Maupin, Oregon is a two-horse town perched above a pleasing bend in the Deschutes that exists solely for the enjoyment of fly fishermen and as a place for river rafters to put in.
We joined the Oregon Unit of the WBCCI “Deschutes and Ladders Rally” at Maupin City Park, which isn’t a city park at all but a shady, grassy RV campground. As always, we were late to sign up for the sold-out rally and were relegated to the cheap seats in the adjacent overflow dry camping lot. Not a problem: our new supplemental solar panel mounted atop the Airstream kept the lights burning and power flowing to the interior inverter. (Another weekend first: after five years as a storage closet, the onboard bathroom in the DWR was finally christened in the manner for which it was intended.)
While Ralph fished the river, I embarked on a successful garage sale expedition with Corrine, the Airstream ceramicist (you will want one of these) and returned with two monkey pod hors d’oeuvre servers, a kitschy cribbage board, and a foldable red plastic mini picnic table. (Ralph: “what is this…a table for ANTS?!”)
During the rally a salmon fly hatch was in progress—indicating optimum fishing conditions—but it was more than a tad unnerving when the giant bugs landed repeatedly on our shirts and heads during happy hour. I had a death grip on my sangria, knowing I’d fling it into the crowd if one of the monsters lighted on my drinking arm.
Rally entertainment included a half-naked blonde on parade outside her tent trailer, and a group presentation by a uniformed BLM official who shared local trivia and helpful tips. (“If you see the river patrol while you’re drinking in your raft and you have an oar in one hand and a beer in the other? Drop one,” she advised.)
As is always the case at an Oregon Airstream gathering, new friends were made, beverages flowed, and the fare was hearty (including the rally host’s signature breakfast dish, “Ferry Surprise”—ice cream and oatmeal).