Wallowa-Whitman National Forest seemed like the perfect place for Sash and I to set up camp for a couple of weeks, just to get away from the Summer’s heat in Tri-Cities, WA.
We found an area called “Spring Creek”, located along, of course, Spring Creek Rd, a dirt path that takes further deep into the forest. There’s actually a developed campground down there called “Spring Creek”, but we didn’t go there. We instead looked for some dispersed areas located along other forest roads.
We finally found a cool little spot.
At about 3,500 feet elevation, we managed to cool down by about 20 degrees from the previous camp sites in Horn Rapids and Vernita Bridge, up by Tri-Cities. We also got more shade from the stands of pines.
As it turned out, it wasn’t really that deep into the forest. We were still about 1,200 feet from I-84, but at least had plenty of trees and shrubs to give us privacy and to dampen the sound of truck noise.
We ended up camped there for 3 weeks. I could find anything from the Forest Service on maximum length of stay. I assumed the usual 14 days, but I know there are plenty other forests that allow up to 21 days. Some even 28. Either way, after 3 weeks there, our black tank was just about full.
Forestry crews seemed busy cutting down dead trees affected by bark beetles. They would cut down a tree, chop it up into large chunks, and leave it there for other folks to take. I was able to drive the truck around looking for these chunks of wood for campfires. We never had a problem replenishing wood supplies.
Verizon 4G came in weak, generally 2 bars out of 5. Our WeBoost helped just a touch. Honestly, I think our WeBoost unit is going to shit. It just doesn’t boost much anymore. I’m actually getting better results using a simple little window-antenna that plugs into a hotspot device. I’m thinking about taking down the WeBoost.
We also quite a battle with mice. Seems this campsite has a lot of mice who’ve built up experience with RVers. They seem to know to invade rigs when they see them. We caught five mice there over the three weeks. These mice very delicate, very sensitive. They could easily thwart most traps. The only way to get them was with the conventional mouse traps (the spring-loaded bar). But, I had to modify them to make them more sensitive. Otherwise, these mice could easily lick the peanut butter off of the trigger platforms without setting them off. After modifying the traps, it would take me several attempts at getting the trap set, and several aching fingers (from the trap snapping on to me).
But it was worth it. Five dead mice. If you plan to camp here, bring traps, and don’t fuss with those fancy traps that hide the dead mouse from sight. Get a old fashioned trap, and spread plenty of peanut butter on it.
The three weeks we camped there we made good use of our trips into La Grande, OR for supplies. They have a Wal-Mart there for most stuff, but they also have a Grocery Outlet for some cheap buys and hard-to-find items. We also visited several other campgrounds in the area, just to check them out and give us something to do.