"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Monday, July 23, 2018

To Bee, or not to Bee? Off to Mt. Hood!

Mt. Hood, Oregon
Gone Creek NF

We were looking forward to the short one hour drive from Scappoose to Milo McIver State Park.  We would've just stayed 4 days in Scappoose, but we had the Milo McIver reservation first and we could only get two days there.  We drove past the bridges that would take you into Portland an then headed south a bit.
We arrived at Milo McIver and drove to our spot.  For some reason I didn't care for the park as we drove in.  Can't explain it.  It was pretty, but I just didn't like it.  We went to our spot and of course there were some very low limbs that would have to be cut for us to get in.  We got out to check it out further and that's when I saw it.  See, I have a special radar.  I can spot a bee a mile away.  And when there is a huge yellow jacket nest in an old dead stump three feet away, you kind of notice that.  I was back in the truck before you could blink.  That was it for me.  I didn't care if they cut the tree down and removed the nest.  I wasn't staying there!  So we drove back to the office to see if they could give us a different site.  Nope.  They were booked.  They offered to cut the branches and remove the nest at night.  Nope.  Not gonna work for me.  I know yellow jackets are very protective of their nest and very aggressive.  No way I was going to stay in that site all day!  We had to wait for over an hour to find out if they could get our reservation cancelled.  It was very hot and humid while we waited in the truck.  They finally came back and said they had sprayed the nest and cut some branches and that we should be ok now.  What?  I don't think so.  You can spray a nest but there are a lot of those little bast*rds flying around that weren't in the nest when you sprayed that are going to be pretty pissed off when they get back.  I once again told them thank you for your efforts but I'm not comfortable staying there and we still wanted to cancel.  Once they went through their chain of command they decided to cancel our reservation and refund most of our money.  Since I had nothing else to do besides sweat in the truck, I had written something about this on facebook.  Luckily for us Lee (who we'd be visiting next in Mt. Hood) saw it and responded that we should just come on up early. Our site at Lake Timothy was open and ready for us.  Woo-hoo!!  We'll be right up!
 Once my pulse went back down, we came around a corner and this is what we saw.  Mt. Hood.
Lee and Trace's backyard at their work campsite.  Pretty nice!
We drove straight up to say Hi to Lee and Trace, Camper Chronicles, that are work camping here for the summer.  We had been looking forward to visiting with them for almost a year.  Last time our paths crossed we were in Iowa.
After Hellos and Hugs they drove us down to our campsite.  They chose a special site for us.  One of the largest that has the prettiest view, lake side (with Mt. Hood peeking over in the background) AND a bit of Verizon signal.  Thanks guys!!
 What a view, right?!
Trace told us about a fire that just started about 20 miles away.  This brought us some added entertainment.
There were two sets of two planes that would swoop down and fill water back to back for hours.  Incredible to watch.  Lee had to arrange to get boats and people off the lake so there would be no collisions.  Not hard to imagine why, yet some folks would paddle out anyways.  This went on for a few days.  Eventually they did get it under control.
Site #17 in Gone Creek Campground at Lake Timothy.
Steve had to work the first couple of days and I caught up on some cleaning.  Also, Trace had taped some of the Bachelorette (hey, don't judge!) that I had missed so we watched a couple shows and chatted.  So nice to see them again. The first night they had made an amazing meal for us.  Ribeyes with mushrooms, baked potatoes and a few salads Trace had made.  We all stuffed our faces, enjoyed a campfire and waddled away later that night. 
The rest of the week Steve had taken off so we could do some things and spend time with Lee and Trace when they weren't working.
 The view from our camp before going to bed.
Trace had filled us in with several things to do in the area.  So the next morning we decided to do what they call the Fruit Loop Trail.  It is located in the Hood River Valley at the foot of Mt. Hood. The twenty-eight member stands offer  wines, fruits, vegetables, flowers, ciders, and food.

We had a great time driving around the countryside, sampling and eating and buying a few things.

At one point we were following signs to a winery.  We came to a 3 way stop but there were no more signs.  We were going to go straight and at the last minute decided to turn right.  Instead of a sign we saw flashing red lights in the rear view mirror.  Uh oh.  I knew it was that illegal right turn.  See, we turned AFTER the little triangular painted lines.  The officers were very nice and then one commented on Steve's Gollum figurine that rides on the dash.  Apparently he's a Lord of the Rings fan so he made a joke and let us off with a warning.  Nice.  I keep threatening to chuck him out the window but I guess he can stay.

There was a nice food truck at one of the stops and we had a nice lunch.

We drove a little further to Hood River.  It was getting late and the museum we wanted to visit had just closed.  We walked around by the Columbia River and watched some kites surfers do their thing.

A pedestrian bridge that led us over the Hood River and down to the Columbia River.


It was a long drive and on our way back a BBQ sign grabbed our attention in the small town of Parkdale.  The Apple Valley BBQ turned out to be a great choice!  Great selection of bbq and sauces.  As we were walking out Steve said, "I wish they had a brewery here".  I can't believe he didn't notice that we parked right in front of one!
The Solera Brewery had very nice ambiance, but Steve didn't care for the beer.

Behind the brewery we listened to a guy playing old bluesy-rock with Mt. Hood in the background.  What a great way to end a great day.


  1. It’s amazing the campground staff hadn’t taken care of the yellow jackets before...it’s not like they just showed up since the last campers used the site. Sure looks like a beautiful area around Mt Hood. Too bad that museum was closed...my kinda place.

    1. That's what I said! It was a huge nest! He tried to downplay it saying that only 3 small kids got stung. WHAT? I don't think so!

  2. Gorgeous views from the campground! Lee and Tracy are in a beautiful area. Glad you got to enjoy it!

    1. We love that area. Glad we got to go over a couple of days early as we ended up with a family emergency and had to leave earlier than expected.

  3. So happy you were able to come see us!! We both loved the plane scooping video. Great job!!

    1. There was so much going on that week. We enjoyed it all!! Thanks again!

  4. Wow, the view from your site is majestic! Guess it pays to have connections :-) Fruit Loop reminds me of Apple Hill, although most of the apple hill area places are seasonal.

    1. Yes, it was like Apple Hill but much more spread out and smaller. Great campground and employees ;-)


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