Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Crater Lake Camping

A few years ago I started the tradition of going camping for the long Labor Day weekend which always happens to be right around my birthday.  This year was quite an epic camping trip as we went to Crater Lake, which has been on the top of my Oregon bucket list for a long time.  I ended up being an all-girls camping trip which was completely awesome!  I've never gone camping without some guys who always end up doing a lot of the planning, cooking, fire-starting, tent-pitching, stuff-carrying.  But this weekend it was just us girls: Megan, Mollie, Melissa, Kathy and me.  And it was so fun!
We packed up the car and drove 5 hours south to Crater Lake National Park.  We checked in at the ranger's station, got our permit and some tips on good backcountry camping spots, put our heavy packs on and hiked into the woods.  The first night we hiked 2 miles into the Dutton Creek area and set up camp.  Kathy cut some wood, Megan started the campfire and we made a yummy quinoa and veggie dinner followed by smores.  It's funny how much better everything tastes when you're out in the wilderness.
We woke up at 4:45 the next morning and hiked out to a viewpoint to see the sun rise over Crater Lake.  It was absolutely beautiful - definitely the highlight of the trip for all of us.  We took naps after we hiked back to our campsite then did a bit more hiking and exploring when we woke up again.
The second evening we hiked 4 miles into the Red Cone area which is actually part of the Pacific Crest Trail.  We set up camp and started another campfire.  That night we had a very delicious chili soup dinner topped off with a surprise birthday dessert that Megan came up with.  We individually wrapped a banana, chocolate chips and marshmallows in tin foil, put them in the campfire coals for a bit, then opened it up and dug into the gooey goodness.  It was delicious - especially paired with a nice bottle of champagne that Megan carried in with her.
It seriously couldn't have been a better weekend.  Definitely one of the best weekends I've had in Oregon.  It was an amazing group of girls - everyone was very laid back, easy going, super fun and fully capable of holding her own out in the wild.  Thanks for making my birthday camping weekend so amazing Firefox, Flo Rida, Honey and Scout!  You girls are the best.  Love, Trillium.

Camping Weekend Highlights
- cuddling with Megan in the tent
- dance party around the camp fire
- enjoying a cup of coffee as we watched the sun rise
- watching my friends from different groups (work, old roommate, new roommate, home community) get to know each other
- early morning yoga
- never knowing what time it was
- finally finding the trailhead marked with a tiny handwritten note
- great conversation

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