Reservations are not our style. We (translation: Chris) prefer the excitement of the unknown and the flexibility that comes with having no reservations when we travel. It typically works out for us while causing only a few challenges here and there (and major worrying for me). This lifestyle goes against everything I was taught in my upbringing. In my family, reservations for any vacation are required and should be made at least, I repeat, AT LEAST, six months in advance (with multiple follow up phone calls made to the reserved hotels, car rental agencies, and airlines to confirm said reservation). So, this no-reservation traveling is an adjustment for me and I have learned to appreciate the benefits of being flexible with travel plans. That said, every now and then I feel a reservation is a necessity and Oregon campground reservations were starting to appear as a necessity. With our wonderful stay in Prospect, Oregon coming to an end, I booked a full five days for us at a campground near Bend, Oregon. I won’t lie to you…having confirmed plans felt good…really, really good.
Before landing at our new campground in Bend, we made a side trip to the absolutely amazing Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the United States with a depth of 1,943 feet (not to be confused with Claytor Lake in Virginia as a kind Virginian pointed out to me months ago. Um…thanks.). I had high expectations of this place and it did not disappoint. In fact, the lake exceeded my expectations in its serene beauty. The crystal blue waters were the bluest I had ever seen in a lake and contrasted nicely against the immensely green trees and the thick patches of white snow. That’s right…snow…in July. Despite the frigid temperatures (for which we were not dressed), we managed to make a few stops around the rim and snap a few pictures of the amazing scenery.
With that worthwhile visit complete, we continued on to our campground and were excited to arrive early enough in the day to properly set up “camp” and enjoy a peaceful evening. We got to the campsite and backed into our site (Chris is now officially at the expert level of backing up a trailer…I, however, remain at the ignorant level for offering help and directions to him). Confident in my reservation-making ability and pleased with our new location, I opened the electrical box to hook up our power cord only to discover that the campsite did not have the proper amp service we required (despite my calling the campground, just as I was taught, to confirm certain amenities, including the amp service). We also quickly learned that our internet connection was weak and that presents an even more significant problem. After consideration of our options, we decided to leave the campground, surrendering our non-refundable deposit, in search of a new site for the week.
There were zero public park options around Bend. Oregonians really like their state parks (as they should) and all campsites were booked. We unfortunately had to skip Bend on this journey and continued driving north through parts of Oregon’s high desert terrain, catching incredible glimpses of the majestic Mt. Hood. At last, we entered the Columbia River Gorge region where we finally found a campsite…and , as typical with our travel style…no reservations necessary.