Friday, September 25, 2015

usbackroads destinatiion--Eagles Hot Lakes RV Park and Ladd Marsh, LaGrande, Oregon

usbackroads destination--Eagles Hot Lakes RV Park and Ladd Marsh, LaGrande, Oregon.

The purpose of this trip was to take the Carriage 5th wheel to its new home in Benson, Arizona.  The first day of this 1500 mile trip was suppose to be a short jaunt to Pendleton, Oregon.  The trip did not start well.  It turns out we did not have a Washington state map in the truck!  I don't trust a GPS unless I have a clear overall plan.

The second problem was that it was Pendleton Round-Up Weekend in Pendleton.  The thought of trying to find a campsite around town with 50,000 cowboys was not my idea of fun.  So we went up the GRADE and starting looking for a campsite around LaGrande.  I remembered a RV park close to Ladd Marsh so we headed in that direction.  The marsh and RV park are just four miles north of the Interstate.

The RV Park is nice and very pleasant with 100 sites.  Most of which were empty come September.  We did stay an extra night.

Here is the link:

The campground is nothing special, but has all the basic ammenties.  For us, it also had pull-through sites which meant we did not have to unhook the 5th wheel from the truck.

The campground attraction is the Hot Springs and pool area shown in the top picture.  Two naturally heated pools with warm and hot as your choices.  The hot springs are attractive and do NOT have a sulfur smell.  A great spot to watch night fall.  The hours are until dusk and the springs are closed at night.

The RV sites are pretty typical, but some of the tent sites are pretty special.  Almost made me want to pitch the tent instead of the RV.

If you click on the photo you will notice that it is catch and release fishing in the canal....and 165 degree water.  Made me wonder why it would be catch and release since at 165 degrees the fish are already pre-cooked.

The RV Park is nice, but the marsh is pretty special.  Lots of nice flat trails to walk with views of fields and marshes.  This photographer took some pretty good pictures of the marsh.  Steve Lenz Photography.

Please note that the regulations and open areas are rather confusing. However, there is always SOME portion of the marsh open. Contact the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife BEFORE you arrive.  

For me I arrived on opening day of the youth hunt.  I had my ORANGE hunting gear in the truck, but no Oregon hunting license so took my binoculars and camera.  That crew on the second picture had two German Shorthairs and there were several shots fired.  Not sure if they were successful.

For my part, I took my friend with me so he could point out ALL the interesting birds for me.  Of course, with Bugaboo the problem is that he sometimes goes on point and will not MOVE until you come over to investigate. First you have to find him.

Yeah, there is a 100 pound dog hiding in the picture above.  Look for the nose.

A great to spend a few days exploring the marsh, enjoying the hot springs, and even wandering down the road to see the art work and breakfast delights in a "traditional" setting.

Here is the link to the Inn.....Hot Lake Springs Inn..

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

usbackroads destination--Hot Lake Springs Inn, LaGrande, Oregon

usbackroads destination--Hot Lake Springs Inn, LaGrande, Oregon

This was the second time we have stopped at Hot Lake Springs.

The first time was back in the early 1990's when the Forest Service decided to transfer and move several thousand employees due to the President Clinton's Northwest Forest Plan.  We visited lots of towns in eastern Oregon and Washington to see if we wanted to transfer, if offered, or leave the agency.  In our case, we were fortunate to be able to remain in Wenatchee until the end of my career.

In the early 1990's the Inn was for sale at a very reasonable price for 40 acres, a couple of ponds and the hot springs.  The problem was this huge historical building that would have to be demolished or restored.  Fortunately, a family decided to buy the property and do the restoration instead of demolishing the building..

Unfortunately, for them the restoration price was much, much, much higher than the purchase price.  Bless them, for purchasing the property and restoring it.

Here is the link to their web site:

Somewhere in my professional career I realized that all those important Indian places did not match up to "white" man's important places.  Hot Lake Springs was an important place for the Indian tribes.  So was Camas Meadows.  It is interesting that a map of the western US at the time of the Lewis and Clark expedition would look very different from an Indian perspective.

This is the link to our place on Camas Meadows:

Hot Lake Springs.  One of the most important places in the Pacific Northwest  at the time of the Lewis and Clark travel journals. It is worth visiting today.

We ended up calling and booking a breakfast at the Inn.  There are forty rooms there and if you are not RV'ing you will get breakfast without having to call.  It cost us ten dollars for breakfast.  Well worth the price.  A special place for thousands of years that somehow is bypassed in modern times.  Don't miss it.

Here are some photo's of the Inn.

A special place on the usbackroads tour.  Remember at the turn of the century in 1800....this was one of the most important places in the Northwest.