Camping in Summer Heat

It’s summer!  Time to hook up the boat and load the car with family, pets, coolers, the kitchen sink? and then …head for the lake.  Before you go, take a few minutes to do your homework so your trip is memorable for the right reasons.

Is a Volvo XC90 the Right Car for Your Family?

THINGS TO CHECK BEFORE YOU GO:

WEATHER – They say in Central Oregon if you don’t like the weather, wait fifteen minutes and it’ll change.  Needless to say, if you are planning a trip to The Cove, you need to be prepared.  It can be hot and dry, thunderstorms can pop up out of nowhere, wind can blow over your carefully set up camp.

FIRE DANGER – Check fire danger in the area that you are going.

SMOKEY BEAR FIRE DANGER SIGN GAUGE ADJUSTS! 8"x12" METAL FOREST SERVICE ONLY YOU

According to Central Oregon Fire Info – Whether accidental or intentional, people start wildfires every year in Central Oregon. These wildfires cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to suppress and endanger lives and our natural resources. Let’s all do our part to protect these places we live by being diligent with our ignitions and leaving all fireworks at home.

START IT RIGHT

  • Make sure it’s legal to have a campfire!
  • Keep your fire small and manageable
  • Keep your fire contained inside a fire ring or clear an area and build your own ring
  • NEVER leave your campfire unattended – even if you’re just leaving for a few hours
  • Have a shovel and water available
  • Keep your firewood stored at least 10 feet away from your ring

STOP IT RIGHT

  • Slowly add water to put out all flames
  • Stir, scrape and separate coals
  • Add water until the steaming stops
  • Feel for heat using the back of your hand over the coals.
  • Continue to add water and stir until no heat remains

TRIP PLANS – it’s always a good idea whether you are camping, hiking, boating or hunting that you fill out a trip plan and leave it with family or friends.  Just in case you get lost or hurt, a plan will help search and rescue personnel find you much faster.  Don’t forget to get a map of where you are going too!

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THINGS TO BRING:

ICE – by keeping food cold,  you and your family stay safe.  Block ice lasts much longer than bags of cubed ice.  These are essential for coolers – don’t leave them in the sun or on the hot asphalt either!

WATER – Don’t underestimate the value of drinking plenty of water when camping in hot climates. On an average day, we lose more than 10 cups of water just in the course of our basic bodily functions such as breathing, sweating and waste eliminations.   How to plan how much water to bring:

  • Adults: 2 cups (about 1/2 liter) of water for every 1 hour of hiking
  • Children: 1-2 cups of water for every hour of hiking

So, if you calculate that your hike will be 5 hours, then you need to bring at least 10 cups (2.3 liters) of water per person.  Obviously, if it is a hot day, then you are going to need to drink a lot more water.  In hot or humid conditions, calculate 4 cups (1 liter) per hour, per person!  Bear in mind that these are just general rules!  Some people drink a lot more water than this.  However, it is a good guideline to go by.

ALTERNATIVE COOKING METHODS – most of the time, if you can’t have a wood  campfire or charcoal BBQ, you can have a gas camp stove.  It may lack the quintessential smell and look of a wood campfire but you won’t go hungry and it’s a lot safer.

TARPS/ROPE – when picking out your campsite, look for plants that can provide shelter, shade, and insulate you from the sun (like trees and grass).   Even best laid plans may leave you high and dry (or wet) –  you never know if you’ll need additional shade or a respite from an unplanned thunderstorm or a layer between you and a flood so bring a couple of tarps and rope to tie them down.

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PETS

As a park ranger, one of the most frustrating things is to witness a pet that no one planned appropriately for, that is suffering.  Remember when your pet is somewhere new unfamiliar environments may make your pet act differently than they would at home.  Make sure your dog wears their ID tags on a collar at all times. ID tags should have a phone number that you can be reached at while camping.  They are likely bombarded with unfamiliar people, smells, sounds, wildlife and other pets.  Plan for your pet and remember to bring their leash.   Pets need plenty of water and shade too.  Plan some quiet, downtime and bring things that are familiar like a favorite toy or bed to sleep on.  Don’t leave you pet in the car.  According to the SPCA, ten minutes is all that’s needed for the inside of a car to reach 102 degrees on an 85 degree day. In thirty minutes, the car will be around 120 degrees.  The same study found opening the windows a bit for extra air didn’t help; the cars heated up at a similar rate.

