Hello Summer – The Fun Has Begun!

It’s official – summer is here and we’ve taken it on with full force. I said it last year and I’ll say it again – Portland has THE best summers in world (at least in the US). June through September (sometimes even October) in this city, and the entire Pacific Northwest in general, are breathtakingly gorgeous with just the right amount of heat – and lacking humidity, thank God. Of course, we all loathe the week or 2 of the scorching 90 degree days we have to endure but, all in all, it’s a heavenly time of year. When the sun comes out, there’s a list a mile long of fun things to do within a couple hour drive or even just around town. We’ve gone ahead and made sure no weekend has gone to waste so far.

Kile and I decided to try our first hike-in camping experience! We’ve camped hundreds of times but it has always been car camping and we bring the typical goods like: coolers, a stove or BBQ, an extremely comfortable double high queen mattress that we throw in our tents, extra blankets…so you know…not REALLY roughin’ it. So a couple of weekends ago we thought we’d give it a go – we headed to a nice “starter” hike-in spot called Alder Flat just about an hour and half outside of town. The backpacks we had taken to Thailand (and plan on taking again) are all we brought – along with our tent and water. The hike was only about a mile in and immediately we were hiking within gorgeous bright green forest. The smells of the Oregon forest during the summers are incredible – so crisp and earthy. It may be one of my favorite smells on earth.

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                                                                                   Found our camp!

Once we arrived down to the campsite area we saw that it was pretty much ours for the taking with the exception of another couple. Since the area is all non-reserved, we can set up camp wherever we wanted but there were a few areas with fire pits and makeshift benches from fallen trees. The couple ended up guiding us to a very secluded spot right on the bank of the Clackamas River. It really couldn’t have gotten any better.

Sitting on the bank of the Clackamas River near our campsite.
Sitting on the bank of the Clackamas River       near our campsite.
Our tent set up on the sand.
            Our tent set up on the sand.

We ate our dehydrated meals by the fire with our mini camp stove and one pot that we managed to shove in Kile’s backpack then we laid down on the sand to watch the stars – the only sounds were crickets and the river rushing by. So very peaceful. The only gripe we have of the entire excursion is that we need sleeping pads. We know now that it’s just not a negotiable item – I don’t think we slept more than a couple hours.

Kile with the fire - tent down to the right.
                                                               Kile with the fire – tent down to the right.

Aside from the lack of sleep, the first camping trip of the season, and first hike-in trip ever, was a complete success. We needed a little one on one getaway. And in pure Brewer fashion – we topped it off with a brewery visit to Fearless Brewing in Estacada. Haha, get it? Our last name is Brewer and we love Breweries! Coincidence? I think not.

IPA please!
IPA please!

This last weekend was also one for the books. Kile and his buddies had their annual golf tournament which always turns into fun and debauchery. Unfortunately, due to my cart girl duties, I completely failed on photo-documenting the hilarity.

However, to top off this last weekend, we ended up at the lovely Lake Oswego.

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Our good friend has access to this perfect little easement with a great dock, a diving board and a slide all going right into the lake. Not to mention boat access. We had a relaxing day in the sun with great friends, good beer, yummy BBQ, and a boat tour around the lake. Life isn’t half bad, you know?

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We are excited to have 2 adventures already planned and coming up within the next couple weeks! We look forward to sharing them with you!

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