Date of Stay: June 19-20, 2011
Weather During Stay: Sunny and mild, cool at night.
Site Description: 25 paved, level RV sites, half back-ins, the remainder pull-throughs. Most are suitable for big rigs. Each has 20/30/50 amps, water and sewer, along with a picnic table. Lots of tall trees to provide shade. The RV park is adjacent to a large grassy area where tenters can camp. Restrooms and showers are available.
Rate: $20/night. Sites can be reserved in advance (and apparently often are, for the various events held at the fairgrounds.) Self-register at the kiosk as you enter the RV park – where you can also check to see which sites are reserved in the coming days.
Phone/radio/TV: Strong Verizon signal for phones and aircard. Choose your site carefully if you have a roof-mounted TV satellite dish, as the many (appealing) trees present obstacles to finding the signal. Three digital PBS stations (and nothing else) are available on the air antenna. NPR on 91.5.
Elevation/Landscape/Terrain: At an elevation of 3,100 ft., the small town of John Day is just north of the Strawberry Mountain Wilderness. Hillsides are cloaked with evergreens, and there was a lot of green grass to be seen when we visited. Near views are of tall trees and the fairgrounds property (we are next to the equestrian ring); distant views are of high mountains (currently, with snow). Very appealing.
Lighting/Noise: Very quiet and dark at night. This probably changes when the fairgrounds hosts an event, but we camped here during a quiet time.
Favorite Sites: We were in site 16, one of the few back-in sites without trees to the south. Several of the pull-through sites would have worked for us, but they face west… we wanted to face the morning sun so choose a back-in site. The sites we would avoid are 12, 13, 14, and 15 – they are the least appealing in the park.
Hiking/Walking: The RV park is bounded on one side by a river; a new pathway along the river was recently completed, which provides about a 30 minute walk round trip. Walking around John Day was very pleasant, and it is an easy walk to “downtown”.
Comments: Lots of history and recreation in this area, most of which we did not explore since we were moving on east. We did make time to visit the fascinating Kam Wah Chung site, an well-preserved remnant of John Day’s Chinese history that is now an Oregon State Historic Site (within easy walking distance). We will look forward to a return trip to this RV park next time we pass through.