Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My Tent and Billy

Since our adventure down to Wolf Creek, scouting camping sites along the way and missing out on the OBDR I've been wanting to go camping on the bikes. I had all the equipment, just hadn't had the opportunity to put it to use.

While at bike night last week a friend mentioned he had been up to Crater Lake on his bike. The road around the rim had just opened a week or two ago and I had been meaning to get up there since last year. I pulled out the maps, found some campgrounds, loaded up the bikes and last Saturday we were off. I hate making reservations at campgrounds or even hotels for that matter, it puts a sense of urgency and obligation on the trip. You pay a deposit then you have to be there by a certain time or you lose the site/room and it just takes all the spontaneity, fun and adventure out of the trip. I knew there were plenty of campgrounds along the route and we were self sufficient so worst case scenario would be to pull off into the woods and set up camp for the night without a fire.

We left Saturday morning coffee, rode down Peoria Road, Harrisburg over McKenzie View and over to Lowell and up highway 58 to Oakridge where we stopped for a bite to eat and part ways with Andy as he went off to find gravel roads and parts unknown. Trobairitz and I continued on over the Willamette Pass down Hwy 97 into Chemult for something cold to drink before heading off into the woods.

We could have rode down to Klamath Falls and found a hotel too if need be but we found a perfect site at the first campground we pulled into, Farewell Bend Campground off highway 230 just north of Union Creek. Stopping to look at the campground map and avoiding the playground area we eyed a site off at the end of a loop along the river. We couldn't believe it was available and quickly claimed it by parking our bikes and walking up to the camp host site to pay before setting up the tent, starting a fire and making dinner.

A nice little plateau for the tent with a river view.

Of course my billy is the latest in camp technology and worth every cent. I love this thing, it boils water in just a couple minutes and makes one hell of a blow torch to start a campfire.

Sunday morning we were up early, put some hot oatmeal in us for breakfast and went for a walk down the trail to Rogue Gorge.

Then it was off to ride the rim.

We had a great weekend, fantastic weather and an even better ride. Now we can't wait to plan our next camping trip.



  1. All the times I've been to southern Oregon and I've never been up to Crater Lake. I can't believe that the road just opened up. And here, we are looking at Fall already.

    Is that some sort of fabric insulation on the cooking pot? Doesn't it melt or is the heat controlled enough to stay away from the insulation? I've heard about the Jetboil but haven't seen them before nor known anyone that had one.

    It looks and sounds like a great trip...

  2. Troubadour:

    It has been many years since we have been to Crater Lake. All I remember was that it was a very HOT day. I have never been a camper but I am thinking about it. glad you are healed enough to ride like normal.

    Riding the Wet Coast

  3. Been there a few years ago, amazing views. What is this white stuff called again?
    You make camping sound so easy...

  4. Crater Lake is definitely on my Bucket List. Sigh...did you see "The Old Man of the Lake"? The floating tree trunk?

    Primo camping spot. Looked enjoyable with a great hiking trail.

  5. Sounds like a great time. I'd just worry a bit about camping at FAREWELL Bend. Sort of like checking in but never checking out!

  6. Crater lake is a great destination ride. I love the Union Creek area. We camped at the lodge on our bicycle tour in 2009, hiked along the same trails. We were there mid-week and mostly had the place to ourselves. I'd say you guys found a primo spot by the river!

    Billy huh? We have a jetboil (boiled water once at home but haven't had a chance to use it while camping yet. I hadn't thought to give it a name! Good to hear a positive report...should we ever put ours to use.

    Glad to hear about your trips this summer, you've had some nice ones!

  7. @Richard, it is an insulating cover like wetsuit material to keep one from burning themselves and to heat water faster and more efficiently.

    @Bobskoot, thanks I am well. Camping gear has developed so much even in the past 10 or 20 years, you may actually enjoy it now.

    @Sonja, camping is pretty easy with a little stove and lightweight gear. I need to do a post on other fun stuff I have to make it easier.

    @Lori, I don't know about those, I only heard about the Phantom Ship. Guess I'll have to make another trip, oh darn.

    @Irondad, funny the same thing crossed my mind while we were there and I thought it to be a strange name. It is upstream from the gorge and some pretty turbulent whitewater.

    @Kari, I got the name from Dave of Riding Tasmania, he asked about my tent and billy and had to Google billy to learn it is a can or cup to boil water, a billycan.

    She wants to go on another camping trip and sent me a link the other day to campgrounds around Fossil, OR.
    How am I supposed to get the honey do list done at home when she keeps adding to it like this?

  8. Cool, you have motorcycle camping trips on your honey do list....

  9. I love motor camping, I used to Backpack a lot, now I Bikepack. Good post!


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