Oakridge Oregon – North & Middle Willamette River

June 17th – June 22nd, 2018

Sunday looked promising with weather in the 80’s and clear skies but alas it was dark and stormy and rained like crazy! We settled into our reserved camp spot but found it not to be quite what we expected, so we ventured out to find something a little more “outdoorsy”.

Monday: We moved up the road to Casey’s RV right on the river. It was a lovely park (everyone says so, Good Sam Club gave it a 10 in every category)! We weren’t there but an hour and JP was on the river with his fly rod in hand and the sun shining overhead.

Tuesday:  The weather has been changing every day – in every way. Sunshine, blue skies, cloudy, windy, dark and stormy, rainy but still mostly warm. We have a railroad track directly across from us and the trains HOWL through during the evening and late at night. It wakes us up but it really is kinda cool. JP has been fly-fishing in the river and some other areas nearby but not much catchin’ going on. Seems there hasn’t been a good run off this year. There’s a covered bridge here that’s a one laner but pretty neat!

Wednesday:  Just like bills and taxes on the road, some things (even if you are living the gypsy life) go on anyway. Neither of us have felt perky and I’m still recovering from some odd allergy cough that inflamed my lungs and put me on the evil prednisone. JP has had a weird little flu so we took the day and relaxed and did nothing eventful at all. JP tied some flies, I read most of the day. We went to town for Chinese at Lees Gourmet Garden where the owner recognized Jerry as a fellow fisherman and had tips for places to fish. The food and service at Lee’s was really good! It’s a 4.5 stars on TripAdvisor and right on. Later we cozied up to watch the 6th Harry Potter movie in a row. One to go. We were late to the movies but I think their fun!

Thursday : Oakridge is small – population maybe 3200. There isn’t a lot in the way of shopping but the town seems to have everything it needs to carry on with life here. We decided to take a 40 minute field trip to Springfield for groceries and fishing supplies. JP ‘s boat seat on his pontoon has been broken since Wild Billy so we needed to replace that. Plus JP had a Gift Certificate from the kids for  Dad’s day burning a hole in his pocket!Cabelas Loot

It was a good day (though in my book, any day that begins with a McDonald’s and ends with Panda Express is a good day)! Today the park was filled with those ever appealing and shiny trailers that make my heart skip a little beat – the AIRSTREAMS have arrived. We haven’t heard why the migration, no signs or displays. Ah-  but to see them all lined up in their shiny glory is a sight! Personally I like the Bambi, its too small to live in and too cute to care. 

Friday: JP was up early fishing and found his niche today. He fished the CT Park in his pontoon until noon and came back smilin’! He and his new tackle caught a couple 4 pound bass. He was one happy fella!

Later we made the rounds through town and JP showed me the Reservoir where he had his lucky Bass Day. It was too windy to go out but a really pretty drive.

We stopped at a garage sale (not that we actually needed a thing but .  . . ) It was our lucky day! We left with the exact seat we needed to replace the pontoon boat seat that had broken (yes! we had just purchased a $40.00 replacement seat at Walmart but it was green and camo and didn’t match the blue boat so it was NOT the perfect boat seat in my mind). JP disassembled the garage sale seat and I scrubbed it to near new. The cushions from the broken seat fastened in perfectly and for a mere $1.00 (original asking price was $2.00) we had the (matching) replacement for JP’s pontoon. Back in biz – and back to Wally’s for a return! I feel much better about the matching thing  ; )

This week flew by! I wouldn’t mind staying a little longer but I’m sure we’ll be back somewhere down the road. Next stop – Crane Prairie.


And Back In The Valley

June 14th – June 17th, 2018

We made a loop back through to Lebanon and cozied Lucky into our friend Gwen’s driveway. I got to spend time with Gwen (and Presley) and JP got busy with some chores.

GwenWe came back to the Valley so JP could be on board for a Bass Tournament on Saturday. Our friend Ben  has a shiny new bass boat that was rarin’ to go. Friday night we stayed at Ben and Wanda’s super cool apartment (at their house!) The boys needed to be up and on the road at 2:30 AM to reach Woahink Lake by  5:00 AM. 

