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The girls and I recently returned from a roadtrip that took us through the middle of Oregon to northern California and then back up the coast.

Our first campsite was at Cottonwood Canyon on the John Day River in northern Oregon. To get there we drove through vast fields of dryland wheat dotted with hundreds (maybe thousands) of wind turbines and views of four of the Cascade Mountain volcanoes in the distance.



The highway follows a windy route into the steep canyon of the John Day River. It is a beautiful canyon carved by the river from volcanic basalt that spread out over eastern Oregon and Washington thousands of times over the centuries. The state park is pretty new and covers 8000 acres of valley bottom. I think most people go there for the fly fishing and river rafting. The girls and I enjoyed hiking along the wide trail that parallels the river on both sides. Being late October, there were few campers in the park and we had the trails mostly to ourselves, occasionally seeing an angler or two. The autumn light on the canyon walls was magnificent. I ought to mention that while it was sunny and beautiful, it was also cold. It got down to 13° Fahrenheit the first night and 16 the next night. Brrrr. Definitely two dog nights.

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