Walnut Canyon National Monument

Walnut Canyon National Monument is a United States National Monument located about 10 mi southeast of downtown Flagstaff, Arizona, near Interstate 40. The canyon rim elevation is 6,690 ft; the canyon’s floor is 350 ft lower.

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Of all of the ruins we have lately been exploring, this was number 2 of our favorites, number 1 being Mesa Verde, so far. The ruins are up close and personable, yes it’s a hike but well worth it, 244 steps down to be exact. The views around every corner are truly spectacular and the ruins are very well preserved. Walnut Canyon lets you experience the ruins along the very trail the ancients used. This was Grampa and Gramma Thompson’s very favorite ruins to visit and we can now see why.

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Cheers from JUST AROUND THE BEND♥♥♥♥

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Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde is truly the Land Of The Ancients. Accessing Mesa Verdes premier sites is physically challenging. Most cliff dwelling trails are steep, uneven, with numerous steps, ladders, cliff edges and tight passages. The 7500 elevation and very dry windy hot climate can drain you fast if you are not properly prepared. Luckily, we arrived at the end of the season; temperatures were in the 70’s and nights 30ish. We found a lovely camp spot at Morefield inside the park, an seven-mile drive from the entrance, with a beautiful panorama. Being it is at the end of the season, no frills here, no, water, electric or sewer, pure dry camping-we did get a fire pit and very nice picnic table. This was a true test for our Solar and its working perfectly, I can blow dry my hair, vacuum, we even made sweet potato smoothies in the bullet. The park fee with The Senior America the Beautiful pass was $10.00 a night.
The first day we headed to visit Longhouse, we couldn’t get tickets as it was closing for the season so we opted to walk to the viewing platform, a 3 ½ mile loop, partially paved, with 4 additional Pithouse sites along the way named Badger House. The drive from our campsite to Longhouse parking was 23 miles of twisting, winding, curvy and a very steep roadway. Warnings along the way advising you cannot be over 25 feet long to drive this roadway, glad Julie was not on this road trip. The walk to see the ruins is worth it, unlike anything we have ever seen, the preservation, building skills and humans’ being able to survive in a bleak and harsh environment was astounding.
Our Next day’s adventure we were able to purchase tickets for a park ranger tour of Balcony House, $10.00 for two, named the most adventurous cliff dwelling tour. We met at the trailhead, approx. thirty of us in all and proceeded down a 150 ft. decent straight down, very, very steep steps. Then straight back up a huge ladder 32 steps to be exact to a ledge overlooking the vast Ancestral Pueblo Valley. If you happen to be claustrophobic, I would advise do not do this tour. We spent most of the tour on the ledge of an open cliff face with stone steps and tiny crawl spaces through rock tunnels. It is exhilarating, our Park Ranger was outstanding being an anthropologist he was informative and entertaining. The rest of the day, we spent self-touring other cliff dwelling and ended up at The Chapin Mesa Museum. The park is well marked with informative signage and easy to follow directions. There are a lot of dwelling you can visit, with wheel chair access and easy paved walking trails.

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Fort Stevens State Park – Oregon

Fort Stevens State Park in the fall is another 10 experience. The weather has been perfect with 72 degree days and 60 degree nights. Wind, none-that’s unheard of at the beach-right. Even though the park is literally packed with snow-birds, you would never know it. You practically have the most pristine paved trails to yourself and once you are back in  camp, it’s quiet and so relaxing. The campsites are situated so you have ample privacy, lots of trees and vegetation separating you from your neighbor. All sites have fire pits, tables, water and electric. Two larger loops have full hookups. Restrooms are clean, pretty modern with token paid showers. Full hookup for us was $32,00 a night, well worth it.

Our first day we were so excited to explore the many bikes trails, we actually got up early, packed snacks, water and off we biked hoping to end up at the beach. We geocached along the way and found many, ending up at the beach and exploring  a wrecked cargo ship named The Peter Iredale . Well what’s left of it.

Second Day was exploring bunkers, watching ships come in and out of the mouth of the Columbia River and more biking. This particular bike exploration brought us to a new trail which led to a very pregnant very large elk just grazing in a marsh right next to the trail. Wow are they big! The last day of our time here we are going to spend at the beach and yes probably get there by bicycles. What a fun, relaxing and memorable time this has been.

 

 

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What To Do Here:

First thing we did was get our bikes unloaded and hit the many miles of beautiful trails.

Find the beach – yes we rode our bikes directly to the beach- You can drive there also.

Tour the many bunkers

Geocache – So many very creative caches to be found, most you can find on your bikes or by walking, we found many!!!

