Saturday and Sunday, 23 & 24-June
It’d been a while since we’d been camping – Sarah’s leg being broken made it seem impossible, and we were both a bit too frazzled and run down to challenge that.
Enter: our friends David and Naomi. They have a van. They camp in this van, and had heard of a good spot to go van camping. Sarah and I packed up the Mustang and followed them to said campsite.
We met them on the trail into the woods – since the Van and the Mustang have pretty similar ground clearance, which definitely made life a bit easier for finding a campsite. The easy to reach areas were mostly taken already though, so we kept driving deeper down the road into the woods.
And it turned out, that was absolutely what we should have been doing. Turns out – the best spot is NOT right by the river where everyone else camps. That’s a trick spot. It’s good, I’m sure, but it’s also close and easy… it’s the protector of the really good spots. The spots up on the hill, with a perfect view of Mt. Hood. You know, the spot that we found 🙂
Once we’d settled in and parked Van and Mustang, we set into the tough challenges of relaxing and enjoying the scenery.
- Start the fire, then set up camp while Sarah starts cooking
- Chili cheese dogs are delicious. Ollie is a dog, and is of the opinion that she should have most of them
- Relax by the fire, then head to bed
- Sleep in a bit, while Sarah et. al. make breakfast and coffee, while enjoying the view of Mt. Hood
- Relax at camp for a little as the sun rises, and then head out to Timberline Lodge
- Hike Eastbound, instead of the usual Westbound… it kind of looks like the moon
- Hike back, and end up chatting with everyone on the walkie talkie
- Head to Salmon River Slabs, and do a few quick routes. They’re fun!
- Drive on home
It’s been a while since we’ve been in the Gorge. I mean, technically we’ve been there a lot, since the Thousand Acres dog park is just barely within the limits, but I’m not counting that right now because I don’t want to.
We drove out to the Gorge!
It wasn’t a perfectly sunny day, but I’m being honest when I say that the rain clouds actually added to the beauty of the drive. Sunny is all well and good, but the dappled sunlight and rolling clouds really made the drive seem… epic? Adventurous? Rough and tumble? I’m not sure which words to use, but suffice to say that it was really pretty.
Our goal way to check out Vista House, via the Portland Women’s Forum view point. We hadn’t originally planned on seeing the View Point, but that’s part of a fun scenic drive, right? Stopping randomly to see the sights? It was excellent, and a really great view of both the gorge and Vista House itself. And Ollie got to stand on a water fountain. So… there’s that, which is pretty fun.
Vista House itself was not quite what I expected, but it still exceeded expectations anyways. For one reason or another, I was expecting an actual House, sort of like an Inn? Or maybe a Frank Lloyd Wright building? Instead, it mostly reminded me of a tomb. Which isn’t really the goal, I would assume, but hey. It is what it is, and this was a small marble building, designed as a circle with a vaulted ceiling. And I was just in Rome, where there’s a bajillion of those all dedicated to dead people. So. You know. Expectations.
So the adventure was excellent. Simple, straight forward, and enjoyable. Exactly what we needed on a rainy Sunday.
Interestingly enough, I wasn’t the only one on this adventure.
And, thankfully for everyone, some of the other adventurers are excellent photographers. You may have noticed that, while leafing through the various pictures that I posted, I don’t feature in a whole lot of them. Funny, that. Turns out that being behind the camera (or cell phone, in this case) is pretty non-conducive to being in the photos themselves. I tried for some selfies… but let’s be honest. The front-facing camera isn’t really doing my beautiful face justice.
Thankfully, those other excellent photographers also had cameras. And some of those cameras are really good!
So please. Sit back, relax, forgive us for any repetitions that you might see, and enjoy Daniel’s rather massive photo gallery.