Hood River

Camping Follies

One of the things I dislike about camping in the NW is that you have to book it 9 months in advance or it’s booked. The thing is, life happens. How do you know what you’ll be doing 9 months from now? Well last year, I booked some camping yurt weekends for June in anticipation that we would be packing, house hunting and moving/selling our house in July or August of 2019. Haha. Funny how that works, huh? Turns out life had a different plan and we were house hunting/packing/moving in JUNE instead.

So I ended up cancelling one weekend I booked (at the beach, bummer) but decided to keep our reservation for this past weekend at Lost Lake Campground near Hood River.

We rented a yurt. The weather has been nice but OF COURSE the days leading up to when we were supposed to go it turned iffy. We decide to go anyways, since it was basically our only trip for awhile and I’d been looking forward to it for months. Besides, we were in a yurt, so it shouldn’t be too bad, right?

Well….we got drenched. We arrived and got our keys at the resort lodge and found our yurt in the E Loop. It was kind of far from the lake, which I hadn’t known, I would have picked one closer to the lake. Tip for the future.

So you park your car in a parking lot for the loop and then there is a trail you basically have to hike into with your stuff. Yeah. We didn’t know where our yurt was in the loop and we went the wrong way first so had to double back so the four of us (me, Logan, Michael and Bella) were all running in the DELUGE (I AM NOT KIDDING) and finally found our yurt.

We were all freezing and drenched and inside the yurt realized they had an old cast iron stove inside so we needed to get firewood. We all ran back to the car and then drove back down to the lodge to get firewood. The above photo kinda shows it accurately. We were all soaked to the bone. None of us were dressed properly for the downpour. Our shoes were all soaked all the way through. I had packed my rain jacket in the car and was just in a sweatshirt so that was all soaked. Logan was stoked. He thought it was an adventure. 😉

We got firewood and Michael and Logan started the fire and we tried to warm up and dry off a bit. Then Michael and I took turns doing the trek back and forth from the car to the yurt (they had a gorilla cart in the parking lot for people to use but it was still a lot of work.

And it was raining the whole time.

We got our gear and set up the beds and unpacked stuff. Hung out for a bit. Logan liked climbing the ladder to the top of the bunk beds. 🙂

We had dinner (Michael grilled hot dogs) and hung out some more and then it was getting late and we got ready for bed (knowing Logan would be up very early). We had enough firewood to keep the fire going all night. You just had to get up every 2-3 hours to add more wood or it went out and got pretty cold. It was nice listening to the rain in the forest. It never let up.

The next morning we got up and it was still raining. So we decided to have breakfast and pack up. If it hadn’t been raining we would have stayed the full weekend but I think we were both thinking about 1) how much stuff we had to do at home to get ready for the move and 2) if the weather continued to be nasty, Logan was going to go stir crazy stuck in the yurt.

We drove back to Portland, where it was sunny and warm. 🙂 And after showering, unpacking and having lunch, we went for a hike at Powell Butte:

It was a nice hike. Then home and we all took naps. 🙂 And then I packed the house. 🙂

I’m disappointed with the camping experience. I was so looking forward to it. I think the lesson learned is that anytime we go camping it just needs to be later in the summer when we can kind of rely more on the weather being a little better. And while I loved Lost Lake when I went there for the day before (check out the post I did for better summer pictures!), I am SO not into hauling our crap up a steep hill 1/2 a mile in multiple trips! I had no idea that was the case. I never would have done that. Maybe that makes me a princess but with a toddler, dog and a bunch of crap to haul into the campsite, I’m just not willing to do that. I want to drive up to the site, unload our stuff and be done with it!

Despite Michael’s and my disappointment, Logan was super happy. He loved all of it. He kept talking about camping and hiking all weekend. So that’s the important part. 🙂

Pumpkins in the Gorge

Michael’s dad came to Portland for a short visit this weekend. On Saturday we were all up bright and early for various reasons (baby and time changes!) and I went to the gym, then home to clean up and we hit the road for a day trip. We listened to the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers greatest hits as we drove out to the Gorge, destination: Hood River.

It was pretty crazy seeing the damage from the wild fires. Multnomah Falls is closed, as are a lot of other popular hikes in the Gorge. I posted some photos on my instagram. It was really sad, and kind of shocking, to see the damage in person. I think I-84 only opened up a week ago, too. It’s been closed for almost a month I think. Crazy.

We stopped at Double Mountain Brewery for lunch. Logan did great. We timed the drive right and he napped for an hour on the drive so when we arrived he was ready for lunch. We also lucked out and got there before the mad-rush for lunch. Usually there are super long lines to get in.

We got a pizza and I got three tastes: Killer Green, Killer Lion and Hop Lava (all IPAs).

It all really hit the spot. After lunch we stopped at Cathedral Ridge so we could pick up our quarterly case of wine from our membership (like 2 months late–partly because we had no time and partly due to the wildfires). I was surprised at how few people were there on a Saturday afternoon. Usually the tasting room would be super packed. I guess a lot of people haven’t ventured into the Gorge since the fires.

Then it was time for pumpkins!

We got to Packer Orchards near the Wy’East Winery after lunch. We discovered it last year around this time when Logan was an itty bitty baby! This year was SO much fun because Logan is big enough to DO stuff now! He was so excited when we got there. He was ready to explore!

We chose not to do the corn maze/hay ride extravaganza this year. Logan is still a bit too young for that and it was about $20 for a family to do all the activities together. Next year I think it will be great! The nice thing about Packer Orchards is that there was TONS of stuff to do for free. They had the places you could take photos and the giant pumpkin, of course.

Logan was sort of good while we tried to take photos. 😉 He was just too excited and distracted to sit still for long.

They had a ton of carts you could use for picking pumpkins. Logan just wanted to ride around in the cart. So Michael and his dad took turns taking Logan around in the cart.

There was a giant (free) hay stack that kids could climb and play on. The hay rides looked really fun. Next year! Then we discovered that there was a giant “sand box” that was filled with dry corn! Wow! It was so cool. All the kids loved it. Logan wasn’t quite sure at first and then he loved it. What a cool idea.

So we walked around a bit and then decided it was time to pick a pumpkin. Logan zeroed in on the one he wanted right away.

He picked the tiny white pumpkin that fit in his hands. We tried to get him to pick another bigger one to take home, too, but he wasn’t having any of it. He just wanted his tiny pumpkin!

And Packer Orchards was super sweet, we went up to pay for it and I guess because it was so small (and Logan is so cute LOL) they said it was free. Sweet!

The above two photos are my absolute favorites of the day. He looks so dang cute! I am so glad we went and had a great day. It was such a fun, sweet outing to see everything through Logan’s eyes. Everything was amazing to him and he had a blast. Can’t wait for next year!

It was getting late in the afternoon so we got three pipin’ hot fresh out of the fryer apple cider donuts to go and Logan loved that, too. Of course he did! He’s my kid. 😉 And we headed back to Portland.