Trillium Lake

Michael and I have been to Trillium Lake a zillion times but it’s always been in the winter time! It is a popular winter spot for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. It’s been a tradition for us to go snowshoeing there on New Year’s Day most years. It is super popular, so we always get up really early to get there and get a parking spot. It’s full if you aren’t there by 9am.

But…we’ve never been there in there summer! It’s always been somewhere I wanted to try camping in the summer. But just like winter, it’s very very popular to camp there in the summer so hard to get a spot.

On Saturday over Labor Day we decided to do a little day trip. We left foggy, overcast Portland, drove up in the clouds in Mount Hood and then all of a sudden we were in blue skies!

So in the winter time you park at the top parking lot, right off the highway, for Trillium Lake and then hike down. But obviously in the summer the main road is open. Weird! We’ve never actually seen it. LOL We drove down to the day use area, which was packed. There was a guy directing people where to park, so that was nice.

We started our hike. The place was a madhouse. I guess we should have expected it, but it was a little overwhelming how crowded it was and…like no one was wearing masks but us and a few other hikers. 🙁

The lakeside was PACKED. People swimming, boating, SUP-ing, kayaking, fishing, sunbathing.

The trail is very narrow, and a bit crowded, around the lake.

And you are also hiking through campgrounds? That was a bit weird. I mean, you aren’t hiking right through campgrounds but they are on either side of the trail. So that’s good to know for the future if we ever wanted to camp there (probably not, after seeing how crowded it was).

Some of the trail was on boardwalk. And there were parts of the boardwalk that were really broken. I felt like that scene in Romancing the Stone where Kathleen Turner is trying to cross that broken bridge? 😀

I didn’t get pictures of the really bad parts! There were parts you had to kind of jump over!

The views of the lake and Mount Hood were beautiful, of course.

It was a beautiful, warm day. I wanted to go swimming SO BADLY!!!! I really miss it. Of anything in pre-pandemic life, swimming is the one I miss the most. Seriously. I’ve never not been in the pool this long. 🙁

Anyways, Logan was ready to turn around so we headed back. We were going to have a picnic but the place was SO CROWDED so we decided to go somewhere else for our lunch. We ended up at Still Creek Campground up the road. It was much nicer!

It was a small, simple campground but it was shaded and quiet and not overcrowded. There were some picnic areas too so we just stopped and had our picnic lunch by the creek.

We were right by a trailhead for Barlow Pass, too. We had a nice picnic lunch. Logan had PBJ, grapes, crackers and Paw Patrol cookies. Michael and I split a Subway sandwich. Then we packed up and headed home. Luckily, Logan slept the entire drive home! (Which is good because the way up it was “are we there yet?” every five minutes.)

So the hike was a bit of a bummer. Very flat, very crowded, we barely did 2 miles total. But at least we got to see Trillium Lake in summer time, we got outside in a very beautiful area for the day, and had a picnic. That was all good! In the future, I know some of my favorites I’d rather do!

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. 😉

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.