Stub Stewart park

First Camping Trip

There was a bit of a dark cloud over my August. But summer wasn’t over, yet, and we had some stuff that we’d planned a long time ago, so that was a nice distraction from my sadness, too.

We did some camping in the Stub Stewart Park. We rented one of the rustic cabins and friends joined us. This was the first time we went “camping” with Logan and Bella. We’re hoping to go actual camping next summer! It was nice to get out of the house.

We’ve been to Stub Stewart park a bunch of times for day trips/hiking/picnics and it’s super cute and fun! We booked a cabin back in February (they book out far in advance!). The cabins are really cute. They are sort of private. They are pretty rustic–there’s electricity and a ceiling fan but that’s it. There was a bunk bed and a futon with mats on it, so it was better than sleeping on the ground.

We got cabin #8 at the end and it was a more private spot and it was pretty shaded, too, which was nice because it was in the 90’s again.

So I’m not going to sugar-coat it. Yes, the pictures and videos I posted looked good and we had fun but……….camping with a toddler was HARD WORK. Logan was into everything. He was fascinated by the fire pit and got covered in ash. He did not want to sleep in his crib in the cabin and we basically spent 2 days just chasing him around the campsite. Gone are the relaxing days where I get to sit back in a camping chair with a book and a beer and relax. πŸ˜‰

Despite the hard work it was to chase Logan and keep him out ofΒ everything, he was obviously having a fabulous time and loved every single minute of it! That was kind of cool to see and made me happy. It will be a little bit easier next year, I think, when Logan is a little bit older and understands more stuff.

We were there Sunday–Tuesday. Our friends joined us with their dog (which Bella loved having a playmate around!) and their 4 year old daughter. Logan LOVED chasing after the big kid! There was a trailhead right by our cabin and the kids just ran up and down the trail in a loop. πŸ™‚

On Monday it was going to be 95 degrees and since Logan wasn’t sleeping great in the cabin, we knew he wouldn’t nap so we decided to take a day trip to Seaside. It was a great idea. Logan got a 1 hour nap on the way there (perfect) and we hung out in much cooler weather on the beach!

This was the third beach trip this summer! Logan is now an expert. πŸ˜‰ This time he didn’t try and eat any sand! But he did discover how much fun it is to dig around in wet sand and get all dirty.

Logan loved running around on the beach, chasing daddy, chasing Bella…

It was so cool to see how much fun everyone was having! Bella was having a blast, too. She loves the beach. This time we brought her ball and let her off leash. She’s been doing so much better off-leash, so she got to run amok and wear herself out.

It was kind of the perfect day. We had a picnic lunch on the beach, had some beers. This was the most fun (and most relaxing) part of the camping trip. It was just fun to chill out and let the kids and dogs go nuts on the beach.

After that we got ice cream in Seaside then drove back to the campground. Logan got another nap, perfect timing! We got back and took showers. The facilities at Stub Stewart are really nice! It felt awesome to take a cool shower.

Monday night was hot. We had planned on going on a hike all together but it was just too hot for dogs and babies to hike. So we took it easy. We had burgers (with goat cheese, grilled figs and arugula) for dinner and sat by the campfire until pretty late. It was another rough night with Logan. He didn’t want to sleep.. πŸ™ It was just hot and weird and out of the norm, I guess.

Tuesday morning we had pancakes for breakfast, lots of cold brew coffee for this tired mama, packed up the campsite and our friends left and we did a quick (and short) family hike in the park before heading home.

I think our hike was just over 2 miles. πŸ™‚ Logan crashed immediately. And then when we put him in the car to head back to Portland, he slept the whole way too!

Man, that first shower at home after camping was so amazing. πŸ˜€ Even though it was hard work, it was a lot of fun and I am already forgetting the stressful moments and only remembering the happiness on Logan’s face. I know it will get easier next time!

 

Sunday Hike and New Boots!

With Michael being gone in Seattle for a few days, me being sick and just having a ton of plans lately, it was nice when Sunday finally arrived and we could sleep in (which was amazing after being up so late for Faith No more) and then spend the day tromping through the woods. It was such a nice day, nearly 80 degrees! We packed up the car, grabbed lunch on the way from Potbelly and drove about 45 minutes to LL Stubb Stewart Park.

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It’s towards the beach but still fairly close to Portland. Years ago when we were training for something–maybe Reach the Beach–we drove out to the Banks-Vernonia Trail and did some biking. The trail connects to Stubb Stewart Park but we never actually checked out the park. We arrived about lunch time. For lunch I had the “skinny” turkey breast and swiss sandwich. It was the first time I’ve been to PotbellyΒ and it was pretty good (a nice change from Subway) and what was nice was that they had the calorie count on their menus. My lunch was around 400 calories + 140 for the chips.

