Walter and Sara Let the good times roll
We spent Sunday August 9th at the Phoenix RV Resort in Salem Oregon. It was hot (as in 97) but we had the air conditioning on so the trailer stayed fairly cool. We made a trip to Costco and Safeway and then did the laundry at the resort. The laundry room was air conditioned—hooray—which made it that much easier. It didn’t cool down much that night and I didn’t sleep well in the heat but oh well. Phoenix RV Resort is a very nice place with lovely grounds and it’s not any more expensive than any of the other RV parks we’ve stayed at.

The next morning we broke camp and it was already over 90 when we hit the road at 10:30 am. We drove up I-5 to Portland and then eastward to Hwy 26 and up into the mountains. It was 100 degrees in Boring at noon. But it cooled down as we gained altitude and was only 80 when we arrived at Oak Fork Campground on Timothy Lake just southeast of the Barlow Pass. We got the last large campsite in the campground –on a Monday for heavens sake! And with only a couple of tries got Genevieve jockeyed into place.
Genevieve The Silver Palace at Timothy Lake

We sat in the shade and enjoyed the breeze while she cooled off from baking in the sun on the way up. It warmed up to 86 in the afternoon but that is nothing when compared to the temperatures over 100 down in the low lands.

We talked to the campground host here. This is a PGE (Portland General Electric) campground. He gets paid for 40 hours a week and gets more than minimum wage (highly unusual). He has no hookups but this is his 3rd year here and he loves it. This is HIS campground and he believes in taking good care of it. He was far happier than the camp hosts we talked to at Cove Creek on Detroit Lake. They worked for American Land and Leisure and were in their 4th year working for them. They liked the company and liked being hosts but you could tell they weren’t happy with managing the big busy campground AND boat ramp even though they didn’t have to clean the bathrooms because there were maintenance hosts who did that. Their advice: never take a campground with flush toilets. Vault toilets are much easier to take care of.

After dinner we took a stroll down to the lake. Even though it was an hour away from sunset there was color already in the sky—smoke does that.

Timothy Lake from Oak Creek Campground OR

It cooled down into the mid 60’s over night and we both had a good night’s sleep.

On Tuesday morning August 12th, we had partly cloudy skies but as we were finishing running the generator at about noon the thunder began to roll. Shortly thereafter it began to rain and it continued to rain off and on all afternoon. So we didn’t take the hike along the lake shore that we had planned. Instead, we stayed indoors and listened to the rain splatter on the skylight and did research on where we might go next. Our hot spot worked but only marginally so we were actually usually BOOKS to do the research.

At about 5 pm the trees stopped dripping and the sky lightened enough to draw me out of doors. I walked down to the lake in time to watch steam rising off the lake and off the hills across it.

Timothy Lake OR after a thunder storm

I walked south along the shore and ended up on the beach in front of the next campground down the lake. There were kids out playing in the water and a couple of people out in kayaks. From this point on the lake you can see Mt Hood peaking out over the hills.

Mt. Hood from Timothy Lake OR

The sun peeked out and lit things up nicely too.

Timothy Lake OR  
Walter joined me as I made my way back into the campground and we stopped and talked to the host about how he protects his generator from theft. He has a huge chain and lock that he attaches it to the picnic table of his site with and he’s bought one of the metal protectors for the handle of the generator so someone can’t cut through the plastic and steal it. Every summer several of these generators walk off from the campground. Some aren’t chained up but some have had their chains cut, their padlocks cut, their bike cables cut and their handles cut. We put ours back into the back of the truck every night and lock it up but that’s getting tiresome so we wanted to know what he recommended.

After dinner we hooked up the generator one more time and sure enough, the thunder started to roll again and the rain was back. It rained hard most of the night and Walter didn’t sleep that well since it was pretty loud on the sky lights and plastic vents. In the morning it had stopped so at least we didn’t have to break camp in the rain. But everything was wet and muddy and no matter how hard we tried we still managed to track some of it into the trailer—muddy needles, ugh.

We motored northeast in an interesting pattern drawn up by Carmine the Garmin. The roads were all pretty good and we were never lost but I wouldn’t want to have to figure out how to do it again without her! We pulled into Maryhill State Park on the Washington side of the Columbia at about 1:30 pm to find that all their RV sites were full—on a Wednesday! That’s okay, there’s a nice RV park right next door. It’s called Peach Beach Park and we’ve ended up here twice before when Maryhill was full. We got a pull-through site with water and power for $30 and settled in for a restful afternoon.

We’ve actually figured out where we’re going for the next 10 days! Now to figure out the week leading up to Labor Day and we’ll be in great shape. Tomorrow we’re heading to Peterson Prairie outside of Trout Lake, then next week we’ll be visiting Silver Lake north of Mt. Rainier and then Bumping Lake which on the east side of Mt. Rainier.

Just before dinner time I noticed a wind surfer out on the river. By the time I’d gotten my shoes on and found my camera and walked down to the river he’d brought his board in but I still got a nice photo of the river and the mesas on the other side.

Columbia River at Maryhill, WA