Monday, July 1, 2013

A gem in the canyon: Seven Feathers RV Resort

June 27-28, 2013
Canyonville, Oregon
Seven Feathers RV Resort

Good thing we are lucky enough to be living a life where our plans are flexible most of the time. Our intention after leaving the San Jose area was to spend a week at the Durango RV Resort, a place someone recommended as a fantastic park on the Sacramento River in Red Bluff, California. Vic has a high school buddy in nearby Redding and we have a commitment to be at a family reunion in Southern Oregon starting July 6, so we thought Red Bluff might be a good stopover.

A few things changed our mind. It turned out Vic’s friend was going to be out of town, temperatures were forecast to be in the 100s, and our reservation had no cancellation penalty. Heading further north into Oregon would mean cooler temperatures and a chance to try out an RV park we have long heard about: Seven Feathers RV Resort. The resort is part of the Umpqua Indian Seven Feathers Casino and even though we have heard others rave about it, we are not big on spending time at casinos and always imagined the RV part would be a little sketchy in spite of its Trailer Life 10:10:10 rating. We were wrong. This place and Tiger Run RV Resort in Breckenridge are the nicest parks we have ever stayed at, but with the Good Sam rate of $37 a night, Seven Feathers was about half the cost of staying at Tiger Run. And, if you get a player’s card for the casino (which is free), you even get an additional 10% discount. Quite reasonable for the gorgeous setting and well-planned out sites.

The park has 191 sites (some are pull-throughs and others are back-ins, but they are all the same price) spread across thirty-three acres. Even though it is less than a mile from I-5, it is in a private peaceful canyon in the mountains with amazing landscaping that integrates beautifully with the natural surroundings. I will let the many photos I took of the place give you a chance to judge for yourself.

The photo above shows the main office and lounge. You actually pull in under the entryway as it is high enough for any motorhome. Probably a helpful feature when it is raining as this park is open year-round.

In addition to beautiful birch, cedar, maple and pine trees and lots of Northwest plants such as rhodies and azaleas, they have planted a profusion of purple and white flowers everywhere in hanging baskets, planters, and as borders. The only other flowering plant I saw was lavender, so all the flowers at the park and the casino were either purple or white. Not sure if those colors have some tribal symbolism but it tied everything together.

In addition to most of the landscaping being xeriscape (requiring minimal water), we were impressed to see signs indicating that only reclaimed water is used for irrigation. For people who are not familiar with the climate here, it rarely rains in the summer which means most yards and gardens require quite a bit of watering. The winters, of course, are another story which is why I always wanted to invest in several rain barrels.

I don’t normally care for indoor pools, but it makes sense in a place that is open year-round when most of the months are way too cool to use an outdoor pool. We were especially impressed with the comfy teak furniture and New Age style music that created a relaxing atmosphere. (The casino also has the River Rock spa available for extra pampering.)

We had only planned on staying one night here just to check it out, but shortly after arriving we decided to extend our stay another night. One reason was to go to a free Motown Show with dancing afterwards at the Seven Feathers Cabaret Lounge in the casino. This choice gave us a day of much needed lounging after our nearly 500 mile day on the road.  The next morning, with temperatures forecast to be nearly 90 degrees, we took the dogs for a long walk checking out all the facilities before it was too warm. Then we took advantage of a good soak in the spa and a refreshing cool down in the pool in the early afternoon followed by resting up for our 9 p.m. show reservation.

To be honest, our expectations were not too high for the show but we love live music and the possibility of dancing afterwards definitely lured us in. The 24 hour casino shuttle arrived at our site for an 8:45 p.m. pick-up and when we arrived to the lounge we were seated at a table in the front row.

At first we thought it would be too loud to sit in front but it turned out to be a great seat to see Champagne and Caviar, the name of this group of three talented singers. The theme of the show was “Heart and Soul,” as they sang a series of songs with lyrics that started out describing love at first sight, obsessive love, commitment songs (for which they performed one of my all time favorites: Etta Janes “At Last”), then pretty soon the love arc descended to ““Breaking up is Hard to Do” and “Fifty Ways to Leave your Lover.” They each had absolutely amazing voices and lots of personality on the stage. Later we learned that they typically perform at smaller clubs in Vegas and had been back-up singers with the Platters and the Drifters. Very entertaining.I managed to snap one photo of them at the beginning of the show, then I was told no photos. Bummer.

