Good camping in Oregon and Washington

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Camping on the south side of the Snake river is easy and nice thanks to several of the Army Corps of Engineers camp ground facilities. We ended up staying at the fishhook campground. If you get a chance and can make a reservation I recommend camp site number 16.

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The Cove Palisades state park in Oregon has an awesome huge camp ground and is in some kind of cool canyon full of cliffs that drop your jaw and petroglyphs from Indians hundreds if years ago. We happened upon this camp ground by chance, just looking for a place to stay in central Oregon, but luckily we found this little gem.

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Road trip progress report

Montana is beautiful country. That’s all there is to it. With that beauty comes the realities, it’s harsh up here. Out of the five days we have been here it’s rained most of them, and today was relentless. We can shrug off a little shower with ease, but a solid day of torrential downpour had us heading south. Tonight we are holed up in Kalispell, drying out and reorganizing.

The trip up was nice and uneventful. We stayed at a little lake off the beaten path called Dog Lake just north of the Oregon border the first night, which was awesome backcountry camping, then the second night we camped outside of Hermiston on the Columbia River. We got a chance to show the kids the McNary dam and the lock that we drive the ship through every fall. We plan on another camping night at the Columbia river somewhere on the southbound leg.

Glacier National Park was incredible and really very impressive, but snow still had the “Going to the sun road” closed over the top. It didn’t stop us from going everywhere in the park we could get to, and we had a great time. The highlight was the hike up to Avalanche Lake, it was gorgeous. I snapped quite a few pictures of that one. We all really liked the red buses that the park runs for tours, as well. The throw back ford’s were pretty cool to look at.

Now we are making our way back south, hoping to make it over to the Palouse Falls tomorrow night. I’ve been over there a couple times, but no one else has, so it’s time to share.

Pathfinder Van website

For those of us that own vans that have been converted to 4×4 by any one of several aftermarket companies finding information on these vehicles can be difficult, and finding parts even harder.

There is a good website for Pathfinder conversions is available.

My Pathfinder converted Chevy van is still in good shape, but it’s dated and time to start updating things. I would like to update the suspension to something softer for a better ride, convert the steering to crossover type for better control, swap in a 4 speed auto tranny for better fuel mileage, and ditch the carbuerator for fuel injection of some sort.

I’ll share other info as I find it, of course, but if you have any links to share please do.

Expeditions and road trips

It’s quite an interesting thing, how easily we are sold the romantic ideas shown to us in magazines, websites and videos. Well, how easily I’m sold on it, I can’t speak for you all.

Reading or seeing a story that makes me want something or to go somewhere is ok, but it also is not so good as well. I often try and take a look at my “needs” from a different angle in an attempt to keep myself grounded. It’s just too easy to justify the expensive gear and vehicles and whatever else if I don’t. Do I really need a rock buggy for the extreme rock crawling trails? Nope! Do I really need a new 4runner with ARB everything and a roof top tent? Nope. How about a tricked out Baja truck? Not any time soon.

So where am I going with this? I’d like to throw out my opinion for the world to ponder. I think that it’s great to go off and do things, and it’s great to grow as an adventurer. The best advice that I have been given, and that I always pass along is this. Start out with a stock rig. Buy what you like, can afford and what is readily available. Then take it out and DO THINGS in it, go places you enjoy, push the limits. When you know what the limitations are, you know where to modify. Buy as needed, not as wanted.

Buying junk solely on the advertising or the “keeping up with the jones'” is silliness. Learning from experience while gaining experience is where it’s at.

Sure, we all want to call our adventures “expeditions” or “ultimate adventures” but in reality most of us are actually just on road trips and camping trips. Embrace it. It’s ok.

Nat Geo is putting up some funds

National Geographic is having a, well an… Actually, I don’t know what it is, but they are offering up $50,000 for folks who have an “expedition” they want to go on. I think that’s pretty cool! It’s called “expedition granted” and if you think your dream is good enough, then this might be the time to go for it.

I wish I had time to put in a proposal, but life is way to crazy right now. To anyone out there does have time, good luck!!!

Road trip time

We are heading out this weekend for a road trip up to Montana!

The plan at this time is fairly normal for me. We don’t really have a plan. Glacier National park is the turn around point, but it looks like the road is still closed through the park, so we may need to skirt around the park to see what’s happening.

This should be a nice tour of eastern Oregon, eastern Washington, Idaho and western Montana, which is mostly unexplored country for me. The camera is ready to get some solid use and our camping gear is in prime form.

Does anyone have recommendations in camping spots for us?