20031017 - Salem, OR

The day started in record-setting rains and closed roads. The forecast was for more of the same. Some of the rivers were not supposed to crest until later in the day. So, once again, my strategy was reduced to "get out of Dodge". The weather forecast indicated that traveling 101 down the coast was not a good idea, due to high wind and rain. Fortunately, I didn't need to use any personal discretion in picking the route; a mudslide had closed my access to 101 for several days. So I came down through Olympia to I-5 and on toward Salem. Despite being well inland, I was getting blasted all over the place. Finally, by about 3pm, the rain started to subside, and there was just wind. When I got to within 20 miles of Salem, I decided to start looking for a place to camp. Private campgrounds are always hit and miss. For the tent camper, disappointment usually awaits. You come to a concrete pad, among a hundred RVs that you get to call home for the next 12 hours or so. So I was gunning for a state park or national forest. I came upon Champoeg, an Oregon State Park, just before dark. It was in a picturesque valley reminiscent of the foothills in Berkeley. They had a great looking disc golf course that I definately would have played had I thought to bring a disc.

Since leaving Champoeg I've seen nothing but Oregon State Parks. The vast majority allow camping. Big props to the state of Oregon for that. Maryland just sucks in this regard compared to Oregon. Well... probably in every regard compared to Oregon. It's almost as easy to find a campground in Oregon as it is to find a B & B in Ireland.