Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Timothy Lake Camping

I am not a camper. My camping experiences are limited to family car camping trips to the Sierras as a petulant teen, one ridiculous night in Denali National Park without a stove, and a week-long rafting trip on which I served as naturalist. I don't know how to camp and I didn't expect to ever sleep on the ground again. Well, I guess after 40 you start rethinking things and trying out activities you thought you hated. At least, that's the direction I seem to be headed!

Timothy Lake is a man made lake in the Mt Hood National Forest surrounded by five campgrounds. Not too far from Portland but far enough that you feel you've "gotten away from it all". We packed the canoe at Oak Ridge campground and set off across the lake to see if there were more campsites off the beaten path. Sure enough, we found several and picked one that overlooked the lake. Nice spot. Set up camp and had a great dinner of mac and cheese and garlic bread (wow, was that ever good). It rained much of the night but when the professional camper of the pair knows how to properly set up a rain fly then it's no big deal. By morning it was chilly and a little moist but not too bad.

After breakfast we packed up and headed out up the long narrow finger of the lake to a more secluded wetland. Loads of bird action! Lots of ducks flying in and out, killdeer on the shore, the occasional raven. Then an immature Cooper's Hawk dove after a Kingfisher, missed, tried again twice, and finally flew off. The Kingfisher was clearly more experienced and dodged the predator easily. Good times.

Snipe hiding under its snipe house

It was just a day and a half trip but what a fun time! We saw only a few other people but really had the place to ourselves. It pays to camp off-season!

The things you find when you answer nature's call........

I just may have been convinced that camping ain't so bad. Especially if there's garlic bread.

Bird List
Common Merganser
Goldeneye sp (all females or eclipse males....hard to tell)
Northern Pintail
American Wigeon
Green-winged Teal
American Coot
Ring-necked Duck
Common Raven
American Crow
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Steller's Jay
Spotted Sandpiper
Barn Owl
Cooper's Hawk
Belted Kingfisher
Wilson's Snipe
Sapsucker sp (heard from tent...did not see)


troutbirder said...

Camping is good. Looks like you made the best of a beautiful spot on a somewhat gloomy day. Fall is the best.

NW Nature Nut said...

I love how secluded it is! The froggie is very cute.

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