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Friday, April 19, 2013

Camping Report: Cycle Wild Sunset Falls, 13-14 April 2013

The group at Lucia Falls.
How was the camping trip last weekend to Sunset Falls, you may ask? I'll boil it down into one word:


A camping trip during April in Cascadia is always a crapshoot. Yes, there are plenty of nice days, but when you schedule a camping trip months in advance, like we do with Cycle Wild, you don't know what the weather is going to be like on that given weekend. Looking at the forecast on Saturday morning, it called for showers the whole weekend, but I was hopeful that the rain would hold out, mostly. And it did, mostly...until the end.

It was dry for the first 25 miles of the 40 mile ride out to the campground, but the rain started about 25 miles in when we got to the Heisson Store. We luckily had shelter for this first squall, and then the rain relented for a bit. But at the 32 mile mark,  the beginning of the final climb into the campground, the rain returned in force, and as we slogged up the hill, I could feel my body getting s-o-a-k-e-d. The rain slowed down a bit, but that was enough. And because of the lateness of the day (6 pm), coldness, and lack of sun meant that nothing would dry and we'd be in for a cold, damp night. At least we got the tent up before it hailed on us.*
This scene doesn't really convey the wetness.

But enough about the wetness! Let's move on to more positive aspects of the trip. (I won't bore you with details on the ride to Sunset, so read the entry from our much drier trip in April 2012.)
  • We had fifteen folks total on this trip, a few of them Cycle Wild "virgins" like Stasia who wrote up her own report on the trip here.
  • Despite no firewood for sale at the campsite, we managed to build one with scrounged firewood from other campsites. Thanks to Laura for actually getting the campfire started!
  • And bad weather or good weather, the ride up to Sunset Falls is pretty, especially the 15 mile section from Heisson to the campground. The East Fork Lewis River is a secret gem in the Portland metro area, with lots of rapids and falls for maximum scenery.
  • Nothing bad happened, except for Kirk's bike self destructing somewhere in Clark County. (Don't worry, he got rescued.)
Overall, once I got beyond the wet factor, it was a fun outing. But it is definitely making me look forward to drier camping expeditions in the future!
On Old Heisson Bridge.

More photos of the trip can be found over here.

*The irony of that is I turned on the weather radio right before it happened, warning about the chance of hail.

1 comment:

  1. I am jealous your weather looks great! It is still snowing in Minnesota.


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