During this entire trip, I have only made two u-turns to check out a road that I passed. The first u-turn resulted in the great hunting camp that we found in Oregon. The second u-turn resulted in the beautiful camp where we are now.
After spending a forgettable night at Walmart in Yakima, WA we headed west toward some inexpensive National Forest Service campsites. We were taking highway 12 from Yakima and about 2 miles into the drive there were roadside flashing signs warning of 2 hour delays on 12. I stopped at the NFS office in Naches and was advised that there was a detour available that actually provided a more scenic route if I didn’t mind 35-45 mph speed limits. Music to my ears; I love taking my time.
About 10 miles into the detour the highway started following the twists and turns of a beautiful river and I found myself wishing that I could find a turn off that would allow me to camp near the river. Five miles later I passed a NFS sign for the Half Flat Campground. I passed it by as I was looking for a free spot. As I drove slowly by, I noticed several open areas right on the river. I made a u-turn and went back to investigate. Before you reach the gravel road that leads to the campground, you pass an area that has 6 primitive campsites right on the river.
We have the entire site to ourselves and there is a view of the river from each of Dod’s windows. The highway is about 100 yards from our site but the river drowns (pun?) out 90% of the highway noise. It also helps that this highway does not allow commercial traffic so that there is nothing louder going by than the occasional Harley.
Dod tucked away at the river
Jesse and I have been overextending just a little. We started out walking about 3 miles a day and increased it to 4. Yesterday, we did 2 miles in the morning and for some reason that evening we decided that an additional 5 miles would be good. It was okay but definitely too much for one day. Jesse gave up about a half mile short of where I did. He just disappeared. I walked to the end of the trail and he was nowhere to be found. As I walked back down the trail, there he was just lying down in the shade looking much more comfortable than I felt.
As soon as we reached Dod, he took a few gulps of water and called it a night. He barely moved from 6 p.m. last night until 6 a.m. this morning! I have to admit, I didn’t move much either. When we walked this morning I could feel it and when I started back toward camp after about a mile, Jesse was more than happy to lead the way.
It is beautiful, you are allowed to camp for 14 days and it is FREE!