Category Archives: Camping

Lincoln City, Oregon – Where all things were not quite as they appear!!!

This last weekend we traveled over to Lincoln City, Oregon, for a short weekend away with the kids.   Lincoln City is located on the scenic Oregon Coast and situated 11 feet above sea level.  There a beautiful sandy beaches where you can make sand castles, fly kites and generally relax. The kids enjoyed flying their kites and digging in the sand to reach water.  This was very exciting.  They also took the opportunity to run in the surf and in general get wet and sandy, but had a good time.

While we were at the beach we also saw some Kitesurfing.  This is an amazing sport that we had not seen before.  We saw people jump the surf and literally fly for several hundred feet.

We also traveled about 1 hour north to the town of Tillamook where the Tillamook Cheese Factory is located. We had a nice time touring and sampling the cheese products.

The kids played soccer, played in the park, took walks, played on the beach, saw new scenery and generally had a great time, or so it appeared in small snapshots.

I would love to say that this was a nice relaxing weekend however; it was not one of our better ones.  While the kids had moments of pleasure playing with each other and enjoying the time away, they were short lived.  Most of the time they spent at each other’s throats bickering and tattling.  As you can imagine, this did not make for understanding and relaxed parents.  When we left today we had planned to take the trailer down the Oregon coast and head inland at Florence. However their behavior left us wanting the fastest and most direct route home.

I’m sure we are not the only ones that have experienced trips like this and I’m sure it will not be the last; nevertheless it does not make this trip less disappointing.  Our youngest last night, after not been given what she had wanted, even went as far as to say, “It’s not fair, we’ve done nothing fun this trip.”

So I’m left with the thought of a “do-over” — do we get do-overs as parents? Did we add to this dismal weekend or are we just at that stage of life where an 8 year old boy and an almost 6 year old girl start to push the boundaries even further than they have in the past? Is this our new reality until the next phase?

We do love our familiy, the trailer and all the adventures they bring however; at the moment I cannot quite picture the next trip.

Happy trails!

Boys Camping Weekend

This last weekend we embarked on our annual boys camping weekend. This is something we started 3 years ago. Tristan really wanted to go camping, and we also wanted some one-on-one time with the kids. For the first two trips we all camped in tents. This year was the first time we took two travel trailers. Boy what a difference. It was nice to have some of the mod-cons of home. It was my kind of camping with heater, air conditioning, microwave and bathroom. Yes, I am going soft in my old age.

This year we had 5 boys and 4 dads who came along. The last two years we went to Clear Lake Resort in Oregon. This year one of the other dads coordinated the planning of the trip, and we went to Twin Lakes Resort near Bend, Oregon. The resort is located in central Oregon and just minutes from the peaks of the Cascade Mountains. The scenery is amazing.

Twin Lakes Resort is a great place with lots for the kids to do. We went swimming and kayaking in the lake, mountain bike riding over some little jumps, and played lots of games. The kids had more snacks and treats that they normally would, especially since the mums were not there. If they were quiet and safe and eating treats, all was good. The boys had a great time. Our trailer has four bunk beds and the first night they were all full with the boys. Two of the dads lucked out with their tents all to themselves.

It’s not all for the young boys. The big boys had some fun too. We stayed up and played poker and cribbage and drank a little. It was my first time playing poker, and I’m pleased to say I beat the others in three straight games. Beginner’s luck, I guess. I would be remised if I did not mention the food. Boy did we eat well. We divvy up the meals so that not everyone is cooking and to ensure we do not double up on everything. Everyone is assigned a meal to prep and cook along with bringing the supplies. There was SO MUCH good food; we have some great cooks.

Unfortunately Rachel is the only girl in the group; none of the others have younger sisters. Rachel and I went on our own little camping trip a few weeks before this one. Once she starts public school next week, my hope is that she will find a friend that we could start this tradition with — a daddy-daughter camping trip with some of her friends.

We had such a great time at this location that we booked next year’s trip before we left and decided we needed to extend it by one day. While these trips have always been fun, they are certainly getting more so and easier as the kids get older.

Camp Yale

This last weekend we went camping with some friends of ours at Camp Yale.  Camp Yale is located approximately 56 miles east of Eugene, Oregon, and is part of Belknap Hot Springs.  Belknap Hot Springs is located on the McKenzie River.  The hot springs are mineral based and normally run around 104 degrees.  It is a wonderful way to relax and rejuvenate.

Our campsite was nestled among some trees and had some nice trails.  The kids and their friend Gabe had a lot of fun playing cards, riding bikes, making smores, and swimming in the hot springs among other activities. It’s one thing to go camping on your own, but it is much more fun to go with friends.  We had two trailers side-by-side full of more food than we needed and a wee drink or two.





