April 2011

April 2011
Boondocking at my brother's in Reno, April 2011

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

It’s a Holliday Park!

Every so often along the lonesome Hwy 395, are scattered small towns.  The towns usually sprung up as the early settlers began to increase in number and a need developed for goods and services.  Schools, churches, and newspapers formed the hearts of these communities and general stores provided many of the goods these small communities needed.  In the small towns of Eastern Oregon, this hasn’t changed much.

Long Creek, OR is just such a town.  Located at the junction of Hwy. 395 and Oregon Hwy 402, Long Creek boasts a population of 197.  It has a cafe…
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…a Post Office …this is the flag that flies over the PO.  I thought it was more interesting than the actual building.
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…a feed store…
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…with everything a guy could want…
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….poor Russ, snookered again!
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I wonder how folks in these small towns make a living but there was actually some remodeling going on at the feed store so I guess things are looking up.  We always try and make a purchase when we stop at a local store as I am sure it is a hardscrabble existence.

A display right across the street from the feed store says something about the community values.
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Not too far our of town was the community church.  It looks like it has maybe seen better days but the care that went into building it is evident just by the windows, the steeple, and the crosses that ornament the front door.
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Unfortunately, you also see a lot of these types of buildings along the way as well.  Were they owned by people who tried to make a living in this sometimes harsh environment, or are they simply the product of neglect as the owners built something newer and better?
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Do you ever wonder how the early pioneers did it?  They had no Wal Mart to run to when they needed to resupply.  If they didn’t grow it, can it, make it, or slaughter it, they did without.  If they were lucky they had a general store within a day’s travel but that probably didn’t have much.  Even today, the people who live in these isolated areas do not run down to Safeway if they happen to run out of coffee.  They are hard working people who raise much of the meat and grain and other food items that we take for granted.  It is like this all over this great nation.  My hat is off to the people who work so that we can eat.  It takes a special breed to choose this lifestyle – I’m afraid it is not for me.
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The town of Mt. Vernon, OR is where Hwy 395 meets Hwy 26.  To continue south on 395, you must jog east here on 26 about 9 miles into John Day, OR where 395 again turns south.  Mt. Vernon is a bit larger than Long Valley with a population of 527.

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Our destination, Clyde Holliday State Park, is only a couple of miles east of here towards John Day.  Although the state parks website says the park is not open until May, we were happy to see that it was indeed open for business.  This is a relatively small park with only 31 sites, all with water and electric.  A dump station is available at the park entrance.

The first things you see upon entering the park are the two Tee Pees that are available for rental.  Located right on the river, these accommodations feature a concrete floor, 4” foam pads for sleeping, an electric heater, and a wonderful outdoor space, including a nice fire ring, a bar-b-que, and a picnic table on a brick patio.  Now, I may be a bit spoiled or old to sleep in one of these units but I can see where younger folks would have a blast.  These units rent for $29 and are the only spaces in the park that can be reserved.  Everything else is first come first served.
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The sites in this park are the largest I have seen anywhere.  People can move in next to you and you hardly notice.  The entire area is well maintained grass with many trees and native landscaping.

All sites are paved and ours is level and probably 60’ long.  There is a large grassy area behind the motor home.
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There are wide lawns on both sides of each site and some shrubbery to separate the sites. 
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There is also a waste water disposal at each site.  I wash my dishes in a dishpan and dump the water into the disposal rather than in the grey tank.   That way I can shower in my own shower rather than use the public ones.  They have three showers here, one of which is handicapped accessible.  All are individual rooms so privacy is not an issue and they are nice showers.  There are also good, clean restrooms.  The restrooms are in the center of the campground and easily accessible from any site.  The sites are $17 as of May 1.  The brochure says $13 in April but I didn’t see that when we self paid so we paid the $17.  Still a bargain.
There is a wonderful gravel walkway along the river, with strategically placed benches for those who want to sit and enjoy the water.

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When we moved in, the current occupant of this site made sure we understood that his ownership took precedence over ours.
Okay, the welcoming committee is checking us out.
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It’s okay is you visit but just understand…
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…I was here first and this is MY house!!
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And that is why Poppy is confined to the leash at this park!!
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If there are any downsides to this park, it would be that it is right on the highway.  We hear a little traffic noise but on the far side of the loop it is really not that bad.  We hear nothing at night when the coach is closed up.    Also, there is no TV reception…not a problem for us as we don’t care but I know some do.  There is no internet, although the host said there are rumors that the park will be wired next year for WiFi!!  We drove the 6 miles into John Day and enjoyed the free internet available at McDonald’s.

