On Oct. 10th, after we were packed and ready to roll we drove down to American Dream Pizza in Corvallis where we ordered our favorite pizza to go, thinking it’d be an easy meal now and later as we traveled. Cold pizza is terrific on the road we discovered. It was just after 12:30pm when we were officially over the bridge & on our way! We drove east on hwy. 20, through Lebanon, Sweet Home, Sisters & Bend, with a short stop in Riley to wash windows. We’d taken turns driving, and both of us, when trying to get the cruise control to work, accidentally flipped on the wipers which smeared the bugs across the windshield… That cruise control was not my friend. It did work occasionally for Brad, but never, not once the whole road trip, did it work for me!
In Burns after stopping for gas we continued east, Brad driving, and thinking he was up for putting a lot more miles on, even though it was getting dark. Not too far out of town we passed a sign, indicating a camping opportunity up ahead. As we drove by, we both read the sign “Crystal Crane Hot Springs”, then both exclaimed “Hot Spring?!” At my nudging we turned around & drove in to see what it was like. It was dark by then, but we could see an RV parking area, then a structure that looked like a bath house with an office across from it and a lake beyond. We parked & went inside the office where we discovered this wonderful affordable oasis in the desert! For just $15 we could dry camp just beyond the main lake which was actually a hot spring pond that was available for use at all hours of the day & night! We jumped at the opportunity to stay there and enjoy a soak in the warm pond. Connected to the office was a living room space we were allowed to use that had wifi and was open until 9:00 pm, and nearby was a small kitchen & dining room building, also open 24 hours. There were showers & bathroom facilities in the same building as the bath house & for an extra fee people could rent a private bath house room, each unique with deep hot spring fed tubs. This being such a beautiful evening, we were content to just use the open pond where we could float and gaze up at the multitude of stars overhead. We felt pretty lucky to have found such a wonderful spot our first night out!