Oregon’s Four Corners Caravan

May 14 through 22, 2018
Start: Marine Park Campground, Cascade Locks, OR
End: Willow Creek RV Park, Heppner, OR
Caravan size: 22
Rally fee: $360
Hosts: Bruce and Joanne Sorte, 541-231-6566

Caravan has concluded. See you next year for part two of Oregon’s Four Corners Caravan.

Oregon’s Four Corners Caravan – First Year Columbia River Gorge and NE

Oregon has a very diverse landscape. This article is to alert you to an opportunity over the next few years to explore the four corners of Oregon and experience the very different and interesting regions of the state as part of a caravan. The first caravan will be limited in size to 22 so we can access some of the more remote areas and still stay in parks with at least partial services. The caravans will follow the format of Wally Byam’s 1950’s caravans with few or no planned catered meals, potlucks planned on the road by participants’ choices, a number of roles that we hope people will take – archivist, photographer, first aid, basic mechanical person etc. and we will try to travel as a group as much as possible.

We will also have programs and/or tours at each place we stay. Of course each evening we will have “side-walk cafes” and on travel days we will have a brief meeting before we depart. Each leg of the driving will be 100-200 miles with two nights in each park. Since we are booking all of two parks and major portions of two parks, some amount of the sign-up fee will be nonrefundable. Currently that amount looks like $75 and we are working to keep the costs as low as possible.

Route and Schedule

The first year we will travel the Columbia River Gorge and make a loop through the NE portion of Oregon. The trip will go about like this:

5/14-15/2018 Assemble in Cascade Locks at the Port campground

Spend two nights with a brewery tour and a presentation by the Port Manager on how the community and other parts of rural Oregon have worked to adapt to our current economy. Most folks will have full hookups however five or six trailers will need to boondock with an amazing view of the chute where Oregon Trail pioneers who took the Columbia River route circumvented some treacherous rapids.

5/16-17/2018 Wildhorse Resort and Casino east of Pendleton

Again we will be there two nights with a tour of the Oregon State University Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center followed by a catered or potluck lunch including the scientists, staff and students at the experiment station. The next day can include a visit to the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation world class museum and side trips available to the Pendleton Woolen Mill and the Walla Walla, Washington wineries. All the sites have full hookups. This is the only park with a few sites with 50 amps.

5/18-19/2018 Mt. View RV Park in Baker City

Wally was born in Baker City, Oregon and worked in the country we will be driving through as a shepherd living out of a sheep herder’s wagon. We will visit the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center and their Heritage Museum, which Dale Schwamborn mentioned in his recent article in the Blue Beret. They have a section of the museum devoted to Wally and Airstream. All the sites have full hookups.

5/20-21/2018 Willow Creek RV Park in Heppner

This park is located on a reservoir with a nice arena design so each site has a good view. We will do an informal fly fishing “clinic” and have an opportunity to try those skills in the reservoir which was recently designated a trophy fishery. The community also has two museums available for tours. Half the sites have full hookups and half have electricity and water. We will conclude the caravan the morning of May 22nd and provide ideas for each participant for sightseeing and camping on their way home or to their next adventure.

Background of Volunteer Leaders

We, Joanne and Bruce, were both born and raised in Oregon and have been camping around the state for 47 years together. After many years of tent and canoe camping, for the last 15 years we have traveled in a T@B, Tada, and three Airstreams (27’, 24’, 22’). Together and individually we have lead a number of informal trips or tours. We both served on the faculty at Oregon State University for most of our professional careers. Joanne directed the OSU Child Development Center. For the last 14 years of Bruce’s career, he worked as an Extension Service Economist responsible for the counties in Oregon east of the Cascades and taught economics often beaming his classes into campus from remote locations. He lived during the week in a 1968 renovated Airstream Tradewind and returned home to Corvallis most weekends. Joanne and Bruce have recently retired and are spending four months this year on the road in our 22’ Sport.

End Notes

Once the caravan is full, we will not be managing a waiting list yet will announce if any spots open-up.

We are looking forward to showing folks some beautiful Oregon sights,

Bruce and Joanne Sorte
WBCCI #2243