Blog 27, Idanha, Oregon

Blog 27, Idanha, Oregon

After leaving Portland we set our expectations low for Idanha and its campsite.  We feel we have had a run of disappointing campsites and at times, cities and thought it would play out that way till Sisters, which is a mountain area near Bend, still in Oregon.

Sisters campground is popular for exploring bend and we couldn’t book in for the dates we wanted and needed to spend 2 nights somewhere so we chose Idanha which is along the way and in the Cascade Mountains.

This is one of those situations where you become pleasantly surprised.  Because the campsite is a full hookup for $35 per night we thought we wouldn’t like it here but it’s absolutely delightful.  We are in a quiet woodsy campsite by the river.

Idanha has a population of about 156 people, it’s a small woodsy town.  It’s 5 minutes away by car from the town of Detroit, on Lake Detroit.

In 2020 Detroit was pretty much burnt to the ground in a huge wildfire that ravished this area.  The campsite at Idanha got two burnt trees before the fire was contained.  The owners are very grateful but it must have been too close for comfort.  We spoke to a friendly couple in the village and asked them about the surrounding hillsides being burnt and how close the fire came.  Apparently much of the surrounding area here was purposely burnt to control the fire but they were woken by the police in the middle of the night and told to evacuate immediately.  They loaded their little dogs in the car and drove off but the highway had trees burning on either side and lots of debris on the road.  I could tell by their retelling of this event that they feared for their lives that night.  It must have been terrifying.

When we were walking around this little village we were being ‘Bear aware’, we had just been saying that if we see them anywhere it will be around this area-we had our bear spray with us.  I had asked the campsite owner if we might see one and she yes, possibly-that there is a male black bear that is often around but he’s not a concern, he’s inquisitive but not a threat.  Just as we were turning to walk back I said to Stuart stop, stop stop!!  Very dramatic, I know and he immediately started looking for the bear, but infact he was just about to stand on a snake!  This was about a meter long and quite thin, black and yellow.  I looked it up later and thought it was a grass snake or a garter snake, both of which are non venomous-still, you don’t want to squish one or have it go up your shorts!  We were both amazed at how quickly it disappeared-one minute there, the next gone!

Today the steep hills all around this Cascades area is burnt.  Some trees are still standing but are charred beyond saving.

It’s changed the look and feel of the environment for decades to come.  In Detroit on August 16 2020, 2 years and 3 days to the day the fires burnt down the city.  They were started by lightning and burnt over 70% of the buildings, only 25 buildings were left standing.  Today when we were in Detroit we saw many concrete pads where houses used to stand. Some of them have trailers or campers on them.  The couple we spoke to has a daughter that lived there and has had to wait 2 years for her house to be rebuilt.  We saw lots of houses being built today.

We’ve enjoyed the campsite here so much we haven’t felt a need to go off exploring, so it’s mostly been a relaxing time of catching up.


Tomorrow we head off for Sisters campsite.