Oregon activities

Camping

We were supposed to go camping at the beginning of summer. I don’t know how it is in your neck of the woods, but here in the NW you book your campgrounds/yurts/cabins 9 months in advance. That’s the window. It’s always a crap shoot. Like, will the weather be good “this weekend” in 9 months? Who knows! Last summer we had a bunch of camping weekends booked and then we sold our house, bought a new house and were moving. I remember we were camping in Eastern Oregon this time last year when we got the phone call from our realtor that our old house had closed!

How could we predict a global pandemic would cancel our camping plans for this year?!

Anyways. I was bummed. I had booked a super awesome cabin at Fort Stevens near Astoria, OR. I went there a bunch of times with my family when I was a kid. I remember it being very fun and cool and my brother and I would just take off riding our bikes on the trails. And there’s a shipwreck on the beach. It’s a cool place. I was so excited to take Logan! Needless to say, huge disappointment when it closed at the beginning of this pandemic.

As campgrounds started opening up in July on a limited basis, and reservations were now 2 weeks in advance only, I thought maybe we could do something. But it wasn’t in the cards. Michael got a new job (which is good) but there was no vacation time. Then Stevie got sick and until this weekend he’s been on a lot medications and I didn’t want to leave him.

Well, we decided to camp in our backyard!

We kept it a secret and then when Logan got up from his nap Saturday afternoon the boys started putting up the tent!

Logan was OVER THE MOON! He was so excited. And you know what? It was good to be outside. He had a lot of screen time when this pandemic started and it was nice to just get outside for many many hours.

He played outside with his toys. We listened to music and had hot dogs for dinner! Plus the most amazing hummus I’ve ever had that we bought that morning at the local farmer’s market.

Logan was so excited about camping he said “let’s go to sleep now!” When it was still light out. LOL We explained we had to wait until dark and that meant he got to stay up past his bedtime.

One thing missing from our campout was a fire pit and s’mores. I’ve wanted a fire pit in our yard for 10+ years. We still haven’t gotten one, hopefully soon! Instead we had yummy popsicles (Logan’s first). And we did some music:

It was finally getting dark. Logan was so excited he went inside and put his PJs on all by himself. He was ready!

We tried to get Bella to go in tent with us (she’s camped with us before) but she didn’t want to do it this time. So she went back in the house with the cats. πŸ˜‰

Camping was a blast. Logan said he wants to do it every day now. hahaha. I’m thinking we’ll do it again before summer is over. Maybe Labor Day weekend! And hopefully we’ll have our fire pit by then.

Weekend Walk in the Woods

Last Friday ended up being an unexpected holiday. I am pretty impressed with my workplace, a lot of companies in Oregon and soon the state of Oregon will be recognizing Juneteenth as a holiday. I know it doesn’t undo a lot of the damage that has been done for so long, but it’s at least a step in the right direction.

It turned out to be a very nice day. 85 degrees in Portland. Logan was in daycare and Michael and I had the chance to have a kid-free day! We decided to go for a hike. Originally, I wanted to do Mirror Lake but we got a late start and if you want to do Mirror Lake, you must get there very early in the morning, or there is no parking. I assumed, even during pandemic times, the parking lot would be full. So…we did a hike near Vancouver, WA instead. It’s one we’ve never been to before.

LaCamas Lake Trail Hike

It’s a pretty easy hike, with side trails that are a little more steep. It’s a good kid-friendly hike. We’ll probably take Logan there someday this summer.

It was such a beautiful day! The hike ended up being kind of short.

We finished up and planned on doing another hike just down the street but when we got there, the gate was closed. Bummer! So it ended up being a short hike.

Which was ok. It was getting to be lunchtime anyways. So we drove to Vancouver, picked up taco salads to go and went to a park and had a picnic lunch.

It was a nice day. Sunny, warm, relaxing.

Then for Father’s Day, we went to this hike:

Hopkins Demonstration Forest

It was out in Oregon City, but in the country part of Oregon City. We drove through farms, ranches with horses and goats and sheep, etc, to get there. It was a really nice park!

Despite lack of funding, etc during pandemic times, the main trails were well maintained. The off-shoot trails were overgrown with nettles and blackberry bushes, so not very traversable (especially not with a toddler). But most of the hike was very nice.

There were bathrooms (open but not maintained right now), garbage cans throughout the hike (which is nice when you have a dog), poop bag dispensers, maps and clearly marked trails.

From the parking lot it was all downhill. Then there were various trails and roads you could take. Some were not finished yet. One went around a pond. Logan was very excited to look for frogs!

Bella was in heaven! And got VERY muddy (she got a bath when we got home!).

We did about 2 miles. The hike back to the car was all uphill! We were tired and sweaty. Home for lunch and showers and naps!! It was a good father’s day and a good day–a good couple days in the woods!