Hey, it’s the end of July! (Though when you read this, it will be August.) I realized that I had only gotten in one bike camping overnight all month: the ill-fated expedition to Battle Ground Lake. I needed to remedy this situation, andget in one more bike overnight before July was over.
I decided on Oxbow Regional Park down on the Sandy River, about 10 miles east of Gresham. Oxbow is a good choice because of how close it is: Close enough that I could leave in the evening and get there in time, and also encourage working folk to come. Zack and Chris decided to come, so I had company (and also didn’t have to pay $22 for a campsite.)
Rather than take transit out to Gresham, I decided to get some miles in and ride the whole way, meeting Zack and Chris in Gresham. This made the whole ride 30 miles one way. In retrospect, not the best idea: I left the house in the heat of the day (about 90F/32C), not as bad as Battle Ground, but still pretty damn hot. And I didn’t have much of a break when I got to Gresham, either. I got pretty toasted from the heat, and quite nauseous for a bit to boot.
Thankfully Oxbow was cool and shady when we got there, a relief from the day’s heat. And despite going on a Wednesday night, the park was pretty full, mostly choked with families. We managed to snag one of the few remaining spots. Zack, Chris, and I spent a nice night under the trees, talking about life and enjoying the fire. And I got to see the stars while I lay in my tent, because I didn’t have to put the rain fly on!
In the morning, we made coffee and ate breakfast. Chris had a meeting at 10 am, so he took off first. I didn’t have to be to work until 2:30 pm and Zack didn’t have any obligations, so we had a more leisurely time at camp. Still, the hill getting out of the Sandy River valley is a pain no matter what. Not particularly long, but really steep in some sections. Thankfully, from the top of it it’s more downhill than up into Gresham. Zack got on the MAX to get back into town (and needed to take care of some “technical difficulties” with his panniers), while I still had a bit more energy so I decided to ride the whole way back in via the Springwater Trail.
It was a nice trip, short enough to not be much of an intrusion in the week, yet just long enough for me to get a good taste of bike camping again and quell that hunger for a little bit. Now I hope the next time I go out, it’s not so damn hot!