Here’s Jerry’s tale of the day:

“I was fortunate enough to be invited to fish with Ben for a bass tournaments on Saturday. The tourney was at Woahink lake below Florence Oregon. It’s a large lake surrounded by lush green hills and some beautiful homes, accessible only by boat. Lots of docks and boat houses that bass like to use as feeding and hiding spots. The morning started out early, we were the first boat on the lake but as luck would have it we were the last to leave, we drew the short straw.  The weather started out cold and a wet and turned windy as the day progressed. Fishing was difficult. The waves kept the boat twisting and out of position for most of the day. Ben caught a few fish as the day went on, but I was fishless, not much help. The boat can weigh in 5 fish and total weight wins. We had three fish in the boat by about noon and they were on the small side. Just when we thought the fishing couldn’t get worse, the boat started acting strange. We couldn’t get up on plane, so we couldn’t level out and gain speed across the lake. We we were sinking! The boat was taking on water, water was coming through the floor and the rear battery, and the electrical compartment was almost underwater. Our first thought was the plug was out but that wasn’t it, then we thought water was coming over the stern with the wind but ruled that out since the bilge pump was running but couldn’t keep up. With Ben balanced on the very front of the boat to keep it low enough to see, I steered the boat towards the boat ramp. We pulled the boat and called it a day. We didn’t weigh in – we knew the total catch was too small to qualify. We opted for a good sea food restaurant, cold beer, and a review of our curious day. Ben and boat have a service appointment this week. Hopefully an easy fix!”

Wanda and I had the day to ourselves and made the most of it visiting until the fellas came back in the early evening. It was early to bed for the weary fisherman and a day they will likely talk about for awhile! The next morning we headed to the Point Restaurant in Sweet Home for a Father’s Day breakfast. The place was hopping and the food was great!

We’re looking forward to camping together next month for another tournament at Wickiup – I can’t wait!


Magone Lake, OR

June 11th – June 13th 2018

Monday we saw our friends passing thru Clyde Holliday on our way out so we all came into Magone Lake together. It was only about a an hour drive from John Day. After we got settled in and hooked up the guys headed to the lake to get the pontoons ready. Judy, Jan and I visited for awhile and by 3:00 the bite was on. The trout were BIG and feisty!Magone J

The guys were all fly fishing but I found a stump to use as an anchor and fished with power bait. It was so much fun! I caught 14 nice trout (2 really big ones I had to keep). All the rest I was able to release. 

It was casual camping – everyone goes on their own schedule and we met up for a campfire at dusk. Eli brought his guitar and Gene his mandolin so we had music at the fireside. A deer stopped by to listen for awhile. She just seemed content to take in the music.

Tuesday morning JP got up at 5:00 and had the lake to himself. He said it was awesome watching the sun come over the hill and the steam rise off the lake. He had caught a lot of nice sized trout by the time he came back for breakfast. Judy and I took the path around the lake. It’s 2.3 miles and it’s really pretty little hike.

Wild Lupine and Indian Paintbrush.

Later in the day JP gave me a little fly fishing lesson. There was a big hatch so the fish weren’t biting but I got some pointers anyway. In the evening we went back out and both caught some good sized fish before campfire. I used my favorite chartreuse sparkly power bait and JP was on the fly.
Magone B.JPGWednesday it was clear and warm during the day but there was frost on the pontoons in the early AM. There were only a few other boats or pontoons on the lake. JP had some good AM fishing but things slowed down late afternoon. Still a good day on the water!


The lake had ducks with ducklings, dear, beaver and we even saw a young bobcat running along the road. There’s plenty of evidence that this is a home to beavers!
We finished off our last night with the evening campfire. 

Side note: All the trucks in our campground had the hoods of their rigs propped open. Evidently small woodland creatures see no challenge in chewing up the wiring in your rig or packing it full of treats for later – if it’s open and accessible. If it’s closed however the game is on!

Side Note 2: The coolest thing! Tree of Shoes on Highway 26 outside of Mitchell, Oregon. It’s evidently a roadside attraction. I love the quirky things we come across on the road. I wish I had shoes I’d willing to contribute but alas – no. 






A Camping We Will Go! John Day OR

June 4th – June 10th 2018

Our next stop was Clyde Holliday State Park outside of John Day.  The park was amazingly green because they have all the water they could possibly need with the John Day River running along the parks edge. The sprinklers were going all day long, the showers had great water pressure and as long as you don’t use soap they’ll even let you wash your rigs here. The only downside were the mosquitoes (which are drawn to me like a magnet). They were large and loud and left me with something to (b)itch about! When there is a breeze here, it looks like it’s snowing – cottonwoods are the culprit. So its bug bites and allergies for me. Good thing I’m a sport!

There was a lovely little pond behind the park. JP had fun fly-fishing there in the evening. The fish weren’t big but since he released them all it didn’t really matter. It was just a short walk away so we walked there in the evenings. He made a couple of AM trips too. Nothing like camping a stones throw away from your fly fishing spot.

