Camping: Oregon and The Original Stash

Friday night after work B and I along with Dug and Jane caravaned down to southern Washington. We had decided the weekend before to take advantage of the three day weekend and do some camping, exploring and Geocaching.

As with most holiday weekends I got to leave two hours early from work [my employer rocks] so I headed home to pack. I wanted to bring some craft items to work on if we had down time and finally managed to get a plastic craft tote organized for the van. The bin currently holds four craft projects. There was even room for my pattern book for the knit hat I am making as I forgot to make copies of the pages to preserve the book from the elements.

Craft Tote_1

Because it was a holiday weekend and we did not have reservations anywhere we were playing Russian roulette with any sort of over night accommodations. Friday night we made it south of Olympia and pulled in to a rest area for the night. B and I have done this before but Dug and Jane never have. We sat at a nearby table and had an adult beverage and chatted about plans for the weekend. The morning rose bright and sunny and a little cold and we headed to our first Geocaching stop, Seaquest State Park. We rolled in to the day use area shortly after they opened at 8 and set up for breakfast.

Sassy Dug

After sausage, omelets [made by sassy Labor Day Dug above] and coffee we headed out on a hike. The round trip was two miles and was pretty even terrain. We easily found the Geocache, stamped our passports and enjoyed the rest of the scenery passing by some yurts at the end. Below, B pretending to be a tree and Beej in his sweater.

Bill is a Tree

Our time at Seaquest was about three hours. We stopped at the Mt. St. Helen’s visitor center on our way to Longview for Dug to get fuel and for us all to get more coffee. We had planned to stop at another state park but it was temporary disabled. I messaged the owner and she did reply but it was after we had passed the turn off.  All that hiking worked up an appetite so we headed in to Portland and Breakside Brewery which B had tried when he was down in Oregon for work earlier this spring.


It was packed and sprinkling outside but we didn’t have to wait long for a table. I ordered the smoked porter, B and Dug had the barrel aged Imperial Brown. That one was good and my second was one of those. B’s second was the Bergamot special bitter which Dug ended up getting a growler fill of. The food there was really good – if you ever go there have the grilled Portabella sandwich – yum! We stopped briefly at Mill End Fabric Store in Portland where Jane and I bought some quilting fabirc.

Soon we were off to one of the reasons for the trip. To find the original Geocache which was placed in Oregon. The cache is no longer there but there is a plaque you can find and it’s one of three caches you need to get to claim Shelrik’s Center of the Triad Challenge. The other two caches you need is Geocacheing HQ and the Ape cache which we did Block Party weekend. I will post on this one once we have found Shelrik’s.

Cache Plaque

The cache plaque [seen above] was easy enough to find. It’s right off the side of the road. There was also another cache hidden nearby we thought we would grab. It was up a short hill and at the top we saw this bundle of sticks against a tree. Signs of the Blair Witch?

Blair Witch

There were a few other caches in the area that were really clever and I will be posting about them in new editions of awesome Geocache hides. The last cache we looked for that day was near the Viola schoolhouse.

Violet School

Jane wanted to check out Champoeg state park [pronounced Champooie] as a possible place to camp that night. We drove in and discovered they were all full. We didn’t know at the time there was a historic farm on the property so now we need to go back! It was getting dark and we were out of luck on camp sites for the night.

After purchasing some eggs at a roadside stand and an indecent with a local and his terrible driving, we decided to head back to civilization and camp out in a friend of a friends driveway. On the way back we stopped at Hair of the Dog Brewery. We had some beer and goofed around.

Hair of the Dog

B and Dug enjoying a very lovely bourbon barrel aged beer.

B & Dug at Hair of the Dog

Jane tried some cider and found some “beer goggles”.

Jane at Hair of the Dog

After at arriving at Dustin’s we set up the camp stove and made some soup and had chicken salad sandwiches. Soon it was bedtime and we settled in. The street was quiet. We woke up to a sprinkling of rain the next morning. We cooked in the driveway again – dueling camp stove style.

Dueling Stoves

I found a small amount of time for some knitting.

Knitting and Camping

Our route back to Washington was over Mt. Hood. We stoped for lunch at Mt. Hood Brewery. I love their tagline – “a brewery with an altitude” where B enjoyed a flight and we all had some yummy food. Then it was on to the summit.

