Saturday, June 16, 2012

Davis Lake and Wickiup Reservoir


We filled up with water at the Spring Campground.  None of the water faucets are threaded plus the handles are spring loaded to return to the closed position so it's a bit of a pain. I have a water thief and had to use it to connect to the faucet.  Then we went to dump the tanks at the RV campground that is at the corner of Hwy 58 and the access road to the Crescent Lake area. $10. As it turns out, the same $10 also includes water. I'll know the next time.
I went into Odell's bait, grocery, lunch counter, propane, etc. store, to see what they might have we could use to resupply the cupboard. A pack of Oreo cookies was $8, a jar of salsa $6. At those prices, we can live on rice and beans for a few more days.

Came across this interesting bit of history related to the Oregon Trail.

We drove through the Crescent Creek campground but were not impressed. Same with the Lava Flow campground. Tonight we're at the East Davis Lake USFS campground.  $6/night. We have the prime site right on Davis Creek which feeds into Davis Lake.

 Our view. East Davis Lake Campground.

 There is  large marsh adjacent to our site; a source of lots of activity. So far, we've identified the following birds just around the marsh:
Yellow-headed Blackbird, Tri-colored and red-winged blackbirds, Western Tanager, Cinnamon Teal, Malards,  Northern Shoveler, Ring-necked duck, and Townsend's solitair.

 A group of ducks can be called a brace, flush, paddling, raft or team.  We learned years ago after watching them at home, that a group of Painted Buntings is called a palette of buntings.

There was a small, white moth of some type, flying over the marsh. The birds that eat such things were having a field day.

In 2003 there was a forest fire around Davis Lake. It's been almost ten years and grasses are in place, some small animals have returned and  lodgepole pine is growing. Lodgepole pine tends to be the first pine to grow after a fire because it can sprout in very poor soil.
The Davis Lake fire of 2003

For a while, we thought we would have the campground to ourselves again but a couple of fishermen set up a tent a few sites away. Another nice thing about this campground; no mosquitoes.  Both campgrounds we stayed at on Crescent Lake were swarming with mosquitoes as soon as the sun started going down and again until about 10am.


Continued exploring. We drove through the North Davis Lake campground. There were a few nice spots but they were occupied and very sloped.  From there we went to the Wickiup Reservoir which is only about ten miles from East Davis Lake. There are  eight campgrounds on the reservoir. We drove through North Twin Lake. It was very nice but the few direct lake front sites were taken. South Twin Lake was OK but it's a long way to the lake from the camping area. There is a private resort here as well which is adjacent to the South Twin Lake campground. The small grocery store in the resort had the pancake syrup we needed for "only" $5.75 and a small jar of salsa for $4.50. We drove through the Gull Point campground and found a beautiful lakefront site. $8/night. (43.704090  -121.753547) The lake level is very high. We saw two campsites that were reserved for this weekend that were under water. Boy are those people going to be surprised.  There is a threaded water connection in this campground and a dump station not far away. From the looks of all the reserved sites, the campground will be busy this weekend. It's clear that school's out. Kids everywhere. We don't recall staying in a campground with more dogs per campsite. Big ones, yappy ones, most tied up; some not.  Just your basic family campground; real bedlam.

 Our wonderful view. As long as you only look at the lake.

No privacy at all
The view of our neighbors.

It's shorts weather!!  As best we can recall, this the third shorts day since we left home over two months ago. Gopher and I went wading in the lake.
Oregon Swallowtail Butterfly

The official Oregon State Bug. Not the mosquito like I was thinking.

Spotted Sandpiper
I only saw one sandpiper, but if I saw a group of them I'd say I saw a bind, contradiction, fling or a time-step of them. So says the iBird PRO app.
Using the new plant book, I identified Western Fescue and Mountain Brome; two types of grasses.

