I felt it only fair to share with you that I have recently returned from Paradise. Yes my unemployed butt has found Paradise.... oddly enough it is East of Eugene along the McKenzie river. I also was amazed to find that Paradise costs a mere 16 dollars a night. That is pretty affordable for Paradise.... I would think it would cost more. Even stranger still is that it is a campground. The camping thing is not usually what I think of when paradise is tossed around but who am I to question a sign that says "Paradise Campground"? Well I definitely found it to be quite enjoyable while I was there. It is relatively easy to find... just Google "Paradise Campground in Oregon".
So maybe you are asking "What made it so freaking great?" My response would be "Whoa! Whoa! What is with the tone? Why are you being so nasty?" You probably would say "Sorry. I work all week and can't go camping so I am a little tense." To which I would say "OK I have been there I can understand all your pent up aggression." To which you might say "Thanks Mike, you freaking rock! Now tell me about the campground." So then I would probably tell you this:
My roommate and I have been talking about going camping for a while.... He kept mentioning campsites trying to elicit a response. I guess he figured I might have a preference, an idea of what I like or where I want to go but in reality I don't know. I have not went camping since college.... and camping in college was basically drinking way more then anyone should and ending up passed out next to your tent with your pants around your ankles. Or at least one of my friends had that experience... I always ended up in my tent. So to say I am good at camping would not be an accurate statement.... So my only rule is that it has to be cooler (both temperature and coolness factor is implied here) then our house. So he picked a spot he used to go to in his collegiate days. The campsite is East of Eugene along the McKenzie River and a lot of the sites are right on the river. We had a short walk to the river but we were not in a spot where you could turn your tent to face the river (which means during the pee run at night you might end up falling into the river and be swept away which unfortunately did not happen to anyone while we were there).
Anyway it is close to 3 hours of driving to get there so we stopped in Eugene and rode our bikes through campus and along the river to the Valley River Center where we ate lunch at Mucho Gusto. Then we turned around and headed back to the car. When we were back in the car we headed East to the campground. Paradise campground has 60 spots and some are near the river and others are along a small creek and a few are in the middle of these sites without direct water access. The site has flushing toilets and running water as well. We chose lucky 13 for our site, it was not too near anyone and was on the river side so we had our own little spot to watch the raging river from. The first night we had no one around us which was nice because we trampled all over looking for wood and might have bothered other people with our campfire antics.
The next day I collected firewood while my roommate slept in... how he did is any one's guess. I could not get comfortable. When he did awake we went to a nearby town and had breakfast at Takoda's (not a bad spot) and bought ice and some food for that evening at the store next door. We headed back to the campsite and let the food digest before going for a hike. Our intended destination was a hot spring but in reality it was a resort (Belknap Lodge and Hot Springs) that had piped the hot spring to their pools and wanted 7 bucks for non guests to use it. We had expected a fee but the book said it was 2 bucks.... 7 was more then we were willing to do plus it wasn't at all natural it was a pool with 100 degree water. It was also mid 80's and a hot springs after a sweaty hike was not as desirable at that moment as it had been when we started. So we hiked back.... A little disappointed by the "hot springs" but the hike was awesome anyway. We cooked up some tasty smoked sausages and had some fruit and then got the fire going. We had new neighbors on both sides of us but they did not bother us and we apparently did not bother them. We played with the fire for a while and when the wood was all gone and we had coals only we called it a night.
The next morning I managed to sleep in again but I was still the first one up. That ground is hard! I need to get a pad before the next time I camp. Anyway we broke camp and I spent 20 minutes trying to repack my tent.... stupid tent! (I eventually got the tent in the bag) We cleaned up as best we could put on clean clothes and headed to Eugene where we had breakfast at Glennwood. Then headed home to a wonderful shower....
It was a good time and a place I may go back to camp at in the future. Maybe one day I can even take a girl to Paradise. Why does everyone laugh when I say that?? Hehe
I hope to publish a few pictures soon.