First Family Camping Trip // Clear Lake – Mt. Hood // Oregon

We went on our first family camping trip back in September 2016 to Clear Lake in Mt. Hood National Forest just East of Portland. It’s in a really beautiful area, but beware, there are TWO Clear Lakes in Oregon. Of course, the pictures I kept looking at of the super clear waters were from the one located more towards Central Oregon. The one we ended up at was basically dried up lol. Whoops. We started the trip with dinner at our favorite burger joint on the way, Calamity Jane’s, so we didn’t arrive at our campsite until after dark.  Despite that and the fact that it down poured on us the majority of our stay, it was fine. We made the best of it.

We stayed two nights. It was Brian, Brady (almost 4 at the time), George (our golden retriever) and me. We used one big tent for all of us and even fashioned a little tarp to cook under the second night in the pouring rain. I couldn’t seem to get warm pretty much the whole time. One of the most important goals of mine for this camping trip was A) a great view of a mountain lake B) To sit under (& photograph) the stars out in the wilderness (that’s one way that God woos me is the sky), but we arrived at our campsite jussst in time to get a glimpse of a beautiful starry night right as the clouds for the impending rain quickly moved in and blocked any/all stars/moon. I didn’t get my starry night picture. Sigh.

We mostly stuck close to our campsite, which was very nicely sized and equipped with a big fire pit, picnic table, and was located next to a community dumpster and a quick walk across the road to the pit toilet. We did take a little walk down to the (dried up) lake the first morning there.  It’d be nice to return when the weather isn’t so dreary.  Since I thought we were going to the OTHER Clear Lake, I’d planned a couple hikes and even got a stick/accessories for my new GoPro to take some neat under water video. Well, I took some video on our drive in and before the rain really hit (or when we got a short break).

Thanks to my hubby who’s acquired decent camping/wilderness gear over the years and a friend who let us borrow some additional sleeping pads, we had a comfortable stay!  Next time we’ll set up a better “keep mud out of the tent” system, but we did an ok job for the most part. Brady also did better sleeping in the tent than I imagined as a 3 year old on his first camping trip.  We look forward to our next family camping trip!

Here’s a short fusion video from our 1st camping experience: (also my first GoPro video (I have some improvements to make the next time I use it)…)

Here are some images:

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