In most cases, pitching a tent next to a major thoroughfare would turn out to be a disastrous experience, defeating the purpose of escaping to nature. Clyde Holliday State Recreation Site (Highway 26, Mount Vernon, oregonstateparks.org), at first glance, is not much more than a glorified highway shoulder—only worth a stop if you need to use the trash cans to unload road trip detritus from your car. But continue farther back to the park’s border with the swift waters of the John Day River and you’ll find a pair of teepees nestled along the bank. In Oregon, a tent is just too boring—we’re always seeking out alternative sleeping arrangements, whether they be yurts or fire lookouts. Of all the options, teepees are the most rare—only a handful of campsites have them. Kind of like the blanket forts you built as a kid, but way bigger and actually appropriate for the elements, the canvas-covered structures with large, lockable wooden doors are just as cozy as any of the state park cabins, complete with electricity, sleeping pads and a space heater.
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