So long summer

We went camping at the beginning of the summer, just the two of us, no kids. Our kids are great, we like them allot, they're absolutely wonderful. Time alone though, its good, obviously.

The environmental site in Julia Pfeiffer State park is close to perfect. It's a short hike/walk, really its a walk it just sounds cooler if you say you hiked in. We did a sloppy job of packing our bags and walked to our site.

We started our summer off here and now the summer is over. Here's to hoping we get some fall trips in soon.




Camp Stories: Sequoia National Park

A few weekends ago we took our Nephew camping with us, it was his first time camping and also his first night ever with us. The start of the day he was full of excitement and eager to help with camp. It then quickly changed when he realized his Mom wasn't there, he's never camped before and the forest is scary, dark and vast. Poor guy was begging us to take him home, he was convinced a bear was going to attack us. Trying my best to calm his fear, I made him a promise that we would take him home first thing, if he still felt the same in the morning.... But after a rough night, he woke up confidant he was ready to camp.  He rocked the hike we did, at some point  there's usually lots of pushing our oldest boy along, reassuring him "we are almost there". There wasn't much pushing with him though, he took on this new experience with such excitement and he was rewarded on the hike out with a bear sighting not 20 feet from us. The rest of the weekend consisted of swimming holes and natural water slides, marshmallows, plenty of marshmallows.  Cave exploring, bat hunts, bow and arrow games and lots of crazy little boy antics. 

He went from begging us to take him home, to begging us to stay longer.

We saw three bears that weekend, my boys still have not stopped talking about it, I'm sure he hasn't as well.  If our goal is to get more people out there and fall in love with the outdoors,  I think we did that. I made him a promise we would take him out again and I will keep that promise.

We are not experts, we usually forget things, ( toothpaste and deodorant this time, gross i know) lets be honest we always forget something.  The camera made it into our packs, but we forgot to charge it. So this is our trip as seen through our phones.

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Trail Stories: Multnomah Falls, Columbia River Gorge

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This ended up not really being a hike for us because much of the trail was closed due to icy conditions. It was, however, a short walk to the lower observation deck and -to us city dwellers- just being in Oregon is almost an outdoor experience in itself. 

For full information on the hike when the trail is open - and it's summer now, so expect it to be - click HERE.

GETTING THERE: 

Most folks will be coming from Portland. From there, it is a scenic drive tracing Lewis and Clark's path through the Columbia River Gorge.

- Take the 84 East (30 East) out of Portland. 
- Merge onto Bridal Veil Rd, which turns into E Historic Columbia River
- Follow signs to Multnomah Falls or just look for this (Lodge and Falls below): 

THE HIKE:

The portion we were able to walk was just a short distance behind the lodge pictured. This is the lower observation area where most tourists, like us, gather to take pictures and simply take in the view of Oregon's tallest waterfall. Expect a crowd most weekends, luckily for us it was 30 degrees outside which may have thinned the herd a little.

The bridge spanning the lower tier is iconic Oregon scenery. Do not leave without a picture of this. Because this is a rather large waterfall, we don't encourage playing in the pool below. I don't know if wading around in the slower moving water downstream is cool during the summer. Expect the water to be freezing cold year-round. We'll find out when we return in the future, and hopefully the rest of the trail will be open then. 

A good side-show to Multnomah is Wahkeena falls which is literally next door. This is more of a gradually sloping waterfall but worth the walk. 

Last, and probably the most entertaining for kids would be the exhibits in the lodge. Children (and adults, too) are able to learn more about the history of the falls, the Columbia River, and wildlife in the area. 

Though we love pretty much anywhere in the Pacific Northwest, Multnomah Falls and the Columbia River Gorge are some of the most accessible gems in the region.