Our last few days in Collier State Park meant one more trip back to Crater Lake, several more hikes along Spring Creek, another visit to the Railroad Museum and few stray hikes here and there. This park had been a nice place to be for our five days and would have been a good place to stay longer as there is plenty to do in and around the park.
So in this entry I thought I would share what I do when searching for places to stay. The most important thing to me is to find a place that is close to something great to do. What do I consider as something great to do? We must be close to a major attraction, great hiking, interesting city, great wildlife observing or have other “must see or do” places in the vicinity. Here is a list of what we consider when we pick a site:
- Location, location, location
- A driving distances less than 50 miles one way to visit several places to see
- We prefer COE parks, state parks, county park over private parks but will stay in any if rule number one and two prevail
- It must be close to our budget (we try to average $25.00 per night or less for the year)
- It must have mostly favorable ratings on RV Park Reviews
Everything else is really negotiable. We would prefer to have full hookups, 50 amp service, on site laundry facilities, ample hiking within the park and of course fabulous neighbors. However, there are no perfect campsites and most are simply average.
One of the first things I do when searching for place to camp along our selected route is to locate the closest parks to what we want to see first and then eliminate them based upon the rules. Once I narrow it down to one or two I search the web with the keywords of the “park’s name” and the word “blogspot” to see if other bloggers might have stayed at the park and written a blog about it. If they have great things to say about it then I usually contact them and ask about their stay or places that they recommend we see or do while at the park. This resulted in us getting a tip about going to see the birthplace of Spring Creek. What a great tip that was! How cool it was to be able to see water bubbling up from beneath the surface giving rise to Spring Creek!
When we selected Collier State Park I found a blogger who writes exclusively about the Cascades area of Oregon in a blog called Cascade Ramblings. After contacting Jim he told me that he and his wife Jeanette were actually going to be at the park a few days after we got there. So we were able to meet the two of them and they shared many great tips with us including routes to take toward the coast. The even invited us to stop by their home base when we are in that area. At the end of the visit we shared a sighting of a new bird for our life lists – the Black-backed Woodpecker. Jim got a nice photo of the mother bird feeding one of her young after we had found their nesting tree. An added bonus to our search for campsites yielded this encounter with a really nice couple!
Speaking of meeting people, we also visited the Klamath Fish Hatchery since Sharon had never been to one before. After we walked around and completed our self guided tour a fellow walked out to say hello… He introduced himself as Richard Maly and as it turns out he and I went to college together… Wow! What a small world we live in!
Well we left Collier State Park and drove about 150 miles north to Cove Palisades State Park where we are now. Here for five days we plan to relax, do a little hiking and explore this part of Oregon…