Steen Mountains, Frenchglen OR

July 15th – July 18th, 2018

Monday: We settled in late afternoon at Steen Mountain Resort a few miles from the the tiny town of Frenchglen.

100_1068We took a drive to look at the Doner Blitzen River and the Steen Mountain area. Today was the  Annual Steen Mountain Run so the gravel road had runners and stragglers most of the way. I didn’t envy them (though I admired their gumption) between the heat and the dust from the cars crawling past them it must have been tough. Its huge open spaces as far as you can see and the blue skies were all dolled up with clouds. Oh so pretty – but oh so remote!

Steen Mt

There was a pretty good thunderstorm tonight and what followed  was an onslaught of misquitos! I do believe JP had a bite or two but I on the other hand was the object of their affection. JP spent about a half hour before movie o’clock ridding poor Lucky of the beasts! 

Tuesday:  We packed our lunch and headed to Krumbo Reservoir for the day. We lathered up in sunscreen and took our pontoons out for the day. I caught 3 really nice trout and JP sampled all his new bass tackle and caught some bass. We spent about 6 hours on the water – which was a good idea because it was 96 or so and only the occasional wind to cool things off. 

Wednesday: It was just too hot to fish and there are signs near the river that ask you not to fish when the temperatures are high. JP says its because even if you catch and release the, the stress of the heat kills the fish. So we cranked up the air (which isn’t saying much in Lucky) and hid out from the heat. After it cooled down a bit we did a little pre-packing for our AM departure. We’re headed back to the Valley. 

More at Ana Reservoir and Summer Lake

Sunday July 8th- July 14th, 2018

Sunday: Day of rest and reorganizing. Good thing! We had a busy Monday coming up!

Monday:  JP wanted me to see Fort Rock but before we got there we came across the the Fort Rock Homestead Village and museum. Its self guided (they give you a flyer that describes each settlers home). Oddly everything is in the open, no guard rails or glass partitions. You just walk in on your own and look around. Most of the settlers homes were relocated to this village but it gives you a feel for what the settlements were like in the 1900’s. 

Dt Thom’s Office

The Belletable House

The Blacksmith Shop (AKA the Horse Shoer)

Menkenmaier Cabin

Stratton House

Boedigheimer Cabin

Saint Bridget’s Catholic Church (formally known as St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church)

Fort Rock General Store

Webster Cabin

Sunset School -schools are always my favorite!

Fort Rock Sunset School

Settlers Chuck Wagon – JP’s favorite!

And the ever popular – Restrooms

The whole settlement was interesting. They had the “tiny house” and “minimal” thing down long before it was a lifestyle change! We did eventually make it to the actual Fort Rock State Park but not before a little shell shock at the price of gas out here in no mans land!  Fort Rock OH MYWe drove up to Fort Rock State Park and took some photos. Its a geological area that’s been around since prehistoric times. There are hiking trails but by the time we left the Settlers Village it was getting late in the afternoon and there was some fishing on the schedule so we headed back to camp.

JP packed us up in no time and we headed out to bank fish on Ana Reservoir. It was my kinda fishing with chartreuse sparkle power bait and really nice sized trout. Even though I love catching – I’m not so much into eating them and they are hard to release since they generally swallow the hook. So we limited ourselves to catching only enough to bring home to a friend who is a trout for dinner kind of gal and called it a night! 

Ana Res Trout 2Ana Res Trout 1

Tuesday: We took a ride into Paisley. It was much smaller than we anticipated. It didn’t have much to see. There was one lovely store though, the Paisley Fabric and Quilt Store that also carried antiques and some lovely Oregon Sunstone jewelry.

We drove on about another 45 minutes to Lakeview. It’s a much bigger town and had a nice downtown (though many buildings were empty). It had that cool historic feel with brick buildings and signs telling about the stores past. We visited the lovely new library to print out some biz, and took our time walking around town. In the early 1900’s there was a fire so the buildings were rebuilt after that. We popped in and out of a few stores and took some pictures. 

The Chamber of Commerce Downtown won me over with it’s window sign. Apparently everyone is welcome here and that sits well with me!