DSCN3370For more tips, see Know Before You Go – Have a fun summer vacation!

Fire Ban in Effect Statewide

Governor Brown declared a fire emergency today. In accordance with this, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department has temporarily banned campfires in all facilities statewide to help do our part to ensure the safety of Oregon’s Parks and their surrounding communities.  This includes the use of charcoal briquettes, tiki torches, all candles, or any open flame that cannot be immediately turned off with a valve.  Large propane fire rings are not permitted on all sites. (check with the park you are headed to for current restrictions.)  Propane cook stoves are permitted; however propane fires may not be left on and unattended.

Visitors planning a trip to a state park should check for up-to-date information about fire restrictions by calling the state parks info line at 800-551-6949.

2018 Programa de ¡Vamos a Acampar!

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Stay and play for free at one of the three camping events in Central Oregon!
¡Quédate y juega gratuitamente en uno de los tres eventos en el centro de Oregon!

• June 2-3 (one night only) – Tumalo State Park, 5 miles NE of Bend on OB Riley Road.
Junio 2-3 (una noche solamente) — Tumalo State Park, 5 millas al noreste de Bend en la calle OB Riley.

• Aug. 17-19 (two nights) — The Cove Palisades State Park, 16 miles SW of Madras.
Agosto 17-19 (dos noches) — The Cove Palisades State Park, 16 millas al suroeste de Madras.

• Aug. 24-26 (two nights) — Prineville Reservoir State Park, 16 miles SE of Prineville.
Agosto 24-26 (dos noches) — Prineville Reservoir State Park, 16 millas al sureste de Prineville.

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Registration/La registracion click here:   To Register

Registration for Tumalo event closes Mon, May 21.
La registración para Tumalo cerrara el lunes 21 de mayo.

Registration for August events closes Monday, August 6.
La registración para los eventos en agosto cerrara el lunes 6 de agosto.

We provide: Camping gear, Saturday night dinner, and the ingredients to make s’mores.  Plus, you will learn about the park, take a guided hike, and try kayaking (August events only).  We’ll also help you set up your tent, cook over a campfire, and learn how to be a great camping neighbor.
Ofrecemos: Equipo para campamento, la cena del sábado, y los ingredientes para hacer malvaviscos. Además, vas a aprender acerca del parque, participar en una caminata guiada por un guardabosque, y probar paseos en kayak (solo durante los eventos en agosto). También te ayudaremos a construir tu tienda, cocinar en una fogata, y aprender cómo ser un gran vecino de campamento.
Questions? Call Jill Nishball, 541-388-6073.
¿Preguntas? Llama a Priscilla Calleros, 541-633-7834.

National Bat Appreciation Day

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Photo (c) Merlin D. Tuttle, Bat Conservation International, www.batcon.org.

National Bat Appreciation Day occurs annually on April 17th.  April is a good time of year to observe bats, as they are now beginning to emerge from hibernation. If you see one, be sure not to touch them.

It is also an excellent time to learn about the role bats play in nature. One important reason to celebrate bats is that they are considered to be an “insectivorous” creature because they rid our world of many annoying insects.  In one hour, a bat can eat up to 1,000 mosquitoes.  Oregon bats also happen to feed on a number of pests, such as spruce budworm moths, tussock moths, pine bark beetle moths and gypsy moths.

