Well that was how the weekend ended anyway. This was my first time out to Deschutes River— I had no idea quite how windy it was going to be! I’d even contemplated bringing the kite and decided against it. Oops. We had a lovely campsite with plenty of space to run, nice view and access to the river and TRAINS. Forget camping and nature, we didn’t miss a single train that went by. There would be a rumbling, and a horn blast (or 5) and all the kids, big and small, ran out to watch it pass. The first morning we took a short hike to do a little railfanning.
That would be taking pictures of trains, in case you don’t have a couple rabid foamers in your house. Aaron even gave me the first lesson on the old camera he’s giving me (Canon 40D- and lesson was where to find auto mode, lol). Then after lunch we drove to the Historic Columbia River trail and explored down to the tunnels and back- very cool. It was pretty breezy the whole day, but certainly tolerable.
When we woke up Sunday (supposedly the ‘nice’ day) it was cloudy and blustery. Hmm, good day to take a drive and hope it calms down. So we went to Stonehenge which was pretty neat though I was quite frustrated that the one lens I had did not zoom. So… yeah. Fun to look at and the kids got to run amok for awhile and climb on some rocks. Not a great spot for a picnic though so we hunted down a park in Goldendale on the way to the observatory. We had it almost to ourselves and it was great; the kids were on familiar turf (no setting new boundaries or rules) and everyone really relaxed. I am totally looking up nearby playgrounds next time there isn’t one at our campsite! The observatory itself was kind of a bust. Lecture-style tour and since it was cloudy we didn’t even get to look in the telescope. Unanimous decision to skip out early. I could see it being a cool adult thing for the night session, but I will not be taking kids back there again.
By the time we got back to camp the wind was really howling. I took the kids to lay down for a nap (after 2 late nights and a Dramamine I needed it) and Lars fell asleep right away, but the tent was flapping against me and Brooklyn on our side and the sound thundered in our ears. Even the trains, so loud to be heard over everything else the previous day, were drowned out in the wind. I got up and we played around with trying to make a wind block out of a blue tarp and a couple trees. Sorta worked. The guys had taken down our canopy- aka ‘kite’- while I was attempting to nap, so now it was just the tents attempting to take flight. All 7 of them! It was getting time to start dinner and I was glad I was cooking on the electric wok, not battling charcoal or a stove being blown out. About that time the first tent managed to free itself from the tethers and took off down the road. Yikes! Chased it down, but it’s next stop was the trash. Next came some decent sized branches out of the trees- not big enough to smash a car, but definitely the kind to do some damage to a person, especially a small person. Even though dinner was only halfway done we decided to retreat. Amazing how fast you can break down camp under the threat of being blown away or impaled by a pointy tree limb. Plus there was bits of nature in our food. I would have got pics, but was a bit preoccupied. You can check out a couple here.
Everyone converged on our back porch an hour and a half later for a much more leisurely scarfing of dessert fondue 🙂 Mmmmm. Perfect way to end our adventure!