Rainy Mother’s Day

Yup, this pretty much sums it up.
Yup, this pretty much sums it up.

Remember how, in my last post, we spotted that awesome campsite from House Rock trail the weekend before? I had my heart set on it for Mother’s Day camping with my kid. Camping has turned out to be an annual Mother’s Day plan for us, which suits me well, despite the fact that May is almost guaranteed to rain on you.

Well, rain it did.

Since one of us had awesome rain boots, I parked on the edge of the site so I could step out onto mud, but she climbed out the door into a lake.
Since one of us had awesome rain boots, I parked on the edge of the site so I could step out onto mud, but she climbed out the door into a lake.

Showers are ok, and that drizzly “liquid sunshine” we love in Portland is ok, but this weekend we got a good, solid, unceasing rain. The river was high, so the lovely beach had shrunk. The campsite was filled with puddles. Rather than spread our stuff out around the campsite for easy access, we left our gear and food either in the car or the ¬†tent, to keep it dry.

Wet, wet, wet. Luckily, with the rain shell plus the additional green tarp, we managed to keep the inside of the tent dry for two days.
Wet, wet, wet. Luckily, with the rain shell plus the additional green tarp, we managed to keep the inside of the tent dry for two days.
Saturday morning coffee preparations in the rain. Yes, my coffee tastes require a french press even in the woods!
Saturday morning coffee preparations in the rain. Yes, my coffee tastes require a french press even in the woods!
Wildflowers don't mind rain.
Wildflowers don’t mind rain.

It took a long time to get a fire going, too. Finally the heat of the small flames dried out the fire pit and we were able to keep it burning till it was time to go.

We shared the campground with a group of people Friday night. They came by around noon on Saturday and stated, “We had been planning to stay, but it’s too wet.” And for the remainder of the weekend we were alone except for a work group of young people setting posts in a different part of the campground.

Saturday afternoon the rain fell less insistently, and we decided to hike across the footbridge to House Rock. On the way we marveled at several beautiful campsites along the river. Coming from the campground side, we saw¬†steps built of stone, leading up to the bridge, that I had not seen the previous weekend. It’s the kind of thing one finds in old places in Oregon – stone walls built by hand, or stone benches and steps. I marvel that people of an earlier time felt that it was important to build quality features like this, putting effort into making things as beautiful as they are useful.

One of the cute campsites we found. What a jungle it is here!
One of the cute campsites we found. What a jungle it is here!
Stone steps between two huge rocks, leading to a footbridge to the House Rock trail.
Stone steps between two huge rocks, leading to a footbridge to the House Rock trail.
Some people use bridges for walking...
Some people use bridges for walking…

We explored House Rock again, even wetter underneath than I recalled, because of the increased rainfall. We wandered up the trail and spotted our camp from across the river. Then went back to camp and cooked dinner over the fire. By the time the food was ready, the clouds actually broke up and allowed a little sun to shine. Tara pulled out a deck of cards and taught me a game to play. We got in many hands of cards before raindrops appeared once more, and we went into the tent to watch a movie. I had downloaded “the Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug” before we left, and we watched it snug as bugs in the tent.

This bridge crosses the creek that flows under House Rock, then down the bank to the river.
This bridge crosses the creek that flows under House Rock, then down the bank to the river.
Under the rock - wetter than ever!
Under the rock – wetter than ever!
Look at our sad, damp, little home down there.
Look at our sad, damp, little home down there.
View from the picnic table in our campsite.
View from the picnic table in our campsite.
My silly kid. She did her hair like this about a month ago. I've been calling her Firehead.
My silly kid. She did her hair like this about a month ago. I’ve been calling her Firehead.

Sunday morning rain let up right about sunrise, which was handy for packing up camp. Usually, when packing camp, I spend much of the morning spreading gear over bushes and snags, letting the morning warmth dry it out. That would have been a farce this time. I rolled everything up, sopping wet, and stuffed it into the trunk of the Dragon Wagon. (Luckily the following day in Portland was sunny and warm all day, so I was able to scrub the mud off everything and dry it out well before re-packing it for storage.)

Stairs leading down to a rope swing. Believe it or not, we were not tempted to use the swing this weekend.
Stairs leading down to a rope swing. Believe it or not, we were not tempted to use the swing this weekend.
A water pump for campers. It's so pretty. Usually there is a spigot, but this - while providing the same service - is a pleasure to use.
A water pump for campers. It’s so pretty. Usually there is a spigot, but this – while providing the same service – is a pleasure to use.

10 thoughts on “Rainy Mother’s Day

  1. Good for you all for sticking it out in the rain! The photos reveal the lushness of the area even if it wasn’t raining. That view from the picnic table is just beautiful! and I have to say that I really like that first photo …

    1. Thanks, Laurie. the first one was an accidental catch. I wasn’t trying to make a good photo, only snap Tara while she was all droopy by the fire. Then, the photo turned out to have character. I got lucky.

      I’m trying to get the jump on the season by heading out now. Often, it rains here through May and June. I use 4th of July as my rule of thumb: Independence Day is almost always rainy, but after that it dries up significantly. Then we don’t see rain again till October. So our summer is shifted late, compared to the calendar.

  2. I love that photo of two huge rocks and the stairs, so poetic and looks like some movie set in fantasy movies !!

    And oh my, your daughter is flexible XD haha, did she have trouble getting down after doing the split on the bridge?

    1. My Tara is flexible! She has been dancing ballet since she was little, so her body is used to being stretched around.

      I also love the stairs between the rocks. It makes me excited to think of what could be beyond, because you really can’t tell.

  3. Good for you for sticking with your tradition, despite the rain. Most people would’ve changed their plans. It sounds like you actually had a beautiful time, and what a beautiful place! So lush and green and I love the details, the stone stairs and the pump are so cool! It looks like an amazing place.

    We’ve made one trip to the Pacific Northwest and it is just gorgeous, we want to go back every year, but haven’t been able to yet. This year for our anniversary we plan to fly to Portland, then drive down the coast back to LA. I can’t wait.

    1. We did have a lovely time. I always enjoy time spent with my Tara, and even better when it’s in the woods.

      Hey, let me know when your plane is due to arrive in Portland, and I’ll meet you there and say “hi.” I live about 8 minutes from the airport.

  4. Holy, you are a trooper, I wouldn’t even consider a weekend rain fest at a camp ground. Such a beautiful spot too. I bet the running creek is a happy sound to hear. I haven’t been camping for years but in my 20’s we did plenty. Then we moved to a lake and everyone just came out to our place on weekends. It’s a 6 hour drive to the Rockies from Edmonton. We have friends with a house there and have enjoyed some great hikes with them.

    1. Living at a lake sounds perfectly lovely. I do enjoy camping quite a bit though. Not sure why. I’ve seen a photo of me tucked into the top of my dad’s backpack when I was about 2 years old. Maybe it’s my parents’ fault I love the woods so much!

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