Trip Report: Oxbow Park
Trip Report: Oxbow Park
We are car free by choice. We have made the decision to ride bicycles as much as possible and choose to challenge ourselves this way. This was our first trip this summer with many more to follow, and since this was also little baby's first camping trip ever we decided to keep it easy and close. Some coworkers suggested Oxbow Park East of Portland down on the Sandy river; close to town, campground facilities, and a river to cool off in. What could be better?
Well, this is not just a stuff the gear in the car and drive out in 30 min for full on family camp. This is a fully loaded cargo bike across town during rush hour traffic with one baby, a toddler, and all the camping equipment. Not so easy.
Google said it would take 1.45 hours by bike, but our reality was closer to 4 hours with food stops. diaper changes and avoiding bad bike unfriendly road intersections. The day was hot. The girls did well and soon enough we were out of the city limits. The air was lighter, the trees bigger, and the roads way less busy. All this just a few miles east of the city.
What we did not know was how steep the hill down to the park would be. It was hair raising steep and curvy. So steep that going slow was a challenge. We made it no crashes and even cars complimented us on our speed and control, little did they know how gripped we really were.
Down in the cool shade of the park, our nerves relaxed and peace took over. finding a spot to stay the night at the far end of the campground away from the RV's and big group sites, closer to the river bank. we set up camp, my 3 year old daughter helped me set up our Wilderness Technology Sawtooth 4 person tent in a few short minutes, easy..
Then we got right into eating as it was getting late. good to go food and homemade dehydrated fruit for dinner. A night stroll around our little campsite and into bed we went. Some stories for the girls and a night full of fresh air and nature sounds to lullaby us all to sleep.
The following day was spent down at the river throwing rocks (of course) and trying to dip into the water but it was still cold to the bone. it felt wonderful once numb enough to not to notice. The sun was blazing hot so shade was needed.
Back to the campsite for food, naps, and some scoot bike fun to the playground.
Another family dinner outdoors. The second night was quieter than the first in the campground. We enjoyed the smell and sounds of nature and our little girls slept great.
The big challenge came on the last day. That big hill to get back out of the river up to the roads to ride home. It only took 1.5 hours to hike a bike up that hill. The hill was so steep that the only thing to do was drag the bikes, with sleeping kids slowly up, up up. And boy were we sweating up a bucket full.
All in all it was a great trip; close to home, easy facilities, and a cold river to splash about in on these hot summer days. Yes, we will do it again, hill and all.
Total trip, 2 nights, 3 days, 40 miles of road biking, one crazy steep hill, 3 deer, many fish, one dead mouse, and one big big big hike of a hill. Cost: 40 bucks. Lots of sweat. Plenty of smiles and giggles.
-Seth and family.