smores

Cabin in the Desert


A year ago, I booked a long weekend getaway at Cove Palisades State Park. It’s kinda crazy how far in advance we have to book stuff here…and we didn’t even get a weekend date! But who cares. We were SO READY to get out of Portland, away from house-selling-stress and I was so glad we were like somewhere with spotty cell service. Yay for just relaxing!

We got one of the “deluxe cabins”. It was nice!

It had bunk beds, a couch (for extra sleeping if needed), a kitchenette with mini fridge and microwave, a BBQ grill and picnic table outside and a bathroom. Oh, AND AC!

It was super cute! It was just perfect for a long weekend away when you want to “rough it” but don’t want to camp in a tent. 😉 I was really looking forward to this weekend and after the kinda sucky and stressful summer we had buying a house, selling a house, moving, etc, it was nice to unwind in the desert.

The above photo was the view from the porch. It was so peaceful. We were there Sunday-Wednesday so it wasn’t very crowded. There are only three cabins in the park but there are several campgrounds nearby and RV parks and boat launches. The lake had some boats but not a ton.

We arrived Sunday afternoon and unpacked and then explored a bit. The cabins are right behind the marina. It is secluded and quiet. We fixed dinner (chicken drumstricks I’d marinated in BBQ sauce) with various munchies (cucumbers and the boys had chips) and Logan explored and played in the dirt. He had SO MUCH FUN words cannot describe it. I will let this photo show it:

He was absolutely filthy the entire time. Yes, he took a shower every day to get the grime off, but it didn’t matter. He was covered head to toe in dirt, fun and s’mores. 🙂

I think his favorite thing was using the binoculars I got him for his birthday. He hadn’t used them yet and I am so glad I packed them! He had a blast checking out everything with his “nockers”. (Michael asked if he liked his “big biconculars” and Logan said “big knockers”–BOYS!!!! Oy)

We had a campfire next to the water. Michael brought his guitar and we made s’mores. I broke the diet a few times on the trip to have some s’mores.

Then we all crashed.

Monday morning we got up and had breakfast outside watching the sun slowly make the desert cliffs glow and then we went for a hike.

We did the Tam-a-lau Loop Hike (or part of it) and I highly recommend it! It was such a cool, fun hike with amazing views!

After the hike, we went back to the cabin and had lunch and then took naps. While Logan was sleeping I sat on the porch and finished reading one of my books. It was really nice and relaxing.

We tried to go swimming up the road at the swimming hole. It was perfect for kids! It was cordoned off so the boats couldn’t go to that area. But Logan wouldn’t go deeper than his waist, even though I was in the water with him. Oh well. It felt nice on a really hot day!

Dinner was pork chops and salad. Then more campfire. Then bed! We were tuckered out!

Making Good Choices While Tempted

Camping is fun. The campfires, grilling, snacks, BBQing, hanging out with friends–all fun things. It can also be a challenge for someone who is trying to make good food choices. Making good choices while camping can be easy though. Think about it: you are in complete control of what food you pack with you when you go camping.  You can bring bags of chips, Twinkies, hot dogs, etc or you can bring some healthier options too.


I like to think I bring the best of both worlds: I made a half batch of chocolate chip cookies to take camping. I also bought bratwursts, some healthier chip options plus healthy things like tomatoes and zucchini from our garden. I’m really happy with the food I ate during the weekend I was in the woods.


For dinner on Saturday night, I ate lots of healthy foods. Charles grilled up chicken drumsticks and corn on the cob for dinner. I love camping food! He made the chicken two ways, BBQ and ones with an herb rub.


I ate two BBQ drumsticks and one herb chicken plus one ear of corn on the cob.


The downfall of my food choices were liquid calories, of course. I drank two glasses of vodka mixed with sparkling water. I know two isn’t the end of the world and I don’t feel bad about them. I drank beer the second night. I enjoyed the downtime with friends, chilling in the woods and chatting around a campfire.


Erika brought s’mores fixings. She had these jumbo sized marshmallows (90 calories each). I should have taken a photo of how gigantic these were! We sat around the campfire and made s’mores both nights. I made myself one s’mores each night. They were so big that one was enough. I felt satisfied with my choices.


Breakfast both days were healthy and normal–eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, tomatoes.


Sunday night for dinner Michael and I made everyone bratwursts. I also sliced up our zucchini and Charles grilled the zucchini with olive oil, salt and pepper. I also made us salads. (No photos of that, I just forgot.) They also grilled up some burgers (which I skipped because the brats and veggies were enough for me).


I don’t regret anything I ate over the weekend. I made some healthy choices, I made some bad choices (beer and mindless chip snacking). It’s all part of living. Plus I balanced it out with exercise.


I went trail running, I did a lot of walking, plus the Adventures Package. Including some sort of fitness (even if it’s just walking) makes me feel better about myself, my choices and my body. I like to move, I like to keep busy. My body feels happier when I get in some activity.


The important part is to also not beat myself up about the food choices I made. Even though I had no cell service in the woods, I was still able to count my calories over the weekend. I wasn’t die-hard about counting. But having a number in the back of my head definitely made me think, “Do I really want another s’mores? Or is one enough?” I told myself I would wait 15 minutes to decide if I wanted a second. And it turned out, I didn’t want a second one.


I like that I can find balance and moderation in my life without feeling like I denied myself anything. I definitely don’t feel like I missed out on anything because I didn’t bring junk food.

QUESTION: Are social situations like camping/BBQ’s and potlucks stressful for you? How do you balance out the temptations and the fun?