We spent the morning in our hotel room catching up on our blog postings and pictures as well as planning our route for the day. After finishing off cold leftover pizza from last nights dinner 😉 we left the hotel at 11:00 and after a quick grocery stop at Safeway were on our way towards Maryhill State Park in Washington. I had called the reservation phone number and although I couldn’t make reservations for the same day found out that they still had five camp sites available. Pretty good odds I thought.The four lane stretch of highway from Bend to Redmond was busy. In general US 97 was pretty packed with cars and campers all the way to Madras where US 26 splits off to go to Portland.
Our relief that the traffic had died down significantly was tempered with the winds that were now really starting to pick up. We had a northerly wind leaving Bend but it wasn’t too bad. However, once we were on a plateau they really picked up 🙁 and kept getting worse the closer we got to the Washington state border. Once we saw all the electricity generating windmills lining the ridges we knew this was ‘normal’ and good for generating electricity but not fun to ride in, leaning the bike into the wind. All part of the motorcycling experience, yes, but not a fun one.
Finally having reached the Maryhill State Park we were greeted once again by a ‘campground full’ sign. Ah crap. Not again, summer and the weekend, a double whammy working against us. I went into the park office to inquire about alternatives. The RV park close by had no tent sites. The closest state park that she knew of that had sites was Brooks Memorial State Park, another 25 miles north on US 97. Once we got north of the Columbia river the winds finally died down and we made it safely to the park and indeed got a tent site.
Prices sure have gone up. This is a basic site: picnic table, no water (there’s a central faucet not too far away), no electricity, no WIFI all for $19. On top of that, the shower is coin operated, $0.50 buys you 3 minutes of water. Diane checked it out and estimated 2.5 minutes of cold water, 0.5 minutes of hot. Compare that to a KOA which is usually anywhere between $24 and $28 but you have water and electricity at your site and free WIFI.
We just had a visit from some camping neighbors, Larry, Mavis and their two dogs, Shadow and Turbo. Larry is a dual-sport rider and offered tons of suggestions and even a place to stay if we make it to his neighborhood north of Seattle. Really great to talk with them and Diane got a dose of doggie-love with Shadow. :-).
Here’s the route.