of improvement, but we need something out of the mud.

It isn’t long before I spot a sign advertising a forest service campground called Sloway.  Sloway is in the Lolo National Forest and it is indeed an improved campground.  Being a national agency we will get half off the going rate.  Considering the retired, white-haired old lady I have become, that suits me fine!

I pull in, sign us up for a night just to see how it goes before committing to anything longer than one night.  We are in campsite 15.

This campground is chockfull of offerings. It has a picnic area, a launching area for canoes, kayaks, and rafts, a horse camp (which has it’s own entrance up the road), a section for large RVs with 7 pull-thru sites, 20 tent/car sites all with tables and fire rings. There are several vault toilets, 2 garbage collection sites, a recycling area, water spigots, and a camp host.  $10 per night, half that with senior pass. It’s right off the freeway, but traffic isn’t bothersome.  There is also a train that rolls through several times a day/night across the river, but I am either getting used to those sounds or going deaf. Not sure which it is.  What’s that, you say?  🙂  Lots of pines for shade.

We end up staying three days total, and you know what? I didn’t take any photos!  The old lady is losing it I guess!A

Before we get out of Montana we stay one night in another USFS campground called Cabin City. Much smaller than Sloway in the way of offerings, but has the basics: 2 loops of 12 sites each, tables, firepits, water, garbage, vault toilets.  It’s a pretty campground, but not so pretty getting there.  We drive past some drop-dead gorgeous homes and then at the turn to get to Cabin City, some pretty darn dumpy places.  All is well though, once you are in the campground. We saw a wild turkey sneaking through the undergrowth on one of our walks.  As in all of Montana, it’s bear country so keep your food inside your vehicle.

Thanks for stopping by!  Hugs, Shawna

CURRENT READ:  Still reading Colony by Anne Rivers Siddons … Good one!

Life is short