We loaded up the car (and I mean LOADED - who knew a family of five needed so much stuff for a three-day stop in the mountains? Sheeeeeees...) and took off first thing Thursday morning. We went to Trillium Lake because we've been there once before, to the day-use area, and loved it. you can't reserve anything after Labor Day, but we figured on a Thursday in September, how crowded could it possibly be? Sure enough, we had the pick of campsites, so we chose one that looked big enough for the girls to run around, far enough from other campers that we wouldn't drive them nuts with the girly screaming, and close enough to the potties to make emergency runs easy, but far enough to keep the smell away (Ellie dubbed them the "Icky blicky stinky potties").
We were immediately befriended by the local chipmunks, who we dubbed Chip and Charlie because we never saw more than two at a time, and a whole flock of bluejays, who all delighted in our abundant food supply.
Over the course of the three days the girls helped cut firewood, learned to light a fire, hiked two miles around the lake, found numerous fairy houses, made their own "nature fairies", put on shows on a tree stump stage, swung on tree branches, drank gallons of cocoa, made s'mores (of course), found a lollipop tree, and just basically had a really good time. And Chris and I just chilled. It was relaxing, re-energizing, and delightful.
Following are pictures from some of my favorite moments of the trip. Enjoy!
Beautiful Mt. Hood reflected in equally beautiful Trillium lake.
...and right after it fell down.
Lexi putting on a show for her sister
And sitting in the "chair tree". Look closely at this tree. I have no idea how it grew this way, but it was the coolest tree ever.
Mom in the chair tree. The really cool picture of me standing on it looking all tough didn't turn out, but you can see my awesome biker chick bandana. Super short hair is not conducive to camping.
Ellie pointing out the characters from her favorite movie, A Bug's Life. Right after she gleefully named them all, she cheefully stomped on them while Chris and I looked on in hysterical horror.
Ellie playing Hide & Seek. Notice all the great hiding spots surrounding her, and yet she goes for the toddler "if I can't see you, you can't see me" hiding spot. And she was shocked when Vicki spotted her so quickly.
Our Dutch oven alphabet scones. We decided that the Dutch oven fajitas are a definite do-again dish, but the scones and hamburgers...not so much. Well, we'll do the scones again, but over the camp stove instead of coals. But it made for a really cool (ha!) picture!
Here are the Nature Fairies. And their Nature Fairy creations, made exclusively from things found in...you guessed it...nature!
Ellie thoroughly enjoyed the fruit of the lollipop tree.