It's the boys' turn! Time for our annual Mom and Boys Camping Trip while the girls spend their special week at Harlow - this time for Middle School Camp. (Middle School...ugh!!!)
We chose Mt. Hood area again as the boys wanted to do a repeat of the Mt. Hood Adventure Park. We took a little more time with our campground choice, however. This time we chose a campground along Timothy Lake. It's one of the larger lakes in the area - in fact to do a hike around its circumference would be a 13 mile trek.
Not that we normally like to pit our girls against our boys, but for as much as we rolled our eyes at the girls' sluggishness in helping to get us packed/unpacked....our boys were DEPLORABLE. Now, we know they were still tired and a bit sleep deprived from their tough week of camp, but seriously (and even that excuse is said "tongue-in-cheek"). Sheesh! And, don't even get us started on their ability to pack their own clothing. (Or bring it home....Brayden left a duffel bag and his entire dirty clothes laundry bag at Harlow). To Brayden and Traig's future wives....Michele and I express our deepest condolences and regrets at not doing a better job with them in these areas.
As a result of all of this, we weren't super speedy getting out of the house on Monday morning. Throw in some grocery/fast food pit stops along the way, and the result is not pulling in to our campground until after 4pm.
Unfortunately, there was some confusion in that the campsite we had paperwork proving was reserved in our name was occupied by someone else. Lovely - nothing like having to track down the camp hosts, explain the situation, have them try to track down the "squatters" - and then, wait for them to return, pack up and move out, so we can finally unload our own stuff. In light of the time we would lose to all this, we opted to take the spot across the street. As it ended up, the father/son duo that took our spot were told it was available and it was not their error, so we were glad we had already taken the higher road to decide to let them stay. (There were two sets of "Park Hosts" - and, of course, it was the host who was not there at the time who made the error). In appreciation of our generosity, the father and son walked over with a stack of wood as a thank you gift. It was dry, split well, lit fast - and, when added to the lesser quality wood we had - lasted us perfectly through our time there. Thanks guys!
After unpacking, we took a bit of a walk along the lake. It was a gorgeous time of night. That's Mt. Hood across the shoreline.
Brayden and I-
Finally, we ended up on a back road giving us access after a short hike to the north inlet of Timothy Lake. We'd read that river otters like to play there and also thought it would be a better destination being more narrow and not as windy as the main part of the lake.
Unfortunately, during our hike, the boys allowed their inflated raft to hit a tree snag that cut into it. We had wisely brought duct tape with us - as you'll see evidence of in the pic below - trying to patch the tear next to Brayden's hand.
So, we flipped it over and dumped the gathering water - and they played on it and swam the rest of the time.
I'm pretty sure it just made the experience a lot more fun for them.
It was much warmer in this shallower area where we put the rafts in, so the boys did some goofing off/swimming before we hauled the rafts back to the vehicle. Their raft, sadly, was left behind in the dumpster at our campground.
It was definitely a fun time, and because of all of that paddling, made Michele and I feel like we might actually have earned a "yummy dinner". (It's that time of year where eating choices are deplorable). Great first two days of fun with our boys.