I highly recommend this park.  It can accommodate the largest rigs and is so restful, as well as being pleasing to the eye.  We hear doves and woodpeckers every morning and geese fly over about any time of day.  Other birds are singing throughout the day but we don’t know what they are.  At night the frogs sing a beautiful chorus just behind the rig.  We are smart enough to identify a robin…
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…a vulture…
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…and a small herd of deer.
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To say we are enjoying this park is an understatement.  Since we spent so much time in Pendleton, we will not be able to see everything here that we wanted to see, but tomorrow a visit to the John Day Fossil Beds is a must do.  Hope you are as well and happy as we are tonight.
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23 comments:

  1. you are invited to follow my blog

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  2. That park looks so inviting. And it sure was nice of Mr.Squirrel to let you move in.

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  3. What a absolutely wonderful park. It reminds me of a COE park. We just love them! All the grass makes it look so lovely!
    When we take our hikes, Paul and I talk all the time about what the pioneers did and saw. I really don't think I could have survived back then. I sure do appreciate what they went through!
    Thanks for the tour. Enjoy your time in that beautiful state park.

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  4. Donna, you paint such a beautiful visual with your words. That does look like a very nice park. I can't say often enough how much I love the state of Oregon. Wonderful to read about your travels.

    Say hi to Russ and scratch Poppy behind the ear for me. Enjoy your stay. I look forward to reading your blog.

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  5. We haven't been to that state park or to John Day. Your pictures of the decrepit houses reminded me that when I was growing up and we took a drive and saw a house or barn in that kind of condition, one of my parents would always say, "There's your dream house, Carol". Ah, the memories! :)

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  6. Thanks for the great tour -- absolutely beautiful country and interesting info. We felt the same way when we traveled in 2010 thru NE, MT, WY, SD, etc -- we wondered so much about the pioneers, how they left everything behind in the East -- what all they had to endure, etc, to reach the promised land they were looking for.

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  7. Looks like you found a gem there. And with all the rain you've had, the grass looks so lush and green. Enjoy it even though it's not for as long as you'd like.

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  8. That little town reminds me of the ones we gone thru the last few weeks in KS. Today we moved at a COE park and needed some provisions. Went to the town of Lucas and found the grocery. SMALL SMALL SMALL. Nearest larger grocery is 30 miles away. This was so small only accepts check or cash.

    As someone else said, you do paint a nice picture. I feel bad that Russ did have that disappointment at the feed store.

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  9. I just love your pictures and your commentary!!! We've been on that route before. But you have made us want to do it again..........soon. :) I hope you enjoy the painted hills and Fossil Beds in John Day as much as we did

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  10. I will be a camp host at Ochoco Divide Camprgound so I will definitely spend a couple of my off days checking out this park. Enjoy you stay.

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  11. great looking park....even with the highway noise you still seem to have lots of wild life...sounds like a great place...

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  12. I pinned this in my Oregon file. We probably won't get there on our Summer trip this year, but who knows in the future. It looks like a nice place.

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  13. I pinned this to my campground file as well, following Merikay's example. Someone once asked why pinterest, and I figure that I like visual reminders of stuff I want to keep track of, helps me more than a title in the bookmarks. Looks wonderful, Donna.

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  14. looks and sounds like a great little park!..hope that Poppy enjoys watching the squirrels!!

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  15. What an awesome spot. Thanks for the tour. Safe travels!

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  16. Since we never made it to Oregon like originally planned I have enjoyed riding shotgun with you and Russ. One day we will!

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  17. What a great place to stay, looks like you guys are enjoying it. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna...

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  18. Donna, thanks for the great tour and photos of those small towns.

    Great looking park you've found too.

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  19. John Day Country is a lovely part of Oregon, and Oregon has many lovely parts! We really enjoyed visiting the fossil beds a year ago, and will be looking forward to reading about your visit! And what a delightful park to stay at! Oregon does well with its state parks for sure.

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  20. Thank you for this post. I felt like I was there while you were describing. Then when I got to the photo of the mountain beyond the trees, I just stopped & said Wow!
    I think a lot of old homesteads just get left behind as families grow & move on. Kind of sad to lose the land & such like that, but family does that. They stop paying the taxes & all just sits & goes to ruins. I saw a lot of these kind of places when working for the census bureau. And my last trip back to Pa where I grew up, there are a lot of abandoned farms from families that are long gone. Some have passed away, some, the younger ones just moved on. It sure does make one ponder though.

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  21. Russ is always getting taken-in by these sorts of false advertising. Stripping in the fabric store, chicks at the feed store - it's a wonder the man believes anything he reads anymore.

    Roxanne
    The Good Luck Duck

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  22. Yup, I think that's where we stayed! I'm glad you're enjoying it so well.

    And, no way would I have made a pioneer woman. We've talked about that many times as we've traveled on long "unsightly" stretches of roads. I would have been the crazy woman throwing a hissy fight to her husband demanding to be taken back to whatever larger city we had taken off from at the top of the rise when several places came into sight! God bless em all for their endurance!

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  23. Looks like a great park! Thanks for the tour!

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