Another perfect weather day. Our neighbor said there is a big Kokanee salmon fishing tournament on Saturday. Some of the boaters pulled in today. They're easy to spot. Big trucks with a camper on back pulling a $$erious fishing boat. Kokanee salmon, also called silver trout, are landlocked salmon and rarely exceed 14" in length.
Overall, this is a very nice campground for some people. The easy lake access, triple boat ramp,  the convenience of the small store in the resort, the proximity to Bend and the dump station are real assets.  The lake allows watercraft of all type including jet skies, go-fast boats, etc.
We won't be back because big, crowded and noisy doesn't appeal to us, but it would be a super family or boaters campground. Plus, almost no mosquitoes.

A lazy day.
Per the campground hostess,  under normal lake conditions, there is a nice beach area for the campers to use. The uncommonly high water level has submerged the beach. The patch of sand between us and the lake is the only sandy area left. Today, two families with their six kids, spent the day at "our" little patch of sand. The children were having a wonderful time playing in the water. At the end of the day we told them rather then hauling all their stuff back to their campers, they were welcomed to just leave it here, so they did. Tomorrow will be another noisy day I'm sure. We really don't mind at all.  There will be time enough for quiet soon enough.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Crescent Lake area

Sunday: A wonderfully bright and sunny day. Long overdue.
Today was exploring day. There are seven campgrounds in the Crescent Lake area. Three are group campgrounds and one is a horse campground. We've been staying in the campground called Crescent Lake. It's the most developed of the group and most convenient to the highway. As a result, it gets the highest amount of use. Today we drove to Spring and Contorta Flat to see what they were like. Spring was much like Crescent Lake but did have some sites right on the lake without having the high bank like Crescent Lake, making lake access much easier.  The paved road ends at Spring. If you keep going for perhaps 3 or 4 miles on a not-too-bad gravel road, you get to the entry road to the Contorta Flat campground.  (The trees in the campground are primarily Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta), hence the campground name.) As soon as you turn on the actual road that takes you to the campground, the two lane gravel turns into a very narrow dirt road. The road is wide enough so you won't get the sides of the camper scratched up. The likelihood of someone coming the other way on this road is quite small. Between the gravel road and the lack of potable water,  this campground gets very little use. Tonight it's just us. We're camped directly on the lake with an unobstructed view of Diamond Peak; things just don't get much better then this. We're right here: 43.46178  -122.00742.  If you're willing to take the gravel roads, this is the reward.

 From our campsite
 Keeping warm by the campfire. The trees are primarily lodgepole pine. The tree cover at the Crescent Lake campground was so dense, primarily Douglass-fir,  that the solar panels approached useless. In that respect, this stand of lodgepole is much better.
 A good day for a game of stick.

Diamond Peak

The roving campground host stopped by earlier and seemed surprised to see us. I think his job is sort of like the Maytag repairman.

Old age and poor memory. The older I get, the worse my short term memory gets. Going forward, when I identify, with certainty, a plant or animal, I'm going to write it down. That seems to help me remember.
 This is a Golden Chinkapin. The fruit is covered with a light brown, spiny burr that resembles a porcupine. The nut inside is edible but very hard to get to. However, both chipmunks and squirrels know exactly how to get the nuts and avoid the spines.
 Douglas-fir. When the name of a tree is hyphenated, like a Douglas-fir or incense-cedar, that means the tree is not really a fir or a cedar. Strange!! I mean, if the botanists know full well a Douglas-fir isn't really a fir, why call it a fir? Why not call it what it really is? Or simply admit they don't know?
Ponderosa Pine. This is really a pine tree. No disagreement there.

Saw a Gray Jay, several pairs of Mountain Bluebirds, and watched a Bald Eagle fishing.

 Sunset over Diamond Peak
The  second sunny day in a row. We have a streak going!! It's still just us in the campground much to Gophers delight I'm sure. She gets to roam around as she pleases.  We went walking earlier and came across a seep that forms a small stream that leads to the lake.

Tomorrow we continue on by following the Cascades Lakes Highway.