Mt Hood Brewing

Mt. Hood boasts the Timberline Lodge famous for not only the exterior of the famed haunted hotel from The Shining but amazing interior design and repurposed features. Built in 1937 it took only 19 months to complete this National Historic Landmark. FDR dedicated it in September of that year. Below is the entrance to the hotel lobby.

Timberline Front Entrance

The front door features this carved Indian with a headdress.

Timberline Door

As you walk in to the lobby you are greeted by a huge six sided fireplace. This photo does not do it justice.

Timberline Fireplace

The andirons are repurposed railroad ties.

Timberline Andirons

There is a historical timeline at the back of the lobby about the lodge, when it was built, FDR dedication, etc. The chairs in the lobby are repurposed lift chairs some with leather webbing to form the seat. You cant pass up visiting without getting to handle the very ax that Jack Nicholson used in the film The Shining.

Timberline Ax

Historical mountain sport memorabilia can be found in displays along the hallways and around the lobby floor of the hotel.

Timberline Historic Snow

Timberline Historic Ski

Timberline Lederhosen

In fact, if you are of a certain age, do you remember Pee Chee’s? Apparently some of the art was first used at Timberline Lodge. Can you spot it on the Pee Chee?

Origins of the PeeChee

By 1955 Timberline was closed and in disrepair but Richard Kohnstamm [the patriarch of the family that currently operates the lodge] kept it going and now it’s a profitable and popular destination.

Timberline Lobby

Above is a painting of Richard seen just to the left as you move in to the fireplace area. We went through the newly built area across the parking lot for skiers to enjoy, visited with Smokey the Bear and did a quick Geocache before heading down the mountain to the Columbia river enjoying the beautiful sunset as it hit the clouds.

Smokey and Dug

Clouds of Pink

We hoped to find a campground to stay in that night and went to check out Memaloose State Park, we were in luck. Due to the fires in Eastern Washington there has been a burn ban on in campgrounds all summer long. Not so in Oregon. Our first campfire in about three months.

Camp Fire

The camp sites were were at were right near a plum orchard. We gathered a bunch with the intention of making plum brandy. They were literally all over the ground!


Plums Littering the Ground

Saw these amazing contraptions and thought – wouldn’t it be easier to just put a tent on the ground?

Tent Contraption

Second Tent Contraption

After breakfast we packed up and headed to Maryhill State Park on the Washington side of the Columbia River. This was so we could get another Geocache for our state park challenge. We met this little guy near the cache site.

Little Guy

A mile away from the park is a replica of Stonehenge built by Sam Hill and was the first monument in the United States to honor the dead of World War I.

Busses in front of Stonehenge


We wanted to hit four more state parks on our way home so we quickly moved on to the next which was Spring Creek Hatchery State Park known for its windsurfing and kiteboarding. Hard to tell from the photo below [I zoomed in as far as possible] but there are A LOT of people out on the water.

Kite Boarding

This cache was rated a terrain 3 which made sense as we had to climb over a bunch of rocks to get to the cache. We made quick work of it and were soon back in the car and on to Beacon Rock State Park. This was by far one of the coolest stops. The rock is pretty impressive from the highway but even more so from the boat dock which was near where the cache was located.

Beacon Rock from the Highway

Beacon Rock from the Boat Launch

The rock is a monolith and was formed from a volcano, it was named by Lewis and Clark originally named Beaten Rock. They noted that the rock marked the eastern extent of the tidal influence in the Columbia from the Pacific Ocean. It was also called Castle Rock and officially became known as Beacon Rock in 1915. A gentleman named Henry Biddle purchased the rock for $1 and during the next three years constructed a trail with 51 switchbacks, handrails and bridges. The three-quarter mile trail to the top was completed in April 1918.

Our last state park stop [one short of all the ones we wanted to do that day] was Battle Ground Lake State Park. This park boats a swimming lake. The trails were nice and covered. This was the cache that I had messaged the owner about and it was pretty quick to find.

Beej on a Hike

The sun was going down and we were so tempted to stay the night and “call in sick” to work the next day but we really needed to get some food and head home.


4 thoughts on “Camping: Oregon and The Original Stash

  1. Love your camping trips, you always have such fun!
    Loving the Stonehenge replica. Did you guys get the news that they think they’ve found a new (old) mega Stonehenge underground nearby. Could make the original one – which is pretty cool, look tiny!

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