Trip #3 Chimney Rock State Park, Oregon

Central Oregon was our destination for our third excursion in Jet. We went to Central Oregon, south of Prineville to the Crooked Wild and Scenic Area. The Crooked River sports several Bureau of Land Management campgrounds. We stayed at Chimney Rock campground in spot #1 and it cost $8. There are about a dozen first come-first served spots at the campground, and since it was November 20th, we had the place almost entirely to ourselves.

Last November we rented a van and tooled around near wine country, and this year we decided that a November camping trip needed to be a new tradition for us. It is cold in Central Oregon in November so we were very happy to have the diesel heater. It kept us toasty warm when the temperature dropped to 20 degrees overnight.

That white speck in the distance is Jet!

The Crooked River is a beautiful spot. As the name implies, it meanders through the area almost directly south on Prineville. There are tons of birds. We saw an army of robins, a lone blue heron, and a bunch of swifts who seemed to enjoy chittering around the basalt of the river canyon.

We got to the campground with about an hour of daylight left so a quick snack of cheese, bread, and this lovely Merlot were just what we needed. I really do need to get some camp wine glasses, but even out of titanium mugs, this wine was outstanding.

We knew it was going to be a clear night, so about 7:30, we hopped out of the van to check out the stars. We don't often get to see them so crisp and bright, living in the city. We were staring up in wonder when we heard the sound of rocks tumbling down from the hillside behind us. Nothing too thunderous - I don't want to make it seem life threatening, but in the pitch dark of a strange and remote place, even the sound of a small rock fall was frightening. Debbie is convinced it was a wendingo, but I didn't want to stay outside waiting to see.

The rest of the night was peaceful, and in the morning we took some time to explore a bit of the area.

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