Perhaps the best part of their show was their commitment to audience participation. They came and sang to me personally at least three times (it was the front row thing), then the lead singer pulled me onto the stage for a dance! It seemed like I was up there a long time and I don’t even remember the song, but I gave it my all. He thanked me after the show for my enthusiastic participation. The last song of the night was full on audience participation with a conga line to “Love Train.” Once again I was chosen by the lead singer to put my hands on his muscular shoulders (ha) to start the conga line.  After the show, a DJ played songs that were way too rappy sounding for us, but we danced a couple songs and Vic even joined in the “Cupid Shuffle” line dance. You have probably heard this song before but, like me, never knew the name of it:

To the right, to the right, to the right, to the right
To the left, to the left, to the left, to the left
Now kick, now kick, now kick, now kick
Now walk it by yourself, now walk it by yourself

I forgot to get a photo of Vic line dancing, but here is one of the some others taking to the small dance floor. The whole place is quite intimate, shall we say.

The singers sat at table for awhile selling their CDs and doing autographs, then returned for a short while to have a drink. One girl grabbed the lead singer and dragged him out on the dance floor. Way to turn the tables on him, but he was gracious enough to go along.

That about wraps it up for our unexpected stop and Canyonville discovery. We are considering going back for a week and getting in some hikes in the gorgeous surroundings nearby, doing a little wine-tasting in the Umpqua Valley, and maybe even some whitewater rafting on the Rogue River.

I am struck by the realization that Oregon is our home state and there are still so many places we have yet to explore here. This full-timing really opens one’s eyes to places and adventures I never even knew I wanted to see or do. As we are approaching our two year anniversary, I thought we would have shortened our list of travel plans but instead it keeps getting longer. I think that is the addictive nature of this kind of travel, but I also know that there will come a day when we crave having a home on land instead of on wheels. We don’t see ourselves being able to keep the motorhome at that point too, so this is the time to seize the day. Carpe Diem!


  1. Seven Feathers is definitely one of the nicest parks anywhere. We love staying there even if it is close to home. That looked like quite a lively group dancing there!! Sound like a fun show.

    P.S. If you every want to stay somewhere on Hwy 58, check out Casey's Riverside RV resort. Right on the Willamette and really beautiful (but not quite as fancy as 7 Feathers!).

    1. Lively group, yes. Will have to check out Casey's sometime. It's been years since we have even traveled on Hwy 58. I used to take my young children skiing at Willamette Pass via Hwy 58. I am in love with Oregon all over again--at least for the summer months!

  2. We're officially "wowed" by your post. I read the whole thing aloud and then showed all the pictures to The Wayner. We love Oregon... but are having a great time exploring Michigan this year. Thanks for another good one, girl!

    1. As I have shared with you, one of the many things on our travel lists it to "do" the Lake Superior Circle Trail. I have fond memories of that part of the country except I have a big problem with the bugs. Hope they are not being the nuisance I once remember.

  3. Amen! We are also approaching our 2 year anniversary...the end of August! Like you, out list just keeps growing and growing...there are so many places to go! I do love the old Motown songs! What fun! I am really upset with Vic...why didn't he take your picture on stage dancing?

  4. What a great find! We will definitely have to keep this park in mind when we return to Oregon. Glad you had such fun even if only for two days. I'm with Gay...wish Vic had gotten a picture of you on stage!

    That last picture doesn't look real at all. Wonderful photo!

    1. They didn't allow photos but I think he could have been surreptitious about it, especially with his cell phone. Oh well, it was a fun moment which made me grateful for my Zumba moves.

  5. We've been on the road nearly 3 years and I can't agree more with you. I see things through new eyes, even my home state and the list of places I want to see and to return to for a longer period of time just keeps growing and growing. This looks like a terrific place for me to put on my Oregon list. Thanks for showing it to me. There's a big hole in Winnona's map right there at Washington/Oregon/Northern California and Nevada. Gotta fill that in. :-)

    1. We would be honored to be here when you ceremoniously fill in Oregon on your map.

  6. Great looking place and it does not look that busy.

  7. Great header photo.

    What a beautiful resort. We really like it when there are trees and a picnic table at each site.

    I would have loved that show. I listen to tons of "oldies" from back in the day. I also line

  8. We're not casino people, but that campground is indeed a great looking place ... I am adding it to Pinterest for when we get to Oregon.

    I had one of those "pulled on stage" experiences during a folklore show in Mexico ... when our ship was docked in Acapulco. Mui even took some video that he occasionally pulls out so I have no chance of forgetting it. Now, I make sure I am in the back row at any show ... once was enough for me ;-))

  9. We look forward every year to stopping at Seven Feathers on our way south - it is an absolutely gorgeous RV park and worthy of every one of its 5-Star rating.

    You did a great job of showcasing this gem with your photos.

  10. Wow...really pretty park! It is such fun when you find those gems! I feel the same way you do in that I still enjoy traveling and seeing this beautiful country. Safe travels and can't wait to see you again on down the road!


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