As we climbed out of the Klamath Valley this morning, you could see the snow covered Cascade Mountains off in the distance and the countryside went from mostly agriculture to Ponderosa Pine forest. After passing through Bend, OR , the Ponderosa Pine forest transitions into the high desert which is mostly arid land with junipers and sagebrush. The land is farmed where there is irrigation water available. The land without irrigation appears to be grazing land for cattle. The amazing thing is that event though Redmond is the fastest growing city in Oregon, signs of civilization north of the city along US 97 are few and far between. US 97 could vie for one of the loneliest highways in America with very little traffic north of Redmond similar to US 395 in California and Oregon that I traveled last summer.
We made a short stop at the “Mountain Identifier” located on the crest of a hill on US 197. It has a concrete pad with arrows pointing to the Cascade Mountain peaks visible on the horizon. Mt. Hood was the most familiar, but you could also see Presidential Mountains, Adams, Jefferson, and Washington along with the Three Sisters, and Broken Top Mountain. All are snow capped. A short distance down the road, there were some pick-up trucks and vans parked along the road which was unusual given the traffic we hadn’t seen so far. We started down a long grade to Maupin, OR and we started to see bicycle riders in spandex. We later learned we had run into the Deschutes River Valley Time Trials. Riders were young and old. Sue would clap and give the riders the thumbs up as climbed the 6% grade that we were coasting down. Those that looked up appeared to appreciate the encouragement.
We arrived at Maupin that has a City park with 26 RV sites. It was right along the Deschutes River and looked pretty nice so we decided to stop for the night as it was getting late in the afternoon. After getting Winnie settled, we headed to the Imperial River Co. for dinner. It was the base camp for the cyclists. Dining was al fresco overlooking the river. Entertainment was watching the high school couples come down to the river bank for pre-prom pictures and a dog named Charlie chase a Frisbee. The food was good. I had my first steak of the trip, a grass fed NY strip. Sue had linguine with artichoke hearts and chicken. After dinner we walked back to the RV Park along the river bank. We met a couple from Oregon staying in the park. They were retired and in the process of selling their house to go full-timing in their RV. They had 2 sons in the Army (82nd and 101st airborne) with 7 deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001. Both boys are planning to make a career out of the Army as NCO’s.
Even though it would be nice to stay in Maupin for a couple of days, we need to bet to Spokane on Monday so we can go to another Camping World. It appears that the thermostat or electronic ignition for the water heater failed so we have no hot water. We just had the water heater repaired when we were in Georgia in February. Hope fully we’ll be able to get it fixed in Spokane. We’ll see on Monday.