We got out of town this past weekend to avoid the annual naked bike ride. Well, not really, but last year the ride disturbed our sleep (who knew naked people on bikes could be so loud?) and Heather doesn’t have a bike anyway.
The forecast called for possible thunderstorms Friday, and 20-30% chance of rain through the weekend, but foul weather couldn’t deter Heather us. As per tradition we left Portland about 4pm Friday. We weren’t in a rush, however, as we reserved a campsite in advance. I know! Crazy! Where’s the fun in that?!
Last year we camped at Green Canyon, about 5 miles south of Zigzag on Mount Hood. On that trip we scouted nearby campgrounds, and had scribbled an illuminating note about one particular campsite at Camp Creek: “#8 is nice”. The large open site sits, surrounded by old growth Douglas Fir, on the banks of Camp Creek. The campground is just a few hundred yards off highway 26, but the stream’s roar drowns out the roar of the highway, and the forest is dense and lush.
Pretty friggin nice, eh? Well apparently other people think so too, as it’s booked pretty much every weekend throughout the summer. So we reserved camp site #9, which isn’t bad either, though quite a bit smaller.
This is a view of our campsite from the other side of Camp Creek. Wonder how we took a picture from the other side? Stay tuned!
Upon our arrival the sky was overcast and thunder, um, thundered in the distance. We pitched our tent, set up the canopy (the less said about this, the better – short version: our relationship survived), and started a fire. Hot dogs and potato salad for dinner! And then it started to rain. We scrambled to tidy up camp and then took refuge in the tent.
It rained pretty much all night. Lucky for us we have an air mattress, which kept us a few inches above the puddles. Always the puddles!
But we awoke Saturday to silence – no raindrops piddling on our tent.
Opening the tent flap revealed no major damage.
However, upon further investigation I detected raccoon foot prints on our picnic table. And a can of mixed nuts was missing. I later found the pilfered can about 10 yards from camp, open on its side, mixed nuts (guaranteed to contain less than 50% peanuts) spilling onto the forest floor. There were little raccoon claw prints in the can and the plastic lid. Either raccoons do not particularly like mixed nuts, or something scared the culprit away, as the can was still almost full.
For our Saturday morning constitutional we hiked the Still Creek Trail, which begins at Camp Creek. A footbridge crosses the creek, and the trail follows the stream a few hundred yards before heading up the hill.
From the trail we could see our campsite – so now you know how we took that photo!
The trail has a few short steep spots, but mostly meanders through lush green forest at a pleasant grade.
After we returned to camp Heather studied up on other nearby campgrounds.
Who doesn’t like ferns and moss? But at this point we were thinking about dryer places, say east of Mount Hood. We drove up Highway 35, checking out campgrounds along the way, to Hood River where we had another mediocre Hood River lunch (please readers, tell us where to get a decent beer and a good lunch in Hood River?!).
Mount Hood tried to impress us on the drive home.
Okay, pretty impressive.
Saturday evening we grilled tuna steaks, corn, and potatoes, and drank copious quantities of boxed wine (the Bota Box Shiraz is one of our favorites, and not just for camping). We slept like the dead (drunk?). Overnight we were thrilled there was no more rain. However upon awaking Sunday morning we found that a spritzing mist was covering everything (as I type we’re still drying our gear in our apartment). But the creek was pretty.