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Camping on the Willamette River

Camping on the Willamette RiverView All Sizes

JOURNAL : October 20, 2009

Camping on the Willamette River

Eugene > Oregon > United States

Series Camping on the Willamette River

While in Eugene on some business I took a drive out into the nearby country to find a good camping spot. After a great night at Dexter Shores RV Park across the highway from Dexter Reservoir, I sought out a more natural campground. And here we are.

Dexter Dam, built by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers

Dexter Dam and ReservoirView All Sizes

Elijah Bristow State Park

Right around the corner are Dexter County Park and adjacent Elijah Bristow State Park bordered by the Middle Fork Willamette River. The winding paved roads eventually dissolved into dirt-and-gravel roads. At end, a rough parking lot overlooking the river and Dexter Dam.

Photo Credit : US Army Corp of Engineers

Photo Credit : US Army Corp of Engineers

Freshwater Mussels, most likely Elliptio, found in vast numbers in the Willamette River.

Freshwater Mussels AboundView All Sizes

Cooking freshwater mussels in butter, olive oil and garlic

Cooking Freshwater Mussels

A steep bank on the eastern side led up to Dexter Reservoir. On the western side a brief rocky rutted road led down to the water's edge. This is where I camped.

Mussel Discovery

A couple of times I went wading out into the Willamette River looking for fish or other creatures dwelling in the shallow water, strictly casual recon. At first only bare rocks were visible.

Then I began to discern vast numbers of freshwater mussels, camouflaged among the smooth river stones. Most likely some species of Elliptio. Observational expedition abandoned, I quickly rounded up about ten and boiled them in water, butter, olive oil and garlic. Unfortunately I had no salt or other spices, but it would have made little difference since they were bland.

Windsong on the River

Windsong on the River

Find Your Happy Place

For a couple of days I worked on some projects and hung out next to the river. People fished on the opposite side, and nearby Dexter Dam exhibited some minor activity occasionally. Otherwise it was bliss. Mediocre mussels couldn't dampen the positive vibe of this brief campout next to the Middle Fork Willamette River. If in the area again this is where I'd go.

Camping on the Willamette River

About this day

Camping on the Willamette River

October 20, 2009

Eugene > Oregon > United States

Tags   Camping · Rivers · Parks

Oregon Series | All United States Locations

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