The camping was great… except for the camping part.

Isaac and I finally made it camping this past weekend! We had a lot of plans over the weekend, but we squeezed in the camping trip. On Saturday, we helped some friends of his move into the house he moved out of so he could move up to the Big City with me (the are renting it from him while they look for a new house). Then, we attended the birthday party of a house (yes, a house – it’s now 100 years old), where I met some of Ike’s coworkers. That was great. Then, around 7pm, we finally headed east to go camping. We only decided to go camping this past week, so we had very little options in places to go camping because almost everything was booked. We ended up reserving a campsite at the Sun Lake Dry Falls State Park, which is about 3.5 hours from here. We finally got there around 10pm, set up camp and went to bed.

Our tent, for the first night.

Sleeping the first night was fine, though a bit loud because there was a group of singers in a camp not too far from ours. Also, the gravel – not too comfortable (surprising, right?).

In the morning, we got up, went for a walk and went swimming.

The Sun Lakes Dry Falls State Park.

On the way to the swimming spot.

Isaac, super excited at the prospect of getting in the water.

After some hiking, we stopped back at the water hole, where Isaac went swimming (again), and I read my book.

Life could definitely be worse!

Then, we took a drive and headed up to the Grand Coulee Dam, which I had never seen before. It’s quite impressive.

Grand Coulee Dam.

Hiking.

That night, we cooked up some dinner, made some S’Mores and played some Scrabble (we won 1 game each).

Concentration!

S'Mores!

Since we have about 5 tents in our apartment, we decided to bring a couple different tents to see which ones we like best. So, we set up a different tent for our second night.

Our two tents, side by side.

Camping was pretty bad that night – there were some extremely loud people in nearby campsites which prevented me from falling asleep for quite a while (Isaac had no such problem). Just after I finally fell asleep, I woke up suddenly, knowing it was about to start raining. As we were in the desert and had spent a day enjoying a cloudless sky, we had no reason to suspect that it would rain. So, of course, we hadn’t put up the rain fly. *sigh* Nor had we put away most of our stuff. So, I woke Isaac up, telling him, “It’s starting to rain!” He didn’t want to move, not expecting the rain to get bad. As it quickly start pouring on us, he finally realized he had to get up. I rushed outside, grabbed the rain fly and threw it over the tent. Then, we hurried up and tried to put everything in my car that would get ruined by the rain. Oy. Then, since the rain started dying down a bit, we headed over to the

restrooms. By the time we were ready to head back to the tent, the rain had started coming down heavily again, so we had to wait it out a bit. It was quite the night.

In the morning, the sun was shining brightly again and it looked like another beautiful warm day in the dessert. So, we went for about a 7 mile hike.

Umatilla Rock.

We hiked out from our camp, found the Umatilla Rock Trail, took that trail, and then hiked back.

Perch Lake.

We hiked past Perch Lake to get to Dry Falls Lake, which we hoped to be able to swim in. No such luck, but it was a lovely hike. And Isaac did jump into Perch Lake.

Isaac in Perch Lake.

That evening, the winds started up around 5pm and did not let up all night. I had no idea how loud wind could be!

Our tent for the 3rd night - after we put up the rain fly.

I kept laying there, hoping that the winds would stop… I could not sleep for the life of me. Eventually, around 3am, I climbed into the back seat of the car to try to get just a couple of hours of sleep. It pretty much worked – I at least slept a little. I noticed that a fair amount of the other campers took off in the middle of the night.

In the morning, we packed up our campsite, left the park and headed home, with a brief stop for a hike at the Lake Lenore Caves.

The view from the trail.

Either the caves themselves were hard to find or they were less than impressive.

The "Caves"?

It was a nice little hike, though.

So, overall, we had a great time during the days – the whole camping part, though, was a bit rough. That’s definitely not a campsite we’ll be headed back to. I hope we can get some more camping in before the good weather ends…

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