The spouse and I needed a break from routine, so we loaded up the fifth-wheel and headed out camping. We decided to check out Cottonwood Canyon, Oregon’s newest state park. We’d been meaning to get there ever since it opened and had never gotten around to it.
From Hermiston we headed west to Biggs Junction and then turned south and drove to the middle of nowhere. It’s a beautiful drive on a two lane paved road that cuts through rolling hills with blooming wildflowers and not much else. Occasionally another car would approach from the opposite direction, but mostly we had the road to ourselves. We eventually climbed out of the hills to a magnificent vista of Pacific northwest mountains. Adams, Jefferson, Mt. Hood were all visible in the distance under a bright blue sky.
Cottonwood Canyon is on the banks of the John Day River, nestled between rugged canyon walls. The campsites are primitive, which means no water, electricity or showers. There are toilets however. None of that mattered to us because the fifth-wheel has battery power that lets us use lights at night and propane gas to keep the refrigerator running and make hot water. We even have a nice shower.
What Cottonwood Canyon doesn’t have is connectivity. There’s no Wi-Fi, there’s no cell phone service…NO CELL SERVICE, anywhere, even on top of the nearest cliff!
On day two of our trip we decided to drive into Condon, about 30 miles away. The spouse says, “We’ll have lunch, check our email.” We did have lunch in Condon, but there isn’t a restaurant that I’d recommend and there is no Wi-Fi. Other than a micro mini Powell’s Books, there is nothing in Condon except spotty cell service in high spots.
Back in camp we rode our bikes and explored the old farmstead barn. What there is in Cottonwood Canyon is solitude and a stark natural beauty. There’s no traffic noise, no glaring lights, just the wind howling through the canyon. At night the stars are clearly visible.
As we were sitting around the campfire the spouse said, “You know there could have been a thermo-nuclear explosion and we would know nothing about it.”
This is our third day disconnected, we’re getting along fine, except I keep worrying about posting to A to Z. Life is good when my worries are this small!