Fun Bat Facts:

  • Some species of bats can live up to 40 years.
  • Many bats can see in the dark and use their extreme sense of hearing.
  • Bats are the only mammal naturally capable of true and sustained flight.
  • There are over 1,200 known species of bats.
  • The United States is home to an estimated 48 species of bats.
  • Nearly 70% of bats are insectivores.
  • One of the largest bats is the Giant Golden-Crowned Flying Fox bat weighing up to 4 lbs with a wingspan of up to 5 feet, 7 inches.
  • Bats are clean animals, grooming themselves almost constantly.
  • North America’s largest urban bat colony is found on the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin, Texas. It is home to an estimated 1,500,000 Mexican Free-Tailed bats. This colony of bats eats approximately 10,000 to 30,000 lbs of insects each night.  It is estimated 100,000 tourists visit the bridge annually to watch the bats leave the roost at twilight.
  • One colony of 150 Big Brown bats can protect farmers from up to 33 million or more rootworms each summer.
  • Almost 40% of American bat species are in severe decline, with some already listed as endangered or threatened.
  • Three U.S. states have an official state bat. Texas and Oklahoma have named the Mexican Free-Tailed bat their state bat, and Virginia has dubbed the Virginia Big-Eared bat their state bat.

One of my favorite Oregon bats is the Townsend Big Eared Bat

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Townsend Big Eared Bat – listed as a sensitive species in Oregon – photo credit: encyclopedia of Puget Sound

Townsend’s big-eared bats (Corynorhinus townsendii) are a medium-sized bat with very long ears. Their fur is pale gray or brown above and buff colored on the underside. Their wingspan is12-13 in (30-34 cm) and they weigh between 0.3-0.5 oz.  This bat’s ears are enormous, reaching a length of 38 mm. When the ears are laid back they extend to the middle of its body.  They can be found in pine forests and arid desert scrub habitats. When roosting they do not tuck themselves into cracks and crevices like many bat species do, but prefer large open areas.  They specialize in eating moths and other insects such as beetles, flies and wasps. Townsend’s big-eared bat is usually a late flier and will forage along the edge of vegetation.

Extra Fun-facts

  • When it’s roosting or hibernating, Townsend’s big-eared bat curls up its long ears so they look like rams horns.
  • When flying they can rapidly extend or contract their ears. When flying with their ears extended the ears point forward and are nearly parallel to their body.

To learn more about Oregon’s Bats go to:  living with bats

Sign Up to Kayak at The Cove

“The Rivers flow not past us but through us.” – John Muir

Spring is just around the bend and it will once again be time for Oregonians and visitors to our beautiful state to start a new adventure.  Do something healthy and fun for yourself.  Check out our kayaking page on The Cove Rattler – you can sign up for a tour at http://www.oregonstateparks.org

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Holiday Season – Savings & Gifts

 

Publication2.jpgThis holiday season, give your loved ones a year of unlimited access to Oregon’s state parks with an annual day-use parking permit. From Dec. 1-31, holiday shoppers can buy the annual parking permit for only $25–that’s $5 off the regular price of $30. The permits are transferable from vehicle to vehicle.

Shoppers can round out their gift with holiday gear branded with the iconic Oregon State Parks shield, including hats, water bottles, dog bowls, ornaments and stickers. The holiday gear will be on sale during the month of December.  Gift gear and parking permits are for sale online at https://store.oregonstateparks.org/. Gift items can also be purchased in person at Oregon State Parks headquarters in Salem, 725 Summer St. NE Suite C.  Parking permits are also sold at major OPRD offices, some state park friends’ group stores and selected local businesses throughout the state. List of vendors.

Alternately, if you would like to give back to the parks you love, consider becoming a member of — or giving the gift of a membership to — the nonprofit Oregon State Parks Foundation. The Foundation is dedicated to raising funds to enhance the state park experience. Those who give a tax-deductible donation of $45 or more will receive a 12-month day-use parking pass as a thank you. Learn more at www.oregonstateparksfoundation.org.

 

Is the Lake Lower?

Visitors at Lake Billy Chinook may notice that the lake level has gone down since this fall.  Boaters will easily see the waterline is a couple of feet lower than it was.  Portland General Electric (PGE) manages lake levels on Lake Billy Chinook to accommodate spring runoff and control flooding downstream.  Some years it is necessary to lower it further like in the spring of 2017 to catch above average snow melt.

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PGE currently plans is to draw the water line down 3 feet by Christmas and keep it there until March and April. The lake level is measured in actual elevation, so full pool is 1,945’ above sea level and hold lake level to approximately 1,942’ after the holidays.

