Ok, so we were a night too early for the actual super moon of 2014, but it was still a pretty cool moon.
Tara had a break of enough hours between ballet rehearsals Saturday and Sunday that we were able to fit in a quick overnight camping trip. Portland has had a break from the heat, but was climbing toward 90 again. That made me think of a waterfall hike in the Columbia River Gorge, so I had the idea to camp in the Gorge and hike the cool waterfall glades…
While she was at ballet, I gathered camping gear. All the car-camping stuff this time, which is *so* much easier than packing for backpacking. For car camping, you just cram everything in, and if you bring too much… eh, no big deal. We were in the car and driving toward the Gorge by 2:30 pm.
The first campsite was full. But more than that, the whole area was swarming with people. Cars were parked everywhere it was even mildly safe to park. The heat must have been pulling everyone to the shady forests. The next campsite: totally full. I slowed down as we approached the camp Host, so I could hop out and get some intel. As I slowed, I saw a man waiting patiently behind another man, who was already talking to the camp Host. Good gravy. That was too much; we moved on. Next campground, closed. We started brainstorming, and Tara asked, “Isn’t there a place where we can just drive into the woods and put up our tent?”
Well, we could do that in a National Forest. The closest was Mt. Hood National Forest, and to get there involved some backtracking to get onto a different highway, no longer in the Gorge. No waterfalls, but maybe we would still get to camp. We went to a primitive area we’ve camped before and it was full, and the campground nearby was full. I could think of one more place, which was an absolutely beautiful campsite on this cliff above the Sandy River, with a wide-open view of Mt. Hood. We were hot, and discouraged, and it was 5:30 pm. I had been driving three hours and so far no luck.
Though we passed people camping in the woods every 50 yards along the entire road, and though the trailhead parking lot we parked in was jammed full…no one was camping in the beautiful campsite. It was a miracle.
As an extra bonus, it was almost the night of the supermoon. Because of the trajectory of the moon’s orbit, this will be the brightest and largest full moon of the year. Whee! The full moon is actually the following night on the 10th, so we saw an almost-full moon. I did not bring my tripod, so I held very still as I took the shots. I’m amazed I got anything out of that experiment.
4 thoughts on “Supermoon over the Sandy”
Love it, love it, love it. And I agree with you last night was a beautiful one, Moon was looking gorgeous. I wanted to go outdoor, take a mat and gaze at moon and try to see stars. But damn it rained so hard, it was difficult to even stand outside. Glad you had such an amazing weather. Beautiful pictures, I love Tara in the moonlight.
So sad you were waiting to see the big moon, and the weather didn’t cooperate. Ah well, it will happen again. Thanks for the compliment on my moonlight shot.
You so made the right decision to head out and find a different space (although it makes me happy to think that so many people are getting outside!). Anyway, I Iove the photos … especially the one of Tara dismantling the fire pit.
Yes! How wonderful that thousands of people hit the trails. They might have been motivated by the gorgeous weather, the end of summer, the fabulous moon, and the unending delights of the landscapes around here. I have to give all the credit to Tara, who kept me motivated while I drove and drove and drove, looking for a place to camp. I just can hardly believe that the place we finally found was not just a tolerable speck of land, but a brilliant campsite with a brilliant view!