We went to the presentation at the amphitheater in the park (also known as the ultimate Mosquito Buffet) on Kam Wah Chung State Heritage Site in John Day. It’s a teaser for campers to come into town and visit the Historic Building and Interpretive Center. It was a great history lesson about the late 1800’s and the Chinese Immigration. Damn life was hard! The building is a bit dark inside and flash isn’t allowed but it gives you a feel for the time capsule it is! The picture on the right shows Kam Wah Chung in the past and you can see by the trees in our photos how its stood the test of time!

“The Kam Wah Chung meant “Golden Flower of Opportunity”and was a general store and herbal medicine shop that operated for more than half a century during a time when there were up to 2000 Chinese laborers in John Day. In 1887 two young men immigrated from China, Ing Hay (an herbal doctor) and Lung On (a merchant and businessman) and purchased The Kam Wah Chung.

100_0947-e1528487838931.jpgKam Wah Chung was the doctor’s office, general store and herbal medicine shop, At times it was a place to eat, play poker or mahjong, and spend the night if you were traveling through.  Kam Wah Chung stayed open for more than half a century. 

Doc would sit in the red chair and have the patient sit on the wooden stool. He didn’t talk to the patient. Doc took their pulse in several areas, told them what was wrong  and sent them off with herbs for their ailment. He offered his services to both Chinese and locals. The super cool thing is that the shop was locked up and sat as it was for twenty years, and when it was opened in 1969 it was perfectly preserved.

Docs bedroom didn’t change over time. In the black case under his bed they found $23,000.00 worth of uncashed checks! Most of the checks were from 1910 – 1930. It’s thought that the Doc didn’t need the money and felt that the patients didn’t have it so he just held them.That’s likely the case since that would have been during the Great Depression.  A lot of the history of this area was preserved because of the records, letters, bills, and ledgers all found in Kam Whan Chung. Also cool is the fact that in 2015 “Doc” Ing Hay’s great grandnephew Robert M. Wah became the President of the American Medical Association!

After Lung An passed away Doc had his nephew come to John Day from back east to help with him with Kam Wah Chung. When the Doc passed away the historic site was donated to the city of John Day on the condition it would maintained as a museum. And so it lives on! 

Saturday we headed to Canyon City for their “62 Days Celebration” (celebrating the Gold Rush of 1862). The little town had vendor booths and folks braved the rain for the parade on the main drag. The kids were super excited! Kam Wah Chung was represented in the parade too.

Even though it wasn’t parade weather – no one seemed to mind too much! Enough candy was thrown from the maybe 20 entries in the parade that the kids came prepared with bags to collect it just like Halloween! We did a late breakfast  at the Squeeze Inn Restaurant and called it a day. Sunday was all about getting ready for Monday –  next stop, Magone Lake. Not far from John Day but new territory!

First Stop – Chimney Rock Campground, Crooked River, OR

June 1st, 2018 – June 4th,2018

What a beautiful spot on the Crooked River! We were only one of maybe 3 campers here though there is a little activity in the day use areas. It was hot and sunny with a breeze. We dry camped which we haven’t done much of in the past. We parked near the river’s edge so the sound of the water was the background music day and night. We used our generator and there was potable water (though it was a pump) and vault restrooms. It was peaceful and relaxing and I had plenty of time to read and work on our blog.

JP had all the gear to fly-fish here and spent his time roaming and wading the river. The fish were small but there was some catching going on. I’m thinking after catching the big bass at Ten Mile Bass any trout would seem a bit small on the river!

JP Fish Note: It took few days to locate the trout as the water level in the Crooked River are at summer levels but they were holed up in the deeper cooler waters. White fish were abundant and are still a lot of fun to catch. All in all the trip brought back some pleasant memories of trips on the Crooked.

A Picture perfect place to be!

Plans Can Change!

It’s been hard trying to travel to parts unknown and return to parts we just have to revisit AND have JP in areas where he can fish familiar water in the right weather and return to spots he hasn’t seen in decades and wants to to go back to.

The best way to make it work was for a change in plans. My present for JP’s Birthday this year was “Jerry’s Fishing Season”. We can go anywhere he wants, dry camping or otherwise, fly fishing or otherwise, bank fishing or pontoon boat. If we are near places I can drop out for a bit to be with friends I will, but otherwise the itinerary is all his from June 1st through mid Nov.


