The Orphan and The Boot take the third segment of The Great Arvee trip by going generally to the east toward Idaho and Wyoming
On Thursday, July 3, 2003, The Orphan, The Boot, The Beasts and The Great Arvee bid General Hugh and Lady Jayne farewell – after a breakfast in Crescent City, California -- and departed, headed toward the Cascade Mountains of Oregon.
The first day of the third segment of The Great Arvee trip covered ninety miles on the Redwood Highway, a road so crooked that it made Richard Nixon look straight, and ended at the Grants Pass/Redwood Highway KOA Kampground about fourteen miles west of Grant’s Pass, Oregon. Their very small campsite was a small green lawn in
the woods by a creek and was very peaceful and relaxing. Martinis, dinner and sleep came quickly. The Boot saw and heard many birds and a red squirrel.
The second day took The Great Arvee 107 miles to Crater Lake National Park where The Orphan, The Boot, The Beasts and The Great Arvee obtained a campsite on the Fourth of July at Mazama Village Campground – using The Orphan’s “Golden Age Pass” to get a 50% discount (The Orphan and The Boot were thrilled that the Ranger
assigned them a Host spot – little did they know!) -- and then visited The Crater Lake Visitor Center (imagine that!) for some books and guides to the park.
There followed a visit to the crater rim, a walk down to a viewpoint and interpretive center, and a visit to another Crater Lake Visitor Center.
The couple returned to the campsite and smoothly set everything up using the new evolved routine. There were martinis and dinner and then sleep. The Orphan and The Boot then learned the fallacy of being in a Host site next to the potties! According to The Boot’s logbook, that night was a continual roar and not a roaring
success. The logbook read:
“…Waked up all night by people walking thru site…left at 9:53 a.m. after Puddy yowling and caterwauling at 5:30, Susie schnuffling and rolling on the floor, Granny snoring and kicking, and assholes on the way to and from the bathroom – one even pulled his car into our site and slammed doors at 5:45…”
The Beasts were chastened and something was said about The Orphan being a bed-hog and encroaching on The Boot’s half of the bed by sleeping diagonally, while The Orphan claimed he was at the far edge of the bed because that’s where his head was. The Orphan claimed that The Boot was taking her half out of the middle of the bed
–a chronic and recurring problem for The Orphan. The Orphan’s face and chest were usually Velcroed against the inside wall of The Great Arvee while The Boot’s feet had to hang over the narrow cut corner of the mattress.
This territorial dispute was resolved by snuggling. When The Boot wanted snuggling she moved into the diagonal half of the bed used by The Orphan. The Orphan
would then become snuggly and lovey – a problem for The Boot only during hot flashes – but not chronic since The Orphan and The Boot both liked snuggling.
The Orphan also learned that all of America’s schoolchildren (accompanied by their parents and grandparents), and all of Europe and Asia came in the summertime to visit Crater Lake National Park in large SUVs and giant tour buses – all with cameras and bad manners.
The Orphan and The Boot decided to defer visiting any more National Parks during this trip and to wait until September came around. Later, at Glacier National Park, The Orphan and The Boot were to relearn this same lesson.
In the morning they drove The Great Arvee to the main Visitor Center again, and walked the Wildflower Trail where they saw exactly one wildflower, but which would have many kinds and colors of wildflowers in a few weeks.
Then they drove to the rim Visitor Center where The Boot’s National Park Passport was stamped so she would know she had been there.
The Orphan, The Boot, The Beasts and The Great Arvee stopped at several crowded viewpoints, then fled Crater Lake and headed 117 miles to the Thousand Trails at Bend/Sunriver, Oregon, with some planned adventures on a scenic highway around Mt. Bachelor on the way.
However, North America was on fire. The Orphan, The Boot, The Beasts and The Great Arvee had decided to visit The Crane Prairie Reservoir to see Ospreys – but were turned back by Rangers because of a forest fire.
The Orphan, The Boot, The Beasts and The Great Arvee arrived at the Bend/Sunriver Thousand Trails and flawlessly set up camp. After martinis and dinner they experienced a peaceful night of sleep.
The next day, The Orphan and The Boot decided to stay an extra day – the fourth day of the third segment -- and visit the High Desert Museum. The pair saw an otter and a covered wagon and many chipmunks and ground squirrels. The Boot then went to the vast bookstore and purchased books about the Oregon High Desert.
On the fifth day The Boot – not being one to give up on a desire – immediately said,
“…Let’s go to The Crane Prairie Reservoir from the other side of the fire and see Ospreys…”
For the first segment of that day’s trip, the team went to view The Crane Prairie Reservoir. The nesting platforms built for the ospreys were empty and The Orphan kept grumbling about turning back. But The Orphan had become a bird spotter for The Boot who was and is an avid birdwatcher. The Orphan spotted a flying bird in the
far distance and The Boot watched it. It was an osprey, but clearly it had decided to nest somewhere other than on the platforms built for it in the viewing area.
The Orphan, The Boot, The Beasts and The Great Arvee then continued on that 233-mile day – which included a visit to The John Day Painted Hills Unit but not to the John Day Sheep Rock Unit. They saw and walked around hills and mounds of red and gold and green and brown with many layers showing many millions of years of
fossilized remains of many climates and creatures.
Amid thunder and lightning (the lightning which also starts forest fires) the team arrived at Clyde Holliday State Park between Mt. Vernon and John Day, Oregon.
In this nice, grassy, spacious, well-separated – almost private -- site the awning was erected, a fire was built and martinis were drunk. It began to rain, then stopped. The wind rose and subsided, again and again. The Orphan and The Boot moved out to the fire when it was not raining and back under the awning when it was. They
moved many times, as the rain wasn’t able to make a final decision. They listened to music, and after some great Boot-manufactured tuna-melts, sleep came early.
