Sunday, April 20, 2014

Surprisingly Secluded

We're boondocking on BLM land about 9 miles outside of Bend, OR. The area has obviously been used as a sand/gravel pit in the past (we're parked well away from the edge!). We've been pleasantly surprised by the complete seclusion so close to town. From our site, there are no lights to be seen of any kind, and we haven't had a single drive by since we've been here.

The sites are relatively easy to get into except for the sharp turns and dips off of the tertiary paved road nearby. It's steep enough and tight enough that most 5th wheels and any low clearance motorhome would definitely bottom out trying to get here. That could be why there are only two extremely old fire ring remnants in the area and no sign of recent camping.

The solar has been good enough to fully charge the batteries each day even though we have some tree cover and have been pushing the system (it helps to have 1,000 watts of panels on the roof). Four bars of Verizon is another bonus.

We've also been able to get our heirloom plant starts and seedlings out into the sun each day. We're trying to nurse these guys along until we can get them planted in Idaho. If it works, we'll be the first people we know of to grow these heirloom tomato, cucumber, and pepper varieties in the northern Idaho panhandle.

While the camping has been private, dark at night, and dead quiet, the real star has been Bend itself. In addition to the BLM hiking right out the door (much appreciated by the dogs), there are more high quality public land hikes around here than we can count.

And let's not forget about the brew pub scene. Bend has more craft breweries than any other town in Oregon (which is something to brag about in OR). We've only managed to hit four so far (Crux Fermentation Project and Deschutes are the two winners). In addition, for those so inclined, there are dozens of coffee shops, Costco, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Harbor Freight, etc., etc.

All in all, definitely a place to consider spending a little time in during the twice annual migration (North to South and South to North) each year. It's extremely rare to camp alone and have all of the commercial benefits of Bend so easily accessible.


  1. Boy, you guys move way too fast! We hope to be in Bend in the relatively near future, which for us means the next month or two.

    1. These are the advantages of rolling through CA as fast as possible:
      1. Spend more time in AZ before heading north
      2. Spend a month in OR before heading up to WA, ID, MT for the summer
      3. Spend a hell of a lot less money

  2. Looks like a great place to camp :)

    1. It really was an unexpected spot. I don't think we've ever camped in a spot without seeing another human being the entire time.