Airstream camping in John Day, Oregon


We spent last weekend with our Airstream friends in John Day Oregon at Clyde Holliday State Recreation Area. There was a super nice campground there, right on the John Day River. I picked it because I heard it was nice, and I’d never been out there before, but it turned out to be a 6 hour drive! Pretty long for just a weekend. But the scenery along the way was incredible, so that made it tolerable.

We started out heading down 84 to The Dalles, and cut over at Biggs, and for the first time got to see the wind power generators. There hadn’t been any of these the last time we headed up to Yakima, which was probably ten years ago. Some people hate them because they are a blight on the landscape, but I thought they were pretty amazing.









Dave found a mountain!




The farther we got into central Oregon, the crazier the scenery got. If you think of evergreens and rain when you think of Oregon, this would change your mind.







We got to the park and got setup. Some early arrivals had saved spots for us, which annoyed the ranger, but they wouldn’t have had to do that if they allowed reservations. Luckily all but one of our group arrived before the Ranger noticed! Then another camper went and paid for the late arrival’s spot and parked their truck in it so it would be saved.

The spots were HUGE – the biggest camping spots I’ve ever seen! Here you can see the distance between our trailer and our neighbor – tons of room!



We set up the ‘dog yard’ so the pooches could relax in the grass.



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After a late night of music around the bonfire, the next morning we headed out to visit the Fossil Beds National Monument.




They had a fabulous museum showing many of the amazing fossils they had unearthed in the area. Not dinosaurs, but early mammals – camels and hippos, and tiny horses – it was really interesting! Also plants and seeds and bugs. After the museum we drove up the road to a ‘Blue’ canyon where many fossils were found. It’s hard to see the color in the photos, but it was indeed a light blue color. The rock was very soft and heavily eroded, and that is how the fossilized animals get revealed.



It was an interesting walk, but the dogs didn’t like walking over these bridges, which had bumpy metal grating, and there were a lot of them, so we eventually turned back.



Dogs refused to face the camera!

We drove around a bit more to enjoy the scenery.



Then headed back to the park for an afternoon nap, potluck, and music around the campfire late into the night.

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I love these gatherings, but the next morning it was time to go home. We didn’t even wait for breakfast, knowing we had a long day of driving ahead of us. We took a different route to get some new scenery. It was amazing with gentle rolling hills that stretched to the horizon. We also saw many abandoned hoses and barns.





Back into Windmill country



Navi doesn’t enjoy the ride much, but Barclay is a real traveller. He just relaxes and enjoys the ride.



Before long we were back to familiar territory, seeing barges on the Columbia River, and headed home. It was a great weekend, and I loved seeing some scenery I had never seen before.




One thought on “Airstream camping in John Day, Oregon

  1. THANK YOU For sharing all of these photos. I never thought of “arid” country in Oregon ! And the river looks HUGE there not to mention that amazing backdrop, wow !


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