June 28: Bend to Idaho
Joan and I had a great time in Bend, though we wish we could have stayed longer. We fell in love with the place - I like it because it is dog-friendly and Joan likes it because it is bike-friendly and outdoorsy (I like that too). In fact, on Hwy 97 that goes through Bend, there are bike lanes on the highway!!
We woke up and got ready - Here are pictures of my new pal, Angus.
And as is our habit, we took a "family photo" of everyone we visited which included, me, Joan, Glen, and Angus.
Glen went to work. Angus stayed at home. Joan and I went downtown to a coffee shop and then walked along the Deschutes River through town near the Old Mill area. There are paths all along the river on both sides.
In the background behind this bridge at Old Mill, there is an amphitheater and beyond that, the Three Sisters mountains.
Most everyone here is into organic food, kayaking, biking, canoeing, fishing, boating, soaking on rafts down the river, etc. etc. If we had stayed longer, Joan and I would have never left!
So we had to leave via route 20 eastward towards Idaho. Hondacar's mileage was at 120,853. This is high desert area. All the trees and more trees of Bend area evolved into scrub brush with buttes abounding.
At one point, we almost ran into a deer on the road - phew, that was close. Once again, we ran into the problem that dogs are not allowed in picnic areas in the eastern Oregon rest stops. Joan is grouchy again about this because where is she supposed to eat her lunch with me? It is extremely hot out here again so she can't leave me in the car. Joan smartly decides to start taking advantage of the city parks instead of rest stops. So we stopped in Vale, OR. It is a small quaint town and we stopped at Wadleigh Park and watched all the young people go into the city pool located there. We sat near a mural of the Oregon Trail Expedition that went through this area. The mural was painted by James R. Spurlock in 1999 and is named "Beginner's Luck." As you can see, Joan made me part of the action!
At this park, Joan could use the bathroom, I could lounge around anywhere I wanted and walk through the park with no legal ramifications. Much more friendly than the rest stops!! So we headed out, eventually came to I-84 and headed south to Boise, ID. We drove through Boise's city center to get a look at the place and along Warm Springs Rd. to Hwy 21 that goes up through the Sawtooth Mountains. We even had a helmeted bicyclist ascending into the mountains behind Hondacar. We drove only a few miles up but it is a windy road and finally found the elusive Grayback Gulch campground which is nested within Ponderosa Pines. We chose campsite #14 which was farthest from the highway.
After setting up the tent, Joan and I went walking along the Grayback Loop trail right near the camp. However, we get kinda lost on it, and returned to camp. It was good to stretch our legs despite Joan scraping her leg on a downed tree. Things got worse back at camp. It was really hot, so I just laid down on the ground. But then something bit me on both my ears, perhaps a mosquito perhaps something else. But all I know is that my ears got really hot and swollen. I also wouldn't eat any food (still). Joan said the mosquitos here were BIGGER than the ones in Minnesota which surprised her. One bite through her shirt made a big welt on her arm. At 9:20 PM, it was still light and bright out.
Around 4 AM, I guess my stomach woke Joan up. My stomach was growling really loudly. Joan got up and the next thing I knew, she brought lots of treats into the tent for me to eat, which I did. We again learned our lesson to always put the rainfly on the tent, which we had done. Early in the morning about 5 AM, it started to rain lightly. Since my stomach had woken Joan up and then it started raining, Joan wasn't really asleep, so we got up really early (5:55 AM).