|Start mileage: 41,689 End Mileage: 41,862
We drove 173 miles today driving from La Pine, OR to Veneta, OR. We took OR 97 to OR 58W. A was very happy to be going downhill on Route 58. He doubted the van would pull the trailer up the steep winding road. The high point of Route 58 is the descent from Willamette Pass, elevation 5000 feet, 16 miles of 5 and 6 per cent grade on a winding road with 40 mph curves and a 1/4 mile long tunnel which curves to the left. Three quarters of the way down, we got a phone call from Marty K and had to explain that we were a little busy at the moment and would call back.
Other than that, the descent was easy and the scenery was beautiful. We stopped at a pull off by a gurgling stream and ate lunch in the camper.
From OR 58 we picked up I-5 North to Eugene. After weeks on state and county roads, the Interstate was CULTURE SHOCK - no courteous drivers on the road here. Vehicles weaving in and out of lanes and, of course, road construction and closed lanes. It’s been about three weeks since we encountered aggressive traffic on an interstate. Can’t say we missed it.
We noticed that the State of Oregon anticipates visits from Californians. Road signs line the highways: DO NOT PASS SNOW PLOWS ON RIGHT.
We camped at Richardson Park, a Lane County (OR) park on Fern Ridge Reservoir. The park had spacious tree lined sites, water and electric hookups for $16/night (plus a $10.00 Internet reservation fee). Fern Ridge Reservoir is beautiful and has a large, lifeguarded swimming area. Since we camped here to attend the Faerieworlds Festival, we didn’t have time to enjoy the water. This is definitely a campground we would happily return to and for a longer period of time.
We went to the Friday Market in downtown Veneta where we stocked up on fresh local blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, donut peaches and homemade bread and purchased some homemade goat’s milk soap.
Drew, Amy, and Matthew met us at the Campground. Amy and Drew pitched their tent. We had some dinner, a campfire and the ubiquitous S’mores and settled in for a good night’s sleep. Amy and Natasha slept in the tent. The guys joined us in the trailer.