Packard Creek Campground

Oakridge, Oregon
July 26-29, 2012

We had planned and reserved this 3-day weekend with our good friends, Anita and Hillary. But a family emergency kept them home. We were all disappointed, but Kate and I carried on without them.

We both got off work early on Thursday and made it to the campground by 5:00. Neither we nor Hillary and Anita had been to Packard Creek before, so we weren't sure what to expect. It's on Hills Creek Reservoir, near Oakridge, just 45 miles from home.



As it turns out, most of the campsites are a parking spot along the road with the camping area (table and fire pit) down an incline. That makes it difficult for people with trailers, especially teardrops where you do most of your food prep and cooking right where you park. Not to mention the privacy issue... trying to sleep with both doors open on a warm night when cars and pedestrians are cruising right next to you.

Our original site just wasn't going to work -- right next to the beach and day use area, with high traffic. But our camp host, Randy, was very helpful in finding us one of the last available spots. Site 31 was far from the water, but on a very quiet loop with only 4 sites spread far apart. The table and fire pit were still down a level, but we had plenty of room to spread out next to the teardrop. And our "living area" was spacious and private, with a perfect view of an osprey nest.




site 31The next day, we blew up our canoe and instead of putting in at the campground beach, we drove a mile away to Larison Cove, which is a separate part of the reservoir reserved for canoers. We had the whole place to ourselves up to the last half hour when we spotted three kayakers. It was perfect for an afternoon paddle. Just big enough to explore the whole area, and clean enough for a nice swim.

On Saturday, we decided to roof the canoe and drive higher into the Cascades in search of adventure. The mosquitos are usually awful at Waldo till late summer, so we went to Odell Lake, to the resort we've spent many family winter vacations.

Gold Lake

We'd never spent time at Odell in the summer, but it was lovely. We checked out the campground right next to the resort, with many sites right on the lake and decided we had to come back and try it sometime. As it turns out, it was very windy and choppy on the huge lake. So we had lunch on the patio and drove to nearby Gold Lake, a small, more sheltered lake we'd never been to. It was perfect! A sweet little no-motors lake with a great view of Diamond Peak. We spent the afternoon lolling about with ducks and dragonflies.


One last night at the campground, wishing our friends were there with us to share stories and s'mores, than back home to work after a long weekend break.

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