Central Oregon and La Pine State Park
Once again, there are too many pix, but this session includes three days in Central Oregon. Primary locations are Smith Rock State Park, Metolius, La Pine State Park (where I stayed) and Hat Rock State Park.
A trip to Central Oregon is always an adventure, and certainly worth a trip across the mountains. Terri couldn’t make this one, so did it solo.
Having been to most of these places before, several of my stops were photo opportunities to include on this site for the benefit of those who have not seen this country before. And is more often the case, photos by themselves do not do justice to actually being there. Seems the colors are not as pronounced in a photo, as well as not experiencing the overall feeling of a place.
Certainly Smith Rock State Park is one of those areas. It’s difficult to capture the scale and grandeur of the rocks in a picture, as well as the beauty of the river that flows through the area. For those that don’t already know, Smith Rock is one of the states premier rock climbing areas. One of the photos shows some climbers, although it may be a little difficult to see, as the photo was taken from the parking area. This stop was on my way through to the campground, and I didn’t want to spend a lot of time here, as the Metolius was also on today’s agenda. The primary trails in the park follow the river, but a couple take you near the top of one of the crags, which offers a good feeling for the scale of the area.
Next stop was the Head of the Metolius River, near Camp Sherman. This is a beautiful drive, with the Ponderosa’s and open country. It’s hard to imagine the river starting from a small opening in the side of the hill, as well as the constant flow of this clear river. The River always seems to be the same, no matter what time of year, with little fluctuation in the volume of water. The Metolius is one of those places that never seems to change, even after all the years of family camping trips we’ve taken here. The gently meandering Metolius is a very peaceful place to visit – once you’re away from the campgrounds. And while I did have to visit the Country Store at Camp Sherman, my nostalgic tendencies which may have prompted me to buy a fudgecycle (sp) or penny candy were not as strong today, so did without. Had thought about running up to the fish hatchery, but was running a little short on time, so kept going.
This was my first visit, however, to Lapine State Park, and was also my first experience in a cabin like this. Must say, this is a nice way to “rough it”! The cabin was nice, and offered a full bathroom (shower - no tub), kitchenette area with refrig and microwave (no stove), living room with TV – although I only used it for some music once in awhile, an outdoor fire pit and a BBQ. For a multiple day stay, this works well, as one has the opportunity to be either inside or outside, as well as having the amenities for cleaning up, relaxing and different options for food prep – although you have to bring some sort of camp stove unless you’re BBQ’ing or microwaving everything. Sort of takes away the ambience of the total outdoor camping adventure, with the cold night air and lanterns, but oh well. There were a couple nice trails that followed the Deschutes through the park as well.