Simple pleasures on the Metolius

Central Oregon's Metolius River offers easy summer days, mellow nights -- and a lot of trout

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Basic, but just right

And there's the charm of Camp Sherman itself ― a post office plus a deli, grocery store, gift store, hardware store, and comprehensive fly-fishing shop, all rolled into one business that is the hub of activity in what can only loosely be described as a town. It's more like one long, wooden, pine-shaded building maybe 20 paces from the river, with minivans and SUVs coming and going all day long. Need a hose clamp, a mantle for your camping lantern, a brown caddis fly, or a souvenir T-shirt? Maybe some oyster sauce or balsamic vinegar, a great bottle of wine, or an iced cappuccino? It's all here. So is a pay phone, handy when we found ― with a mix of horror and relief ― that our cell phone had no service.

Camp Sherman also hosts a collection of resorts clustered near or right on the river. By resort, I mean in the old sense of the word: a simple, rustic place to kick back and relax. You won't find spas or swimming pools or organized activities at any of them. Just cabins ― some pretty high-end, some bare bones ― and a porch or a deck, probably under a clump of tall pines, with a view of the river. You might find a Scrabble game or a deck of cards, but just to be sure, bring your own.

Most cabins here come equipped with a kitchen, which is a good thing. While the Kokanee Café, Camp Sherman's only restaurant, serves dinners you'd be pleased to find in the city (let alone in an isolated mountain-resort community), and Camp Sherman Store offers homemade burgers and sandwiches, a couple of bags of groceries and a full kitchen will help keep you out of the car. And that's part of the charm of a long weekend or a week at a Metolius resort. (Should you yearn to dine out every night, it's less than 15 minutes to restaurants in Sisters and Black Butte Ranch.)



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