Start a fire in your fire pit  and relax

Explore The City Of Astoria and be sure to ride the train

Visit The  Peter Iredale a wrecked cargo ship

See you next time from Just Around The Bend♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

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Olympic National Park – Hurricane Ridge, HOH Rain Forest and La Push-Wa

Hurricane Ridge is the most easily accessed mountain area within Olympic National Park. In clear weather, fantastic views can be enjoyed throughout the year.

Hurricane Ridge is located 17 miles south of Port Angeles on Hurricane Ridge Road, off Mount Angeles Road.

 

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HOH Rain Forest

The Hoh Rainforest is located on the Olympic Peninsula in western Washington state, USA. It is one of the largest temperate rainforests in the U.S. Within Olympic National Park, the forest is protected from commercial exploitation

Two short nature trails loop through the forest near the Visitor Center — the Hall of Mosses Trail (.8 miles), and the Spruce Nature Trail (1.2 miles). Now for the big walk (we missed this one today)  Hoh’s major hiking trail is the Hoh River trail, which leads 17.3 miles to Glacier Meadows, on the shoulder of Mount Olympus. The Hoh Lake trail branches off from the Hoh River trail just after the ranger station and ascends to Bogachiel Peak between the Hoh and the Sol Duc Valley.

We opted for the two shorter walks and it was incredible. Highlight of the day, we encountered a huge male elk. Thank goodness he was just resting as they had warnings there had been several elk attacks.

 

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Last stop on our Olympic Rain Forest Adventure is La Push,Wa. La Push is a village on the west coast of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. It lies at the mouth of the Quillayute River, surrounded by Olympic National Park. It’s known for wild Pacific beaches like First Beach, with its huge waves. Forested trails lead to Second and Third beaches, where numerous birds gather on offshore rock formations. At Rialto Beach, tide pools surround Hole-in-the-Wall, a natural rock arch.

 

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See You On The Road – Just Around The Bend♥♥♥♥♥♥

 

 

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Sequim Bay State Park- Washington

Sequim Bay State park is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Hiking through pristine forests, biking the Olympic Discovery Trail,  which runs right through the middle of the park, or go kayaking in the Bay. The park itself is well maintained with state of the art restrooms and token showers. Absolutely the cleanest grounds we have ever experienced and the staff and ranger so nice and helpfull. We chose site 83.

Amenities : Firepit, picnic table, water available and a million dollar view of the bay. We paid $30.00 a night. Quiet, pristine, I rate this park a 8.

Things To Do:

We Geocached at John Wayne’s Marina. With breathtaking views we sat for sometime taking in the busy boat traffic and watching the crab fisherman bringing in their catches of the day.  Sequim is also known for the longest sandbar, a mere 5 1/2 mile walk one way-well maybe next time. Don’t forget the Lavender farms, there are many, Purple Haze Lavender Farm was our favorite and their lavender ice cream – Soooo good. There is also cute boutiques for fun shopping, bistros and good coffee shops. We also found  the best bakery ever ” Pane dAmore” with fresh bread made daily, their whole wheat sourdough bread is amazing. I am sure I am forgetting lots of things to do, but if you visit Sequim this will give you a good start.

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See You On The Road Cheers From Just Around The Bend♥♥♥♥

UNION CREEK CAMPGROUND, OR

We love this campground, with this being our third return visit. Beautiful, Quiet and well maintained, with the most helpful camp  hosts we have yet encountered. The camp hosts deliver ice and even fishing worms to your camp site on golf carts. Ha, too funny, but we loved it. Our favorite site is # B17, a large very private site overlooking Phillips Lake.

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This year we were very fortunate to be able to meet our good friends Dave and Jen from Enterprise, Oregon. We kayaked, BBQed and drank a lot of homemade Kombucha together and just caught up on our lives and what adventure and great fun awaits us. Planning on making this an annual camping experience with our great friends, oh and Mocha!

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Facilities

The parking spurs are paved and gravel and large enough for any size RV. Several sites offer full hookups,and some others offer water and electric.

Units are equipped with picnic tables and grills. Drinking water and very clean restrooms with yes flush toilets are available. Some of the facilities are handicap-accessible. Upon leaving is a very modern and free dump station, very important.

This camp is part of the Union Creek Recreation Area, which includes a picnic and day-use area. Union Creek Campground is set on three loops with separate walk-in tent camping, and it has four group sites that can accommodate from 60-100 people.

Natural Features:

Phillips Reservoir is a popular destination within the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest because it offers scenic views of the surrounding Elkhorn Mountains. The shoreline is forested with a mix of Ponderosa pine and various firs interspersed with small grasslands.

Visitors enjoy several varieties of colorful wildflowers in the spring.

Recreation:

The campground is near a boat launch and a small, rocky swim beach. Activities include swimming, fishing, boating and water skiing.

Anglers can fish for bass, trout and perch. There’s an access point for the Phillips Lake Shoreline Trail, a 6.5-mile scenic trail for hiking and mountain biking.