Sad Side Note:  I found this poster downtown.  I never knew about the Japanese Balloon Bombs (otherwise known as Fugos).  The poster may be hard to read but if you’re interested you can google it. I had no idea – just another reminder of how little of the past I know about.

Lakeview 4

Wednesday: Camp all day – but JP and the neighbor Dave went flyfishing at Ana Reservoir in the evening. Dave caught one – JP had some hits. It gets windy in the evening so it was an early night. After dark JP and I went out to look at the amazing night sky. I don’r remember seeing so many stars (and satellites)! There was a ribbon of mist (or smoke or something) that threaded through the starts. It was totally awesome! 

Thursday: Evidently JP made a buddy of the Forestry guy so he came knocking on the camper door to give us the Fish Facts of the day. We packed up and headed to Deadhorse Lake past Paisley. The weather couldn’t have been nicer and we had the lake to ourselves. JP caught a couple of nice size trout fly fishing and I managed to catch 3 on my handy power worms. 

Deadhorse Lake –

Friday:  Not much to report. Hot as hell and not even a breeze! The air conditioner was barely keeping up. We stayed in Lucky, and made reading and trip planning the only activities of the day. 

Saturday: We took a ride up to the Lookout. It was certainly beautiful and a bit cooler which was a relief! We came across some ATV folk and a lot of cattle on our way up. Captain John C. Frémont and his Army topographical team were on a mapping expidition in 1843 through central Oregon. On Dec 16th, 1843 they worked their way down a snowy cliff to find a huge lake below them. Fremont named the ridge Winter Ridge and the lake, Summer Lake.  Here’s Fremont’s description of their discovery and the names of the the ridge and lake I found on Wikipedia:

At our feet…more than a thousand feet below…we looked into a green prairie country, in which a beautiful lake, some twenty miles in length, was spread along the foot of the mountain…Shivering on snow three feet deep, and stiffening in a cold north wind, we exclaimed at once that the names of summer lake and winter ridge should be applied to these proximate places of such sudden and violent contrast.

— John C. Fremont, 16 December 1843, Report, Second Expedition[8]

Winter Ridge Summer Lake 1

Later in the afternoon JP took his pontoon back out to Ana Reservoir. No fish tonight but JP and his fly fisher friend Dave had a beer and called it a night.Its our last night here. We’ll be up early in the AM and packing for the road. Next destination: Steen Mountain Resort, Frenchglen OR. 

Way Out Yonder!

July 1st – July 7th 2018
Sunday: we made a pit stop at Rays in La Pine for some groceries. It had to be the last real store for miles because the prices rivaled John Day, where we suffered from sticker shock!


We pulled in to Anna Reservoir RV. It’s small and clean and wide open. The 4th of July crowds are nowhere to be seen. We took a little scouting drive and stopped to visit the little store at Summer Lake and called it a day. Summer Lake is an alkali lake so it is rimmed in what looks like white sand. Its low this time of year and fish can’t survive in it but the ducks don’t seem to mind. 

Summer Lake Store

JP took the picture of these unidentified bones he came across at Summer Lake. Guess whatever it was – was not an alkali fan!

Ana River

Monday: JP chatted up some guys on an intel gathering quest, then took off mid morning. It was sunny but pretty windy. JP fished Anna Reservoir and the Anna River. He came home with a 18” trout, a big grin and the secret fly that seemed to do the trick!

Tuesday: JP loaded us up and we headed south and up into the hills to a little lake at 6,249′ above sea level. Withers lake is not very big but perfect for pontooning. It was just us and one other fisherman.

There were lots of Brook Trout but you had to work for them and they weren’t very big – but oh so pretty!

It was sunny but cooler in the higher altitude and the wildlife was pretty tame. Apparently it’s free range for the cows and their calves who seem to own the road!

Wednesday: Happy Fourth of July! We went exploring in the AM and found ourselves off road more than on road to reach  Thompson Reservoir. Damn that Siri!  By the time we got there we just weren’t that interested. It was really long rough drive and no easy access to the water that we could see. We decided to call it off and found the easy well paved road home. We took the rest of the day off and kicked it at camp!  Thompson Reservoir

Thursday:  JP was up at 5:00 to be the early bird at Anna Reservoir. Later he took a hike along the Ana River.  He saw some bait fisherman catch nice size trout on power bait but alas, no fly fishing catches today. It was windy by the time he got back so he spent the afternoon tying flies to present to the fish on tomorrow’s adventure.

