Washington

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!

5 Years

It’s our 5 year wedding anniversary! Woohoo! It’s hard to believe it’s only been 5 years, because in some ways it feels like a lot longer. We’ve had a baby, sold a house, bought a house, moved…lots of big life changes in those 5 years.

Usually for our anniversary we try and go out of town overnight or for the weekend and have my parents babysit Logan to give us a little time away. Because of all the uncertainty with selling our house, we didn’t this year. Which is fine. We have a few vacations planned in a few months, so we can officially celebrate then! But for now, we just did a day trip.

Michael’s mom and stepdad babysat Logan for the day on Saturday. We had breakfast and then headed north to go for a hike, just the two of us.

We did the Whipple Creek Hike. It was a little north of Vancouver, Wa and mainly used for horseback riders, I guess. But it was a very kid-friendly place and we saw some families and we also saw some trail runners.

It’s pretty easy and flat, not much elevation gain. So it’s a good hike to do if you want to just do miles but not elevation (or if you have knee issues).

There are a lot of different trails you can take and none of them are super long, so you can a lot of them if you want.

We saw some horseback riders and saw the stables where there were a lot of horses.

We got to say hi to this beauty!

Even though it was pretty flat and easy and my heart rate never really got over 115, I burned a decent amount of calories! It was a nice little hike. We’d do it again and take Logan with us.

After our hike, we drove to downtown Vancouver and had lunch at Amaro’s Table. Highly recommend! Excellent food!

I had a glass of bubbly to celebrate. There were so many good things on the menu to choose from! I ended up getting the antipasto platter. It was an appetizer but plenty of food for lunch and about 85% on my diet. πŸ˜‰ Not that that was a concern for the day.

Amazing brussels sprouts. Cheese, salami, carrots, chilled zucchini salad and some bread.

Michael got the chicken fried sandwich with homemade chips. The sandwich a zesty sauce and coleslaw. I had a bite. It was very good!

We shared an appetizer of ahi tuna rolls. Also very good! I’ve missed sushi. I would definitely go back to this restaurant. Everything was delicious and reasonably priced.

After lunch we walked around the waterfront of Vancouver.

It was a little bit of a gray day but thankfully it didn’t rain until we got home. The waterfront was super nice! Very clean, walkable, free parking (on weekends), lots of restaurants. It was cool and I’d like to go back and check out one of the waterfront restaurants.

We saw that Maryhill Winery had a tasting room on the waterfront and popped in to share a quick tasting and buy a bottle. I like Maryhill but it’s hard to get out to (it’s about 2+ hours from Portland).

We walked around some more and eventually it was time to head back home and to reality. Lunch was pretty big and filling so dinner was just munchies (leftovers from lunch and some fruit).

It was a really nice day! I’d like to go back to downtown Vancouver and check out some of the other stores and restaurants.