Camping 2016

The RoundUp

Well, that’s a wrap, folks.  The boys went back to school last week and Fall is fast upon us. When we talk about the Summer, all four of us talk about the camping.  That’s the main thing we did.  Everything else seems like filler that we fit between trips.  In total we camped six times and three of those trips were 4 days or longer.  Definitely a record for us.

Here’s the rundown:
We’ll call this…

Nance’s 5 Star Campout Rating System

* View / Beauty
* Privacy
* Location
* Noise
* The Get-Away-From-It-All factor

Twin Harbors – Westport

2.5/5 stars for the campground
4/5 for the weekend in general
Western Washington Coast
2 nights

The campground itself was pretty much the opposite of privacy.  We happened to snag a good spot with a path to the beach right behind our tent but I could have sat on our neighbor’s lap if I wanted to while I was roasting marshmallows.  Like, for real.  I can’t recommend the campground but the area itself?  It was beautiful.  The beaches were amazing, there’s an incredible walking trail on the bluffs near the water and it lived up to all of Jason’s kiteboarding dreams.  We returned later in the summer with some friends for a last minute getaway but we shared a condo instead.  Definitely a good call.  We were right near the walking trail, had a view of the ocean, but we didn’t have to wake up on top of strangers.


Schaefer Creek

5/5 stars
I’ve already told you about this trip.
On the Chiwawa River about 15 miles north of Leavenworth, Washington
Site #8 — 5 nights

This place has it all.  The sites are H U G E and #8 is the best one of the lot.  It opens up to the river and you have to work hard to see the folks in the other sites.  It was the first time we’ve returned to a campground where we have previously camped and we managed to snag the same spot as last year.  No cell service, hiking and biking trails abound, and you are 30 minutes from the nearest town.


Owhi Campground

Nah, nevermind, I decided to rupture an ovarian cyst and spend the day in the ER instead.  We missed out on a weekend with friends but we caught up with most of them a few weeks later.

Colonial Creek

3/5 for the Campground
5/5 for the National Park
North Cascades National Park, Washington
3 nights – with a group of friends from our Cgroup.

I’ve never seen more beautiful lakes.  There were a crazy green color from all the mica in the water from the nearby glaciers.  And I was so impressed by the park itself.  Really well-maintained and marked trails, beautiful scenery, etc.  It could easily have been my favorite camping spot of the summer.  BUT the campground was a little… shall we say boisterous in the evening?  We had a large site and water access — what more could we want?   Well, we also had a large family reunion across the road from us on our second night with full-on Bollywood music blaring and water pipe smoking that was only getting started at 11pm.  It was a L O N G night. There was also an incident with an owl that lasted several hours.  So not much sleep was happening and all the mica in the world couldn’t make up for it!   I was so happy to get back to my own bed!


Tinkham Creek

3.5/5 Stars
Exit 42 out of Seattle off I-90
2 nights – with a group of friends

This was another trip with friends and several folks, including Jason biked to the campground from Issaquah.  The campground itself was really beautiful, tucked inside an incredible growth of trees and water access just a few steps away.  But the noise from I-90 made for a constant and considerably loud hum which knocked the campground down several notches for all of us.  But the time with friends was great; we found Lost Lake (not that lost, as it turns out) and hit up the brew pub at the top of Snoqualmie Summit on Saturday.  Then Jason and Josh rode back to the campground with the boys.  It was 12 miles, including a 2-mile long tunnel that required headlamps which the boys thought was pretty great.


Faye Bainbridge Park

4/5 Stars (but only because of the site we lucked out to get)
Northeastern tip of Bainbridge Island
2 nights

This was a rather spontaneous mid-week trip with a friend of mine.  The plan was for me to ferry over to Bainbridge with the boys on Tuesday, my friend would join us on Wednesday with her two kids and we’d all head back to Seattle together on Thursday.  I got there on Tuesday as planned and got the last site up in the wooded area.   If we hadn’t nabbed a spot up in the forested section, the rating for this campground would drop to a 2 because the remaining spots are essentially squeezed in tight in the parking lot — which would work ok for RVs, I guess, but not great for privacy of any sort.  Jason surprised us by riding his bike over and joining us for a work/camping trip (“wamping?”) and an additional friend and her two kids joined us for the day Wednesday for a total of 4 adults and 6 kids.  It was a great trip and we saw the most amazing moon rise on the first night.



Tucker County Park

3/5 for the Campground
4.5/5 for the town of Hood River
Oregon, 4 nights

We drove down for our Hood River trip on Thursday morning – our final hoorah of the Summer.  The campground was about 15 minutes out of town.  The drive to Tucker Park was gorgeous, with rolling hills and farmland and such, but the campground itself was just so-so.  No privacy to speak of and not much to look at but the river was just down off the bank from our tent and the sound was perfect for drowning out the sounds of all surrounding neighbors.  There is a river front section of the park which looked incredible but was closed for repairs.  Ah well.   Also, there was a burn ban throughout Oregon, which put a crimp on our campin’ style, for sure!  This trip was more like a vacation but only $12/night for accommodations.  Not too shabby!   Jason spent much of every day kiteboarding while the boys and I whiled away the hours reading (me), scootering (them), playgrounding (them), running amok at the waterfront (also them).



So long, Summer!  It’s been swell!

Other Camping Posts

How the Rusts Ended Up at McDonald’s
Say No by Saying Yes
No Rain, No Gain