On the sixth day, The Orphan, The Boot, The Beasts and The Great Arvee traveled 167 miles, east over the mountains on Highway 26, a beautiful new route. The team lost an hour because they were now in Mountain Daylight Time.
The original plan was to stop at Vale, Oregon, but both RV campgrounds, as well as the town, were so butt-ugly, creepy and junky that the journey continued on into Idaho to the Snake River RV Resort – right on the bank of the Snake River, too -- near Homedale, Idaho.
The Orphan and The Boot met two nice couples at that campsite. Pat and Maureen were on one side of The Great Arvee –and Bob and Wanda were on the other side. This group of six watched a crop-dusting bi-plane dust crops by doing stunts – over and over again – and quite literally, too.
They also watched herons and egrets and pelicans and shorebirds and swallows along the river and were bitten by nasty bugs and mosquitoes.
Of all of the strange things, Pat was a retired LA cop and was also was a nice person. Pat and Maureen were full-time RVers and owned a 35-foot Class A RV with spacious slide-outs and big comfortable rotating and reclining captain’s chairs. The Orphan and The Boot joined them in their sumptuous RV for a plethora of drinks
until midnight and went to bed with no dinner but with numerous bug bites. The Boot was up at 7:40 a.m. but The Orphan, being cannier, stayed in bed until nearly 10:00 a.m. to avoid a hangover!
On the sixth day, The Great Arvee started the day’s 142-mile trip by visiting the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge. The Orphan and The Boot walked the short trail near the Refuge Headquarters and saw another Osprey, this time on a nearby nesting platform with young and with both parents fishing and feeding. Of course The Boot’s National Wildlife Refuge
Blue Goose Passport was stamped. Then Lake Lowell was circumnavigated so The Boot could see all sides of it, but to her disappointment, the best viewing areas were closed off.
As the trip continued, The Boot suddenly exclaimed:
“…We just passed a winery…!”
The Orphan turned around and visited the St. Chapelle Winery to taste wines. The Boot was no longer disappointed.
The team was out of wine anyway so it was a good plan. The team left with a mixed case of various reds and whites – and, since The Orphan had complained about not having a cork-puller in The Great Arvee, and because The Boot likes to buy something in
every store – they bought a new corkscrew, which Mary the Wine-Server recommended more highly than a cork-puller.
Only two bottles of that case survived the rest of the trip. The Orphan and The Boot were glad they had discovered the winery and had turned around to visit it.
Setting up camp flawlessly in Bruneau Dunes State Park completed the sixth day’s trip. The campsite was very spacious with wind shelters and trees – but very hot! The Orphan and The Boot spent the evening drinking martinis while watching a nearly a dozen Common Nighthawks, several families of Western Kingbirds and at least a
million dragonflies zooming from spot to spot eating nasty bugs. The Nighthawks flew back and forth with their maws agape, as did the Western Kingbirds, who returned with beaks full of bugs for their noisy babies. The Dragonflies flew back and forth at speeds of 30 mph and each one ate a bug every three minutes! It was truly a sight to see at sunset. The Boot was agog!
Susie the Beast the Dijon Mustard was left off her leash and promptly disappeared, unable to see or hear well. So the off-leash experiment was discarded after The Orphan found Susie heading down a gravel road beyond the campground.
The Orphan slept until 11:00 the next morning and then lay on his butt reading ‘till noon. The Orphan was really getting into leisurely arveeing. Just before 1:00 p.m. the team visited the two huge piles of sand (called dunes) with a lake in between them so that the scene looked like an oasis in the desert.
The Boot then visited the Visitor Center to get books, maps, jam and insect spray. The Orphan bought a tan Bruneau Dunes T-shirt. The Boot quit buying only when The Orphan had run out of jokes to tell to the visitor center staff. This took a while and gave her plenty of time to browse the books as well as look at
the wildlife exhibits. She also had her Blue Goose Passport stamped, even though this was a state park and not a national wildlife refuge.
On the seventh day, The Orphan, The Boot, The Beasts and The Great Arvee started at 2:00 p.m. and traveled only 32 miles (Heh! Heh! Heh!) to the Three Island Crossing State Park at Glenn’s Ferry, Idaho.
The temperature was 101°. The Orphan and The Boot stayed inside with the air conditioner for their screwdrivers, wine and spicy macaroni and cheese dinner.
The Boot went outside to watch a California Quail covey and also watched a dog from a nearby campsite nearly catch one of the quail babies. She glowered at the campers and their dog.
Later, the man from this campsite came to The Great Arvee and knocked on the door. When The Orphan opened the door, the man asked for hot water to make coffee, but strangely enough, in his hands was no container of any kind, only a crumpled dollar bill.
“...I can pay...”
The Orphan closed the door, filled one of his unwashed precious red
plastic cups with hot water from the tap, opened the door and gave it to the man, saying,
“…This is as hot as it gets…”
The man then left with the red plastic cup of semi-hot tap water – ostensibly to make hot coffee in the late evening with the temperature at 101°! The Boot rolled around on the bed in great hilarity and amazement at this truly bizarre event.
The Orphan and The Boot decided that from this point, going north was better than continuing east.
To the east was more very hot dry 101° weather and many national parks and monuments in Wyoming and South Dakota overflowing with bad-mannered visitors and tourists from all of the world.
To the north were the mountains of Idaho and Montana -- hopefully cooler -- and new roads to be taken.
Sometimes the best plan is no plan!
The Orphan and The Boot: Just a coupla Tumblin' Tumbleweeds...