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It is never a goal to camp in a gravel pit, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do. My family must have camped in gravel pits when I was a kid, because it seems quite natural to me to use a gravel pit as a home for the night. But not everyone is raised like I was. On Labor Day weekend I was heading home with my friend Jan. We were focusing on getting home, no longer in the vacationing mode.   We were in Fields, Oregon about 6 PM and were starting to think about where we would spend the night. I thought the BLM Page Spring campground an hour north may be full since it was a holiday weekend. I asked at Fields if they could recommend a place we could pull over for the night. Sure, there was a gravel pit a couple of miles north. A couple planned to go target shooting there that night, but we were not to worry, they were a nice couple. Sounded great to me.

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View of the gravel pit from the “camp” site.

What I didn’t realize was, what sounded simple and logical to me didn’t sound the same to my friend Jan. Her notion of gravel pits were drunken people wildly shooting guns in all directions with no sleep. Jan was sleeping in a tent and had a visions of being run over, shot, killed, or?   She somewhat had a valid concern about being run over from a previous camping site. We stopped and looked at the site, looked great to me, but Jan thought we should keep looking for a better site. I was a bit dense and wasn’t picking up the social cues that Jan just wasn’t digging the safety of sleeping outside in a gravel pit. After she verbally hit me over the head with her safety concerns the obvious solution was found. Jan slept in the trailer. We had the gravel pit all to ourselves that night and slept well.

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Sunset at the gravel pit

Driving the rest of the way home laughing at our different visions of gravel pits, we rated gravel pits for their camping appeal. I was surprised at how many in the middle of nowhere had locked gates. Really – people are stealing gravel in the middle of nowhere? One of life’s mysteries.

Location facts:

  • Located immediately north of the Hwy 205 and Fields/Denio intersection on the Fields/Denio road.
  • Compared to other gravel pits, this is a really nice site.
  • There was a mother owl and baby owl in the trees across the road from the Fields store. Maybe they live there permanently?
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Mother owl is sitting in the middle of the picture

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