Nearby Attractions:

The historic gold mining town of Sumpter is about 10 miles away. Visitors can explore the Sumpter Dredge State Heritage Park, browse the holiday weekend flea markets or take a ride on a historic steam locomotive.

Overview

The Union Creek Campground is one of the largest Forest Service campgrounds in eastern Oregon. It’s nestled on the northern shore of Phillips Reservoir amid mature Ponderosa pine, with a few sites offering views of the lake.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Accessible Boat Ramp
  • Accessible Flush Toilets
  • Accessible Swimming
  • Beach Access
  • Birding
  • Boat Ramp
  • Boat Trailer Parking
  • Boating
  • Canoeing
  • Concessions
  • Drinking Water
  • Dump Station
  • Firewood
  • Fish Cleaning Stations
  • Fishing
  • Flush Toilets
  • General Store
  • Grills
  • Group Camping
  • Hiking
  • Host
  • Lake Access
  • Mountain Biking
  • Paved Parking Spurs
  • Paved Roads
  • Picnic Area
  • Restaurant
  • Security Lights
  • Self Pay Station
  • Swimming
  • Getting There:
GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
44.69694, -118.01861
44°41’49″N, 118°1’7″WFrom Baker City, Oregon, travel south on Highway 7 for about 18 miles. The campground and day-use entrance is signed on the left side of the road. Follow the signs in the Union Creek Recreation Area down to the various campground loops and areas.

Contact Information:

Recreation.gov for reservations

Phone Number: 1-877-444-6777

Cheers from Just Around The Bend♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥
PLEASE JOIN US ON OUR NEXT ADVENTURE AT CLIFFSIDE RV PARK WHIDBEY ISLAND

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Twin Lakes Resort RV Park

The Twin Lakes Resort RV Park sits adjacent to the Deschutes Channel into Wickiup and across the street from the Resort general store, restaurant, and cabins. All sites come with 30 amp electrical hook-ups, water, and sewer. Take a short stroll down to the channel shores for sandy beaches and amazing views. They also have real restrooms and showers available for RV Park guest use.

Nothing beats the lakeside dining experience at Twin Lakes Resort!  Join them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner on Wednesday through Sunday from opening day through Labor Day weekend.  They offer a full menu for dining in or take out service, with a wonderful selection of beer and wine.  Make sure to check back for daily specials, but you can count on their famous Slow Smoked Prime Rib dinner every Saturday evening.  Don’t miss  Sunday brunch as well.

Coffee! Oh yes Java Hut, located in the main parking lot. It’s worth stopping by for a Wickiup Wakeup or delicious espresso drinks, smoothies, milkshakes, and sno cones.

Restaurant Hours:

Wednesday through Sunday: 8am – 8pm
Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays for our Lakeside Patio Cookout

Java Hut Hours:

Open Thursday through Sunday: 8am – 2pm

 

FISHING NEWS:

Fishing is open all year round at South and North Twin Lake and April 22nd for Wickiup!

General Store

The Twin Lakes General Store has most everything you’ll need for your stay at the resort.

Single day fishing licenses and live bait.
Large selection of fishing accessories.
Oil and other small items for your boat.
Souvenir t-shirts, sweatshirts and gifts.
Grocery and pharmaceutical items.
Snacks, drinks and  ice cream Jeff’s favorite food!!!
Beer and wine
Crushed and block ice, fire wood
Most things forgotten when camping!
They also have both unleaded gasoline and propane available for purchase

 

We reserved RV Site 9 and definitely will  return again. Nestled in a waterfront,  back-in site approximately 65 ft long, with 30 amp electrical service, water, and sewer hookups. Two picnic tables and a nice over sized fire pit. The featured picture is a view from the kitchen window from our RV.

The Twin Lakes RV Park is located on the shore of the Deschutes Channel leading into Wickiup Reservoir, and each site has a fire pit and a picnic table. Check-in is at 1:00pm, and check-out is at 11:00am.
Price includes one RV, one vehicle, and no more than 2 pets that must be on-leash at all times. Each additional vehicle is $5 per night, parking tags available at the Twin Lakes Store. They do not allow tent camping, however you may set up a tent in addition to your RV and there is a $10 fee per tent per night and a limit of 2 tents per site. We paid $32.00 a night, in addition to a  8% Deschutes County lodging tax and 1% Oregon lodging tax.

We had great fun boating, paddle boarding, fishing and swimming. The water was incredibly warm and felt so good on a 90 degree day. We even found 4 geocaches by walking around South Twin lake which is a  very picturesque and enjoyable one mile walk . We will be back.

Cheers From Just Around The Bend ♥♥♥♥♥

PS: Our next Adventure takes us to Union Creek Campground located on Phillips Lake just out of Sumpter Eastern Oregon.

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