Bully Creek Park – Vale OR


Sunday and Monday we spent at Bully Creek Park. This Malheur County Park is about 6 miles out of Vale OR to the East and it is a slice of heaven — as long as you don’t want Verizon connectivity.

With 40 sites, going for $15.00 a night including ELECTRIC (30 & 50 amp) but no water or sewer at the site (there is a dumpstation as you enter/leave) it’s reasonable enough. The sites are spread out nicely — plenty of room between you and your neighbor. There are no highway sounds, no airport sounds. The campground sits low — nestled in a valley between hills and a dam you get a great view of the sky (at night) delayed sunrise (because of hills to the east), friendly camphosts, and in May, solitude.

I say you get the solitude at this time because the lake/reservoir is known for it’s crappies and we are told that once the fish start biting it will be combat fishing out there on the lake — evidently the locals really like the fishing here. There are also bass in the lake — we’re told.

Here, on the third day of May the Lilacs are blooming. It’s desert here; I’m not sure what altitude it qualifies to be ‘High Desert’ — we’re at some 2000 feet elevation with daytime temps in the 80’s (dry) and in the 40’s overnight.

The lake is large enough, and there are no restrictions against motoboating so along with the fishermen, and fishing boats there are a few speedboats and skiers on the lake. With an ample Day Use parking lot and additional parking on a small island, there’s room for quite a few users over and above the 40 campsites.

Two flush toilets and one shower can be found in each of the ‘shower buildings’ and there are also separate pit toilets in the campground as well as a fish cleaning station.

There’s a single pull-through site {it’s long enough for US — that’s were we are 🙂 }, it’s shaded (so no satellite reception) and our air antenna picked up 12 or 13 local stations.

My Verizon phone gets no service, but with my Verizon MiFi box and a Wilson 3-G signal booster I can pick up enough of a signal to send texts, and for some of my iPhone apps to work as long as I stay close to the MiFi box.

I could easily see staying here for a few days or a week if I didn’t feel compelled to be online but researching Tuesday night’s stay now that I found out we’re too long proved to be a challenge.

I have two iPhone apps that I use a lot. Even though we are Passport America & Good Sam members — and they have their own apps — I find that the CampWhere & RVParks apps are more suited to our needs most of the time. It seems odd that I can get enough of a signal to make the iPhone apps work but not my laptop but who am I to question the world of electronic gadgets — all I care is that I find what I need one way or another.

I love the quiet here. This really is a wonderful spot to kick back and commune with nature — there are birds aplenty, a gazillion little prairie-dog-ish little ground scurriers and a variety of trees.

Speaking of trees. One of my favorite species are the Lombardy Cedars. They don’t grow very well in most places in this country. When we get out here in the West we often see rows of tall columnar trees forming fence lines, lining drives, etc. These are a variety of poplar, not among the deciduous trees at all, but from a distance they sure look like it! I can’t help it – I just like narrow columnar trees.
Here are some shots of the campsites and the area. Seeing as we didn’t unhook the car, all you’ll get are shots from the campgrounds.

Thanks for stopping and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.

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6 Comments

    1. A few years ago I wouldn’t have been sure I would like that much peace and quiet, but now I love it. If only it had a data signal.

      Glad you’re enjoying. I love getting to where there are no airport noises, no drone of Interstate, and no repetition of sirens.

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      1. We mentioned that this morning. In Grand Rapids, we lived in the glide path for the airport, and were within two miles of two freeways…plus a railroad. Now all we have is a frog symphony. 🙂

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      2. Your place in Grand Rapids was a lot like ours in Milwaukee! For 25 years we lived 2 blocks from the Amtrak line. 2 miles from the Airport and on one of the glide paths for military only flights. and on the corner of the Interstate — so we heard them on 2 sides.

        We had lovely frog sounds at Willard Bay — for sure. Not many frogs in the high desert.

        Here in Jct. City we will have more noise for 1 month, but for $0.00 camping fees I can live with it and explore the area from here. Their fault — I don’t feel bad using their campground and electric.

        Liked by 1 person

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