Solo camp on Old Durr Road – May 2017

Needed to do a recon of a potential future campsite as well as a test of the new camping gear and multiple upgrades to the vehicle, so a solo camp off Old Durr Road was in order. South of Ellensburg, WA the Old Durr road area is an easy-to-access area with your basic dirt track leading south towards Yakima, WA. The newly graded dirt roads beckoned me apply just a little more gas pedal … drifting a bit through the gravel turns. Reminded me of my teenage years doing much the same thing in a Pontiac 2000 in Michigan.

Finally arriving at the gulch on Old Durr Road, I sent up camp. The area is a stream bed that cuts through the plateau, forming a wide, flat, grassy area hundreds of feet below the surrounding terrain.

Old Durr Road Camping May 2017-1

Old Durr camp ground

The new camp gear included a ARB tent, coupled with the existing awning, and a Ozark kitchen table and some other odds and ends. A short review of each: The ARB is near impossible to set up alone but once that’s done there’s plenty of room and the construction is very sturdy. Be fastidious in setting the guy ropes as a light breeze can flip the awning/tent up and destroy the connecting pins. The Ozark kitchen worked well, lightweight, hardy, plus 4 neato heavy-duty zip up bags for various kitchen items. (Link is to a Camp Chef Sherpa kitchen, which is exactly alike the Ozark model. The Ozark Trail camp kitchen may be discontinued.) Biggest drawback is that it takes up a lot of space in the vehicle and is cumbersome to set up and take down.

As dinner was prepared, the sun set slowly along ridge of the west-east ravine the camp was situated in.

Old Durr Road Camping May 2017-3
Old Durr gulch campground
Old Durr Road Camping May 2017-2
Looking due west
Old Durr Road Camping May 2017-5
astrophotography shots
Old Durr Road Camping May 2017-4
astrophotography shots

 Overnight, it had gotten down in the 40’s so the next morning was slow going. The Costco-special Kelty sleeping bag kept me warm enough but just didn’t get a lot of sleep due to the uncomfortable cot and as a result, my body was stiff and sore. Going to have to come up with a better sleeping plan. After a bit, finally got camp stowed in the vehicle and I set off southward towards Yakima.

Old Durr Road Camping May 2017-6
On the way up the opposite slope from camp, it was required to stop for one last look towards the north. Summer is stunning in the Pacific North West.


3 thoughts on “Solo camp on Old Durr Road – May 2017

  1. Thanks Tobias! I highly recommend Ian’s Lonely Speck site for learning about astrophotography. I’m still learning a LOT from his instructions:

    As to the ARB tent, it’s awesome once it’s up. Roomy, lots of screens for wind flow, durable materials, best feature: rear driver’s side door is still accessible by way of a large, zippered door in the tent wall. Down side is that it’s difficult to set up alone. It really requires four hands: two to stabilize the awning while the other two hands install the tent along the slots in the front and rear of the awning structure. It’s super-solid once everything is connected and tied down.


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