Monday, May 11, 2009

Under the trees at Panther Flat

We are at the Panther Flat campground (map), along US-199 in the Smith River National Recreation Area, part of the Six Rivers National Forest. The entire campground is under a dense canopy of conifers, so we are off-line, and I am typing this for upload later.

We had actually hoped to be a little further into the forest last night, but we found out that none of the campgrounds east of here has opened yet for the season. Continuing on to Cave Junction had also been an option, but the Forest Service campgrounds there are also still closed.

When we arrived here, we were somewhat surprised to find the temperature in the mid 70s, as it had been much cooler in Crescent City. Between the pleasant temperatures, the fact that the place was empty save for the camp host, and the emerald beauty of the river, we decided to stay, despite the inevitable jonesing for internet access.

Our solitude was short-lived. A pair of cars arrived later in the day with tent campers, who each chose, out of an entirely empty campground, to set up in spaces not far from us. Still, it was very quiet here last night.

It's much cooler today, but we will remain here at least through the morning. Then we need to move along -- not that we're internet junkies (we are), but we have a package here from our fire sale that needs to ship today, and we either need to get on-line to print the postage, or find a post office (there is none in the nearby town of Gasquet).

We should be in Cave Junction this afternoon, and we will hunt around for a place to stay. We'd like to go see the Oregon Caves, but with Grayback campground still closed for the season, it's not clear we will be able to park Odyssey within reasonable scooter distance of the monument.

Postscript: As I upload this, we are parked for lunch at the Patrick Creek Lodge (map), across from the Patrick Creek campground built by the CCC. The campground is not yet open for the season, but it is only a short walk on a lit trail along the creek, and it looks like it would fit us just fine, despite the guidebook indicating 35'.

Lunch was tasty, although the server was rather rude. Nevertheless, we would consider staying at the campground some time when it is open, and walking over here for dinner. The lodge itself was built in 1925 and has that CCC look about it as well.

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