Monday, June 18, 2012

Cove Palisades State Park, OR…

Collier State Park bridge

Collier State Park falls and roadThe drive from Culver, Oregon to Cove Palisades State Park seemed innocuous until I saw the sign for 7% grades. It was then apparent we were going to drop off the edge of the earth as Cove Palisades State Park was nearly a 1000 feet lower than where we had been. With our engine brake working furiously we began the decent toward Lake Billy Chinook. Signage in the park was mostly absent and since we had reserved a site in loop B we were looking for signage that said loop B. There were no such signs so we finally pulled over and talked with a ranger only to find out that the campground we reserved was another five miles away.

Collier State Park geological featuresThe drive along the narrow roads with sheer drop-offs down to lake Billy Chinook was almost too much for Sharon. Then we came to a very narrow bridge and we were both glad that no other cars were on it as it would have been extremely tight to fit another, even a smart car! We finally located our site and noticed it nearly impossible to get into so we were reassigned to the much more accommodating emergency spot where we now are parked in.

Collier State ParkWe like the park as we have full hookups however there is one major problem. Both Verizon phone and internet signals are very weak. I even had to dummy down my droid from the normal 4G setting to allow it to use CDMA networks or my Thunderbolt wouldn’t have gotten any signal. Odd that none of the reviews we read mentioned weak Verizon service. Well, at least the geology here is impressive!

Back to the fun… We took a day trip over to Bend, OR for some Trader Joe’s shopping and then made our way over to Sisters, OR as we had heard about a Wine and Brew Festival. Traffic in and around Bend was not very pleasant and as a result we didn’t spend much time there but the quaint town of Sisters was more our cup of tea.

Sisters Wine and Brew Festival tokensEntrance into the Wine and Brew Festival was free and then you could purchase 10 tokens for $10.00 to “trade” for tastings and samples of the elixirs provided. We wandered around a bit seeing what liquids were being offered and as we did we noticed that the sample sizes offered here in Oregon were much, much smaller than those we were used to in Texas. Ten tokens might get you a small glass of wine if you used them entirely for wine samples. Not a problem though since the samples of Brews being offered were nicely sized. We sampled a few and then settled for a couple of glasses of beer from Ninkasi Brewing Company Sisters Wine and Brew Festival out of Eugene Oregon. I liked their Total Domination IPA and Sharon preferred Conservation Ale.

Despite the shortcomings of our Verizon signal we are enjoying our stay here at Cove Palisades. We will leave tomorrow and head for a Corps of Engineer park near Richland Washington called Hood Park where we will stay for 6 days and then we can finally head for the coast as it will be July and there’ll be more welcoming weather!!!


  1. Cove Palisades is an awesome place. We used to camp there in the summer and go waterskiing on the lake. Lake depth is around 800'.

    We camped in a tent. If you leave any food in your tent, the squirrels chew holes in your tent to eat whatever you had inside, including raw potatoes!

    We never took an RV down there, but I can imagine Sharon's horror. I hate drop offs too!


  2. Hey Duke, Guess you were at the Deschutes campground by your comment about the narrow bridge. We drove through on Friday (6/15/2012) looking for a possible spot for a few days. Both campgrounds were a little "tight" for our liking. Catch ya later. Safe travels.

  3. Great pictures - glad you lucked out on the bridge.

  4. Just wanted you to know that we are following you pretty closely right now. We are planning to make Oregon our main destination next year and are learning from your posts. We'll have to plan to be near Bend during the festival :-) Thanks!

  5. Thanks for the information AGAIN. You sure do let me know where to go and where to probably not go. Looks beautiful but sheer drop offs and tight sites, hmmmmmm.

  6. Oh dear...7% is pretty scarey in a car. We hate it in MH. Getting you ready for I-101.

  7. You know us, always up for some interesting brews. Just getting an application in for camp hosting in Oregon this winter (the coast maybe). I'm not sure I'd be up for the drive into this particular park.

  8. Sheer drop offs...not for me either.