PNW Trip – Day 6
July 4, 2019
We left our camp off Hwy 58 around 11 am and headed west. We stopped at Oakridge for gas and to fill up our water container. Oakridge is a small town but has a grocery store, a bakery, couple restaurants, and 3 gas stations.
After Oakridge, we headed north to hop on NF-19, a.k.a Aufderheide Scenic Byway. And boy is it scenic! The first stop we made was at Office Covered Bridge, the longest covered bride in Oregon (at 180 feet).
The second stop we made was for lunch. We found a shady spot along the riverbank where we enjoyed sandwiches with a view. We technically put our chairs on a trail, but no one seemed to be hiking on it while we were there.
The third stop we made was again along the river with the hope of cooling off in the water. I made it about shin deep before the snow melt cold water made my toes feel like they were going to fall off. I was bummed out, the air was so warm and the sun felt so good but the water was too frigid to be bearable.
The drive is along Hwy-19 is too beautiful for words or pictures. The trees hang over the road and sun peeks through making the road glow green. The forest is lush and you can hear the river babbling as you drive. We were both so captivated by its beauty we simultaneously turned to one another and said, if we find something along this road, let’s camp there for the 4th.
We were supposed to be on our way to Twelliger Hot Springs but we never made it. As we drove, we stumbled upon Kiahanie Campground. We are not usually keen on campgrounds, preferring boondocking, but something made us check it out.
What a hidden gem of a campground! $10 a night for spacious, private campsites right next to the river. We camped at spot 3 where we could set up our chairs along the banks. Site 14 was our second choice as it’s tucked away and has private access to a rocky beach which you can enjoy to yourself. The campground has super clean vault toilets, trash cans, one water pump, and each site had a fire ring and picnic table; some spots have a leveled out spot for tents. There are a total of 19 spots and there were maybe 5 taken including ours. And this was on the Fourth of July, I can imagine that on any other day you could have the entire campground to yourself!
It was a great find and we had a fantastically chill Independence Day. We made a fire and grilled some veggie burgers (with a side of garlicky kale) and had them with cold beer for him and white wine for me. And for dessert, in honor of the 4th, we made s’mores.
When it finally got dark, we fell asleep to the soothing sounds of the babbling river.