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After our first “camping trip” in Marty, Kaydee were quite eager to get out on the real maiden voyage. When discussing a destination, I offered up a spot that Kaydee and I used to camp at a looooong time ago together.

Pine Mountain is, as it’s name states, a little mountain off in a sea of sagebrush that has a beautiful ponderosa pine forest along its northern aspects. On top of the mountain there is a working observatory which is run by the University of Oregon.

Before the world went and changed, there was a program every weekend evening in the summertime where volunteers would give a presentation on space – and then the public was welcome to view the heavens through various telescopes. I remember viewing the rings of Saturn, and the International Space Station zooming overhead a summer night years ago with a little Kaydee.

So that is why we ended up back at Pine Mountain after all these years. We grabbed a campsite right away, then we wandered up to the top of the mountain to take in the view. After that we took another trip down memory lane by going Geocaching.

The cache we found was designed to look like Jupiter! It was placed by a caching friend we met years ago when we first moved to Bend – Big Eddie. It was fun to reminisce on some of those early caching days, it really was a great way to get to know the nooks and crannies of Central Oregon.

After the cachin’ adventure, we decided that Marty needed to wander a bit more to find the ideal spot for the night. After rolling down a few spur roads, Kaydee found a great spot at the base of a ridge line.

The photo at the top of the story was our sunset that evening. The first hint of wildfire smoke made it a rosy-colored affair ✨ Dinner was the summertime delight of cold friend chicken. After dinner, we cozied up inside Marty, and Kaydee got to watch Forest Gump for the first time. Feels.

In the morning we hiked out the ridge from camp to the West. There was a super cool rock outcropping at the far end, and of course, there was another Geocache to flag this magic little spot.

But I’ve saved the best highlight of the trip for last. As we were leaving camp, I asked Kaydee if she wanted to get behind the wheel. Her smile was the only response needed, so I pulled over, and captured the slow roll through the woods. ✌️

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