August 30, 2015

Rufus Landing Recreational Area

"The progress of rivers to the ocean is not so rapid as that of man to error."

During our 8-week adventure we wanted to use every resource available in locating campsites. We visited State Parks, private RV parks, Passport America member parks, US Forest Service Campgrounds and now an Army Corps of Engineers site.

Rufus Landing Recreational Area at the John Day Dam is well known among the RV community as a favorite FREE boondocking site. Located along Interstate 84 just off exit 109, it is an easy camping option for stays up to 14 days. Although Rufus is renowned for it’s wind and wind-surfing, during our 2 nights here we saw only boaters and kayakers on the river and experienced just a light breeze. But thank goodness we had the breeze, for it kept the smoke from the many fires contained to the east.

We were all alone on our football field length gravel site right on the bank of the Columbia, with a view of the dam and the State of Washington. It was quite beautiful and very relaxing...come on…how stressful is it to watch pelicans gliding over the water, counting sea gulls or catching the “tail” end of a salmon hitting the water? Granted the passing trains in front and back of us, were a little distracting, but they too were interesting to watch. Workers going in early to work at the dam and returning home were actually the main highway noise and even that proved tolerable.

We also were able to secure a few pounds of fresh caught King Salmon, filets and smoked, from a local net fisherman who was more than willing to sell his fresh caught inventory for a fantastic price. Finding his campsite by flashlight at 9:00 at night, a ¼ mile from our campsite, proved to be the adventure of our stay.

At Waypoint 45º42’14.04N-120º43’13.19W
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