For current water temperature and flow data from U.S. Geological Survey monitoring stations water temperature/water levels

to be sorted 12 2015 007.JPGBoating is allowed all year at Lake Billy Chinook however safety is our priority.  Snow, high winds, icy conditions and low water can make launching difficult or unsafe.  This may require some boat docks to be temporarily closed.  Boaters, stay safe, do not try to launch from a closed dock. For current park conditions, call the park office 541-546-3412, Monday – Friday from 7:30 – 4 pm.

PARKING FEE WAIVED FOR ‘GREEN FRIDAY’ AT OREGON STATE PARKS

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News Release from Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept.
Posted on FlashAlert: November 8th, 2017 4:18 PM

Oregon State Parks invites you to play for free on Nov. 24th in celebration of ‘Green Friday.’

The agency will waive day-use parking fees in 26 Oregon State Parks the day after Thanksgiving.

“We started this tradition three years ago to encourage people to opt outside,” said OPRD director Lisa Sumption. “Why not get some fresh air with your family and create a new holiday tradition?”

Parking is free year-round at almost all state parks; the waiver applies to the 26 parks that charge $5 daily for parking, including The Cove Palisades State Park. The waiver applies from open to close on Nov. 25, except at Shore Acres State Park, where it expires at 3 p.m. for the Holiday Lights event that runs Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve. A list of parks that require day-use parking permits is at OSPParking.

Fall at The Cove

Is there anything to do at The Cove once the summer season is over?  Most definitely!  In fact, fall can be one of the most magical times here at the park.  The cooler weather makes for a great time to hike the Tam-a-lau Trail.  You can access the trail from the Upper Deschutes Day Use Area and embark on a seven mile journey.  The initial climb, an elevation gain of 600 feet in the first mile, is worth it when you reach the top and see the spectacular views of the park this trail affords.  Who knows?  You might even find a pictograph along the way, but you are certain to see some huge rocks, and a sweeping view of Lake Billy Chinook that can’t be beat.

Prefer just to sit back, relax, and enjoy the beauty of the area?  Reserve a site at the Crooked River Campground, grab some extra blankets and wood, and enjoy the colors of fall as you watch the sun set over Mount Jefferson.  If you’re up for a short walk, you can take the Crooked River Wetlands Nature Trail, accessed from the boat and trailer parking area, which provides views of the first two ponds in our wetlands.  As you walk this easy quarter mile loop, you can see the bluebird houses and bat boxes built by Culver students. You never know what kind of wildlife you might encounter along the way.  For a slightly more adventurous hike, take the Rim Trail, and hike up to overlook 1.  This mile long trail is a moderate hike but at the top is a beautiful view of the Crooked River Canyon and the snow covered Cascades. (Use caution if there are snowy or icy conditions as trails can be slippery.)

As fall arrives, so does the wildlife.  This is a great time of year to see some of The Cove’s residents who prefer a bit less human interaction.  The Tam-a-lau and the Wetlands Trail are both good places to see wildlife.  In fact, just about any trail you wander along could afford you that opportunity.  Maybe take a stroll along the water and see if the river otters are out playing.  Or just find a nice, quiet, pretty spot to sit and relax and see what wanders along.

Don’t think that just because summer is over there’s nothing to do or see here at The Cove.  Come on out and take a look.  You just might surprise yourself.

Patience. Foresight. Really Cool Glasses. You Need All 3

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►►All Oregon State Park campgrounds are full.
This is not the weekend to wing it!
►►Expect unprecedented traffic before, during and after
the eclipse. Avoid travel on Aug. 21.
►►The usual conveniences may be hard to get to.
Fill your tank and stock up early on food, medicine,
cash and anything else you can’t live without.
►►Cell phone service may become iffy.
►►Expect campfire bans in central and eastern Oregon.
►►Expect very high tides at the coast overnight:
camping on the beach is risky. Overnight parking
on the beach is prohibited
►►Protect your eyes during the partial eclipse:
use approved eclipse glasses or filters.

Stay informed: Follow #OReclipse2017

For more information at The Cove Palisades State Park, see our eclipse page on The Cove Rattler!

Gear up with special eclipse merchandise at Oregon State Parks