Saturday, August 10, 2019

Sisters, OR & Cold Springs Campground

We left our overnight parking site mid-morning on 16 Jul 2019 and went south on U.S. Route 97 before taking State Route 126 west. We had only 25 miles to go; so in about an hour, we arrived in the beautiful town of Sisters, Oregon. A friend drove Margaret through Sisters back in 2002. It was so cute that she was hoping to return eventually and linger awhile. So she added it to our West Coast States Adventure itinerary.

My recollection of Sisters is different from my sister's. ;>) I spent my youth to about age 30 drooling over the photos of the gorgeous horses of Patterson Arabians in the Arabian horse magazines of the time. The Patterson Ranch was a famous landmark in Sisters. The photos of the mares in the pastures with the snow-covered Three Sisters volcanoes in the background were stunning and left a lasting impression on me. The horses were sold off in 1989, and the ranch was sold in 2017. (Here is a 2015 video of the ranch: I didn't know exactly where the ranch was located and ended up seeing it only after Margaret had driven by—a minor disappointment, but I saw enough to get an in-person impression of the beautiful place I remembered from magazines so long ago.

Welcome to Sisters sign. Photo by Margaret.

We parked in a shady spot at Creekside Park and wandered around the adorable and immaculate little city park for a few minutes. We walked over the cute little covered pedestrian bridge that spans the Whychus Creek to the RV park on the other side before returning to the Roadtrek. Then it was time to explore the town on foot.

Creekside Park. Photo by Virginia.

It was only 70°F when we arrived, which made Margaret and me very happy. Peaches? Not so much. She likes it pretty warm. After all, she is a tiny and super short-haired Chihuahua. :>) So Margaret vented the Roadtrek, put the Maxx Air Fan on, and we left the little girl with her Furrybaby blanket and crate bed to keep her warm if she wants to cover herself. Meanwhile, we sisters went walking in Sisters!

One of many light posts featuring a banner and gorgeous flowers in Downtown Sisters. Photo by Virginia.

The traffic on Cascade Avenue was intense in the late morning and early afternoon. Two highways (U.S. Route 20 and State Route 126) merge briefly here, and the traffic is very busy! All of the shop fronts, sidewalks, planters, etc. were attractive and clean. It really is an adorable little town.

Cascade Avenue in Downtown Sisters. Photo by Margaret.

Margaret and I both went gaga for this gorgeous sculpture ("The Wild Stallion") in the center of town. We were both horsewomen for many years, and this sculpture made our horsey hearts go all fluttery. It's impressive, isn't it?

"The Wild Stallion" sculpture in Sisters. Photo by Margaret.

By the early afternoon, the temperature had increased a couple of degrees to a whopping 72°! (We are just so wimpy about the heat. 😅)  We both prefer it cool (or cold), so we got a little warm while walking in the sun. There were shady overhangs and benches fairly frequently, though, which are just some of the reasons that Sisters is a great town for pedestrians.

Shops on Cascade Avenue in Downtown Sisters. Photo by Virginia.

Just about every store had hanging baskets and/or planters filled with colorful flowers.

A sampling of the flowers in Downtown Sisters. Photos by Virginia.

There is a fairly wide variety of shops in Sisters. Neither Margaret nor I are jewelry ladies, but we really enjoyed our time in a little shop called The Jewel. Not only did they have unique jewelry, but they had an impressive variety of minerals and fossils that grabbed our attention.

Stitchin' Post store on Cascade Avenue in Downtown Sisters. Photo by Margaret.

Richard's Farmstand, Sisters, Oregon. North Sister ("Faith") of the Three Sisters volcanic peaks in the background. Photo by Virginia.

Margaret treated us to some special "goodies" from Sisters Bakery, all of which were super delicious. Once we had walked up and down Cascade Avenue, we went back to the Roadtrek, made our lunches, and gathered up Peaches to enjoy a picnic under the giant pine trees at Creekside Park. After lunch, Margaret gassed up the Roadtrek, and I stopped in a little market for some local produce. Then we were off to nearby Cold Springs Campground, hoping to find an available campsite for a few days.

Cold Springs Campground sign. Photo by Virginia.

After driving through the entire campground, Margaret found only one campsite that was unoccupied or reserved: the last one, campsite #23. It was the camp host site, but the campground was currently without a camp host. Yippee for us! She initially paid for three nights but decided to add an extra night twice for a total of five nights there. We were in the shade, next to a spring, with a decent cell phone signal (outside). Pretty sweet, huh?

A panorama of our campsite in Cold Springs Campground. Photo by Virginia.

I sat outside in the shade by the spring for several hours each day. Books, music, movies, Web browsing, keeping up with social media, etc. kept me occupied in between being mesmerized by my surroundings. It was probably in the low to mid-70s in the shade during the day and down into the low 50s in the evening. Pretty, cool, quiet, convenient, and with a cell phone signal, all for the discounted price of $7 per night. Woo hoo!

The cold spring for which the campground was named. Photo by Virginia.

I went for short walks around the campground, and Margaret took Peaches for their longer "adventure walks." The campground amenities included drinking water (hand pump!), vault toilets, garbage dumpsters, picnic tables, and fire rings. The trees are mostly Ponderosa Pines, but in the lower, wetter areas there are some Aspen trees.

Cold Springs Campground. Photo by Margaret.

We left Cold Springs Campground on the morning of 21 July after five peaceful nights; and on that bright and sunny morning, we finally had an amazingly clear view of the Three Sisters—the mountains (volcanoes) that the town of Sisters was named for. Beautiful, aren't they? 

The Three Sisters volcanic peaks. Photo by Virginia.

Our continuing adventure includes Margaret driving an entire day to get a special birthday meal. Well, not just for the meal; but it was worth going out of our way a bit. Stay tuned, and thanks for coming with us!

NOTE: Clicking on the photos in the post will open them in a larger view (recommended!). If you want to see more photos of the beautiful places we've shared, we have them in this Flickr Collection: Over the Hill Sisters Photo Collection.


Cyn said...

Now you're really talking my language! I just *love* cute little towns with quirky little shops. I could spend all day browsing around there! Your camping location looks just breathtaking and you know how lucky you are to have found a great spot! Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy...and thanks for taking me along on a virtual ride! xoxoxo

Virginia Hill said...

I absolutely adored the town of Sisters, Cyn! It really is a treasure. I definitely think you should visit there and spend time in those "quirky little shops!"