Saturday night however turned the tides of the weekend.  We still had an enjoyable time, but Rachel got sick around 1 am, which caused us to change the sheet in our bed (yes she had come to our bed because she was not feeling well).  She proceeded to throw-up about every 45 minutes for the remainder of the night.  Michelle went to sleep in Rachel’s bunk bed in an attempt to get a little sleep.  By 6 am Rachel and I got up and went to do laundry.  Luckily the camp site had laundry facilities.

This trip saw no issues with the trailer; thankfully we seem to have resolved all of the initial issues we had with the trailer.  Looking forward to our next trip in a couple of weeks when Tristan and I go off for our father-son camping weekend to Twin Lakes Resort.

Test run to Coburg Oregon

We got to Premier RV Park in Coburg Oregon around 2:30 pm today. Rachel and I set up the caravan and tested all of the features that were fixed under warranty last week.  So far all of the warranty items have performed flawlessly.  I love having the CD player work and also the A/C without it cutting out every 15 minutes.  The electric water heater also seems to be doing fine.  I left the switch on for a couple of hours with no breakers popping.

Rachel has had all kinds of fun.  We went swimming. She got to ride bike alongside dad while he was running, ate pie and ice-cream and watched her favorite movie Tangled, and now we are winding down for the night.

Set up was a whole another story today.  This is only the third time I have done all the set up, and it showed.  I have been told that it is advisable to make a check sheet, and I learned first-hand today why it was so important (not done yet).  I leveled the trailer no problem then began to unhook the trailer from the Sequoia.  All was going well till the ball came loose from the car.  Any guesses what I forgot? Yes, the wheel chocks.  The trailer started sliding back and fell off the block of wood under the front leg.  Luckily the safety chains were still hooked up.  It was a little work getting everything back to normal, but we got there eventually.

When we get home I have an electrician coming by the house to wire in a 30 amp outlet so that we are able to be plugged in beside the house.  It will certainly make planning to leave a little easier — having the fridge/freezer all ready to go, use of lights etc.  Also we now have a built in guest room if needed.

Learning lessons all the time about the caravan.  When I get home I WILL be creating a set up and break down check sheet to keep with me.


­­­­­Day 7 – Back Home

We made it home today safe and sound.  We had a great trip and the kids really enjoyed themselves.  It was also very nice for the kids to meet each other.

The overall trip was 1,287 miles long. It was a great shake down for the new trailer and also gave us a great idea of how the Toyota Sequoia handled the weight and how she pulled the hills.  The total elevation on this trip was 4,310 ft.  We averaged 9.1 MPG on the home trip and a little more on the southbound run.  After traveling both ways on I-5 to and from California, I can say that the northbound run has a much more aggressive incline than the south bound run.  She pulled the grades well both directions and we were able to maintain a minimum of 45 MPH on all grades.

On the way home we dropped off the trailer with the dealer where we purchased it so that we could have several warranty issues addressed prior to our next run.  We have a 90 day warranty and plan to put it to the test during that time and ensure everything is up to snuff.

Looking forward to the next run in a few weeks!!!



Day 6 – Stockton Delta Koa California

Today marks our last official day of camping/vacationing prior to our 9-10 hour drive home tomorrow. Keith has to be back in work Monday morning and back to reality.

Today we spent time in the pool here at the KOA, went to cousin Sandi’s house and swam in the bay, had a BBQ and all in all had a nice relaxing time. The kids even got to take a trip on Sandi & Dave’s jet skis. I think it was the highlight of the day.

Tristan and Rachel really enjoyed spending time with their cousin Laird and having all kinds of sing-a-longs with his ukulele. We had a hilarious concert after dinner that brought down the house, led by 3-year-old Laird.


­­­­­Day 5 – Stockton Delta Koa California

Today started out with a nice relaxing breakfast of bacon and eggs followed by some time playing in the park.  For lunch we packed up a picnic and drove along the Delta to a state park.  Although parts of the park were closed, we managed to find a nice spot to eat. Sadie really enjoyed the trails we walked along while the kids rode their scooters.

In the afternoon we drove over to Discovery Bay where Michelle’s cousin lives and had a fun afternoon playing in the water and visiting.  Michelle’s sister Denise along with her family showed up around two and joined in the fun. We took the opportunity to celebrate Tristan’s birthday, which was Wednesday, and Aaron’s (Denise’s husband) birthday, which was Monday.

All in all it was another fun-filled day, but I am now ready for some sleep…