05.17.2013 - 05.19.2013
The waters of the McKenzie River dance by our campsite, with white froth merrily waving goodbye on its way downstream. The rush of the river is magnified at this spot by the cascading outpouring from the Olallie Creek as it joins the McKenzie. The creek is a series of small waterfalls and tumbles here, and it creates enough wind to cause the low-hanging branches of the maples to constantly jump up and down over the water.
This is a camper's delight if you enjoy the sound of rushing water, the visual comfort of moss-draped trees, and the quiet of sleeping in the forests of the Cascades. Olallie Campground is located on Route 126 in Oregon, at about milepost 12.9, a few miles north of the community of McKenzie Bridge. The campground is small, just 16 camp sites plus a host site, and is divided into two sections. The lower section, where we chose to stay, is sites 12 through 17, and all are along the river, just a few feet from the level of the water. The upper section, sites 2 through 11, still have views of the water though they are situated well above the river and closer to the highway. The campground has one water pump (bring your arm muscles!) and trash containers, but no other amenities.
Who needs amenities when one has the lush forest of the western Cascades surrounding them? Our campsite, #16, looked out on the creek and the river, with the "white noise" of the rushing water overcoming any other noise except perhaps the occasional drive-by vehicle. Our five-month-old pup, Sammie, was fascinated with the rocks that are totally covered with soft green moss. The large horizontal fern fronds were fun until she spied the tall-standing new unfurled fronds in the center, and she backed away from those. W admired the large flat white flowers on several trees along the camp road, and a few rhododendrons showing their purple blooms.
We had rain both days we stayed here--proving we were indeed on the west side of the Cascades! It was light rain, but enough to make it difficult to sit outside on the huge log down by the river enjoying nature from that vantage point. Instead, the raindrops on the roof of our RV provided a soothing background to our reading and card-playing. This was a gentle two days enjoying the forests and streams of the Cascades.