We’re already booked into Bandon from August 15th to November 15th for salmon, crab, bass, and ocean fishing. I’ll travel back and forth between Bandon and the Valley and maybe take some field trips of my own during that time. The time between now and Nov 15th – all his.

My “Travel Season” will start when we leave Bandon in November – through the last week of May 2019 when we’ll return for the 2nd Annual Jones’s Ten Mile Bass Tournament Week. I think this will work out just fine!

Ten Mile Lake – 1st Annual Jones’s Family Bass Tournament

May 24th 2018 – June 1st, 2018

We spent the week with Wanda and Ben and a bunch of their family at Ten Mile Lake (conveniently located a short drive from the Mill and Three Rivers Casino in Coos Bay). The weather was warm, cold, windy and sunny depending on the day. The food was awesome! These folks have meals down to a science. Being the chef that I am (not) I thoroughly appreciated their planning and prep. Thanksgiving Dinner while camping? Who knew? Everyone spent their day as they pleased with a 6:00 timeline for dinner. The boats came and went all day and into the evening with their bass count and fishing tales.

Saturday was the First Annual Jone’s Family Bass Tournament. The fellas hit it hard from first light to the 2:00 deadline. Ben had really cool trophies for the winners. Cory won biggest fish and Cory and son Gabe won the 1st place trophy. Ben, Jerry and Brad won 2nd place. There was an all you can eat bass fry and cocktail hour Saturday night to celebrate! Even cocktail hours were first rate – not just a beer and a shot, oh no – margaritas and strawberry daquiris in the blender and whip cream to boot! We were a fun crowd at the campfire that night!

The number of campers was around 20 over the week we were there. The newest member of the group was Ben and Wanda’s new baby Payson who kept everyone on their toes. He was a really good boy for his first camping trip and looked darling in his life vest when he went out in the boat with the guys!

Other than the hole that targeted Wanda’s foot and managed to fracture her ankle on Memorial Day, all went smoothly. Even though it was Memorial Day, Reedsport Hospital got them in pretty quickly and sent her home with crutches, instructions, a wrap and a disc of her x-rays so she could follow up at home. She was a Super Trooper and decided to stay at Ten Mile for the rest of the week as planned. 1st picture was at camp and then (Yeow!) after she got home!

Casino Wins for the Girls – Well. . . .it was fun!                                                                          Bass Count for the week – LOTS! up to 4 plus pounds and some nice Trout to Boot!

10 Mile Lake 2018 T

Side Note: Ben bought a new Bass Boat this season and has invited JP to be his partner in some Bass Tournaments this year. He was pretty stoked about it so the Ten Mile Trip was a learning adventure for him. He paid very close attention. Good thing – otherwise he wouldn’t have known he needed a trip to Cabela’s for a new Bass rod and reel and a few bits of tackle! He’s all set now expect for . . . a new bass tackle box and ? ? ?. There’s always a sporting good selection somewhere on the road. I’m sure he’ll be good to go in no time!

Home Again (Bandon and Lebanon)

April 19th – May 24th, 2018

After our stay at Wild Billy Lake, we pulled off the road to take care of some mid-year business and spent time at “home(s)”. First, we pulled Lucky into Bandon for a stay at Mike and Ann’s place with a killer view of the ocean, a private shower and laundry (always a treat!). We were in Bandon a week, just enough time make keep our doctor and dentist appointments and finish up some other business so we could fit in some fishin’ and friends!

JP got to spend time in familiar territory with his fishing pals. It only took one day on the Coquille River and one day on the Umpqua to fill their freezers with the all the crab bait (shad) they’ll likely need this season. JP ventured out on a halibut trip, but no halibut on the boat. No complaints though – they caught ling cod and black bass and were happy fisher guys.

2018 Umpqua River

JP and I got together with some of our Bandon friends for lunches and dinners out. I think we gain about 10 pounds whenever we come back to town.  Getting together with friends is a high calorie endeavor, but always fun! I was glad I got to see a few girlfriends when we were in town and I know we will be back for a longer stay starting in late summer so I can track down the gals that got away.

We headed to our other “home” in Lebanon for the next week. We left Lucky behind and stayed at Gwen’s. Turned out to be a good timing since she broke her thumb and needed surgery. We were happy that we picked just the right time to be staying with her. We had more annual doctor appointments scheduled that week and were glad to get those out of the way. JP stayed and helped out with some chores at Gwen’s house while she was recovering from her thumb surgery. I spent the last few days in Sweet Home cozied up at Jean’s for a little catch up time before we headed back to Bandon to get Lucky ready for our next Oregon stop.