30+ years camping at Philippi park

Some of my favorite memories are camping on the John Day River at Philippi park. My family first started camping up there in 1986. My parents owned a 24ft Tollycraft and I remember loading up all our camping gear, food, and supplies to head up the Gorge for our week long summer camping trips. The minute we pulled into Lapage park the job of getting our very large boat and all our gear up the river was filled with fun and adventure.. and inevitably a few mishaps! This park provided so many years of enjoyment for our family… so much so that we continued the tradition with our own kids and usually all there friends. Anyone who has camped at Philippi knows about the wind and the challenges of camping in it! We adapted many techniques to camping in this environment and made so many fond memories! I would say the incredible stargazing on the docks at night, dodging the sprinklers to go to the bathroom, those days that the wind dies down and you feel as if you’re in your own private paradise are just a few of our favorite memories. Over the years we started to watch the park deteriorate but it never stopped us from camping and boating at this unique location. Needless to say we were DEVASTATED when we learned of the closure!! Our family is so grateful that we have the opportunity to return and continue these precious traditions! Thank you to all the volunteers, the Opal Foundation and U.S Army Corps of Engineers for all your hard work in restoring this treasure! My family will be looking for opportunities to help support this park and to ensure that it is there for future generations of boaters and campers!

Holly Stamper

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