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That was our view for lunch. We got a map of the park. There were like 20 miles of hiking trails, mountain biking trails, horse-riding trails and there was also a disc golf course! Plus there was camping options and cabins for rent:

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I REALLY want to go back there this summer and stay there for a weekend. It was such a cool park. There were parts of it that weren’t finished, but it was still a great day exploring. We took the map with us and sort of consulted it but really just wandered. The trails were all connected and you could go a zillion different directions.

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There were some wildflowers blooming but most of it was just greenery.

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I wish I could really detail which trails we explored but I really have no idea. We took so many turns and twists there’s no way I could really remember. At least we didn’t get lost! We parked at the Hilltop Lot (which had really nice bathrooms and picnic areas, covered and not covered) and did a trail near that parking lot. It was pretty easy and mostly downhill and our heart rates never really got over than 100. Then we took this trail:

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The Matchcutter’s Lane was STEEP. Both of us felt REALLY out of shape. And we kind of are. It’s been a few weeks since we’ve been hiking. I’ve been taking it easy in the gym due to my latest injury, so I was really feeling the climb! We found ourselves back where we started, at Hilltop Parking. We’d made a giant circle and it was actually perfect timing because we needed to refill our water bottles and Bella was panting a LOT so we decided to take a 15 minute break in the shade for her to cool down and drink a ton of water.

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And have treats. After the break we decided to try and do the other side of the park, across the “street” from where we parked.

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This part of the trail was mostly covered and it was park of the disc golf course and the mountain biking course. There a few bikers out on the trail, and there seemed to be a designated area with lots of cool things for mountain bikers to do (like wooden bridges and ramps and stuff).

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On this hike I got to test out my new boots on lots of different grounds: pavement, gravel, dirt, soft padded forest covered in pine needles, rocks and mud. They worked great! Generally speaking if you get new boots you shouldn’t do TOO many miles when you are first trying them out. Our plan was to do about 4 miles. 3-4 miles is good for a first time outing. But we ended up doing a little bit more than that, more details to come.

This hiking trip was a bunch of firsts for Bella! First, she discovered what a SNAKE was.

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Thank goodness Bella didn’t really SEE it and didn’t seem bothered. πŸ™‚ Second, she discovered what HORSES were. πŸ˜€

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We came across some horses on the trail and Bella was more than slightly freaked out. I think *I* was more freaked out. We stepped off the trail and let them pass and I warned the people that Bella might bark at them. I worried that she’d bark and spook the horses but she was good! She seemed terrified and cowered behind Michael and didn’t bark. They passed us on the trail and we continued on.

Supposedly there was a “viewpoint” and even though I was pretty done hiking at this point, I agreed to keep going. I should have said no because it added about 1.5 miles to our trip and that was a little too much for a first time in my new boots. And yeah, the viewpoint wasn’t much. So…

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After the (lack of) viewpoint, we turned around and went back down the trail.

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I was hitting the wall. My feet were starting to hurt–not really pain from the boots (I don’t think) but more fatigue. I was starting to drag but we had like 1 mile left to get back to the parking lot. We hiked through dense forest and then all of a sudden I heard the THUMP THUMP THUMP of horse shoes. I heard the horse before I saw it. It was trotting up the trail behind us.

I shouted “HORSE!” And Michael scrambled off the trail, pulling Bella into the bushes. Thankfully the lady on the horse saw us and slowed down. She apologized for scaring us and she didn’t scare us, just more like…made us urgent. LOL I wanted to get Bella away from the horse in case she freaked out. So we waited on the side of the trail for them to gallop up the trail.

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Bella was super freaked out, but again didn’t bark. So that was good. (On a side note, I love horses and as a kid I used to go to horseback riding camp and LOVED it. I really want to go riding again soon.)

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We got back to the car and I was so grateful to take off my boots and thick wool socks, put on some flip flops and change my sweaty shirt into a tank top. Felt immediately better! We ended up hiking 5.85 miles! About a mile and a half longer than I had planned on doing, but I’m glad we did it!

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I burned a LOT of calories too! 893 calories for 2.5 hours of hiking.

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We started to drive back to Portland and for awhile we were stuck in the “everyone returning to Portland from the beach” traffic (suck) but it wasn’t too bad, honestly. We were both hot, tired, sweaty, sticky and thirsty. So of course we stopped at DQ for a refreshing beverage. I got a Pina Colada Orange Julius smoothie and it was DIVINE!

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Bella zonked out in the backseat of the car for the entire ride back to Portland.

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What a good day!