Ana River –

Ana Reservoir-

Friday: Day of Pause. JP still not feeling so hot so we hunkered down and spent the day binge watching the series Dirty Little Lies. Really well done show! Tomorrow is another day!

Saturday: JP did some morning fishing on the Ana Reservoir and had some luck which is a good way to start the day.

We drove into Bend for the day at around noon to make a Walgreen’s run. Turned out to be a pretty productive day! We got all of our grocery shopping done and grabbed a late lunch at Panda Express. They were basically out of everything and it was a minimum 15 minute wait but we toughed it out. The manager was awesome though! Because of the wait she threw in a large order of orange chicken and bag of cheese wontons. Nice! We left full and had a free dinner for tomorrow night! JP spent some time on the phone changing plans for us while I restocked our books and movies at Goodwill. It looks like we are staying here for another week.  JP really likes it here! 

ANa Resevoir Sunset













The Eastern Side of Oregon

June 24th – June 30th, 2018
Sunday: We pulled into Crane Prairie Lake RV Campground and were settled in no time flat. The weather was great and even though it’s not poolside in Arizona, it’s awesome to be in the sunshine. JP got everything fishing in order and ready to go. He was on the lake giving the bass a run for the money until well after sunset. He caught 3 nice ones and the campers next door added them to their dinner menu.

Monday:  JP was up at way too early for me, and on the lake until breakfast. Later we both were on the Crane Prairie in our pontoons until evening.  Even in the wind he caught 2 bass but alas none for me. There were tons o’ geese and their families on the shore. We watched an otter family playing hide and seek in the logs, saw an osprey fishing and an eagle overhead keeping an eye on things. 

Tuesday:  Now that we have some answers about why JP hasn’t been feeling himself we were glad to have a Walgreen’s in Bend not too far away to pick up an RX and get him feeling better.  We had our 46th Anniversary outing at a great place I found on TripAdvisor called Brother Jon’s Public House.

46th Anniversary


It was really good food and seeing as it was a special occasion – I opted for not just 1, but 2 Cadillac Margaritas. Our next stop was Walmart and it was way more fun with cocktails onboard! On our way back to camp we saw a young black bear high tailing it across the road. We’ve had some brazen chipmunks and a pretty doe who strolled right through our campsite at dusk in the evening – like we aren’t even there.

JP is studying bass fishing techniques online in his down time – a whole different slant on a new style of fishing . I think (hope) he has all his bass gear now, (last item was new bass tackle box) now all he needs is Big Ole Bass! 

Wednesday:  Off to Bend again, this time to get mud flaps for the front of the Silverado. We did a  swoop through Costco (yeah there were samples galore) and when we headed back to camp JP made a run for the Quinn River and Davis Lake for late afternoon and evening fishing. He caught a couple of bass at Davis but he did a lot of fishing! The wind’s been pretty constant and he was pretty beat at the end of the day!

Thursday: JP was out in the early AM and I exercised my right to sleep in. After he came back for lunch I cut him loose for the day so I could catch up on the stuff that you still have to do on the road especially if you are lucky enough to have some internet.  “Jerry’s Fishing Season” is a completely different mode from our other travels, but I’ve managed to keep busy and appreciate the quiet and peaceful days with a book in hand. Today his quest was gathering info at Wickiup for an upcoming Bass Tournament, but the lake is huge and the winds were mighty, so he gathered what info he could from fisherman he talked to. 

Friday and Saturday:
When everyday is a camping day – you forget about summer weekends and holidays! It’s been decades since we’ve spent much time in this part of Oregon and things have definitely grown and changed. This weekend started the 4th of July Holiday Week and it was very much the place to be for families, kayaks, bikes and boats. The campgrounds all had full signs and day use was at capacity all around us. Elk Lake looked like great family fun!

Elk Lake

We’re headed south east in the AM to Summer Lake. Its kind of out there and likely  not as popular for the weekend/holiday crowd. I cant believe tomorrow is July 1st~ ALREADY! Summer is here and its gonna be hot!