We awoke very early this morning and it was still raining so we went back to sleep. However, by about 0800 the sun was breaking through and the temperatures had warmed up into the low 40’s.
We gathered up our remaining stuff, left a bit of birdseed out for the juncos and split from the Mt. Hood Village RV Park and headed up the climb to the pass. We started at about 1300 feet and by the time we got up to around the 4000 foot level, we were driving through a gorgeous forest that was covered with a dusting of snow. There was some snow along the roadside by the pavement was mostly dry. We even got a glimpse of Mount Hood, sticking up some 7000 feet above us.
The road (OR-26) passes across a long saddle before reaching a second, equally snow-covered pass before then starting a long, slow decline into the dry side of the Cascades. We continued through the gorgeous terrain of Warm Springs Indian Reservation, finally dropping down a canyon for four miles into the town of Warm Springs and over the Deschutes River. Not much further on we intersected OR-97 where we turned south toward Madras.
Out our right windows we could see the bottom portions of Mt. Hood and Mt. Jefferson, another volcano. The top portions were mostly obscured by clouds and the temperatures outside the truck were bracing, to say the least. Near Madras, we turned off on a side road and zigzagged our way to Cove Palisades State Park, a gem we found by accident in 2014. We wound our way partway down the edge of a gorge and pulled into the campground. It took a bit of time to find the campground host or the ranger but we were successful and soon assigned a spot. The park is absolutely gorgeous but the temperatures outdoors are frigid and we set up in near record time before climbing into the trailer and turning on the heaters.
See some travel pix. Click the link. https://photos.app.goo.gl/bNMURtuzaY5eeaxy5