Triangle Lake


Triangle Lake was our stop last week as we continued our Summer of Adventure.  We were signed up to cook at a high school camp at Camp Eagle Cove.  It was only 43 miles from Florence, where Honeyman State Park was located, so we drove directly there from our camping spot.

Rob has a 2-pole fishing license, so just had to put his poles in the lake at least once.  And, that’s exactly how many times he was able to put them in–once!  The rest of the time, he was extremely busy cooking on a huge Traeger barbecue he brought with him to camp.  The kitchen at this camp is quite small and the Traeger was a life saver. He did not catch any fish during the short time he got to fish, but there were 3 fish caught by  a couple of guys who went out in a boat.


The first 24 hours, we fed staff who had come for meetings, set-up, and a little training.  So, it was only about 40-50 people.  Once the campers and the rest of the staff arrived, it was between 150-170 people.   The number varied as different staff members’ families came and went.

We were not the head cooks.  A woman named Maggie was, and she had it well organized and much of the food pre-cooked.  Much of it was warmed up in the Traeger, cooked on the grill, or done on griddles all under the tent.  The indoor kitchen is very small and ill-equipped to make enough food for that many people so Rob was everyone’s hero.  He grilled at almost every meal, until the end, where the huge, 2-sided grill was allowed to cool down so it could be cleaned for it’s journey home.  It is nice and large, and has to be towed behind a vehicle.  All dishes were done by hand, so paper products were used as much as possible.  Half way through the week, my sister and I went to the closest large town (about 1 hour away) and bought more produce and some other items that were needed.  That was a pretty big chore, but we enjoyed our time together.


All-in-all, it was a very good week.  It was fun to be around such a bustling hive of young people.  They had a great time–alternating between their meetings, meals, and free times, which were spent in the water or on the boat(s).  If I ever have another Summer of Adventure, camp definitely deserves a place in my agenda!

And, I definitely appreciated the multiple washing machines at the laundromat today, as we did the equivilent of 24 loads of laundry!  (That included all of J’s blankets.  She took them outside at camp and was convinced that there might be a bug or 2 or 10 or 20 in them, so really, really wanted them washed!!) Thank goodness for machines that can take 4 loads at once, and ones that can take 3.  So efficient!!!  And, now, we are settled back at my sister’s again–all cozy next to the garden until the next time that we take off on our Summer of Adventure!

Honeyman State Park and Barbecue


This past week, we were camped at Honeyman State Park, near Florence, Oregon.  It was our first time there.  There were some things we liked, and some we weren’t as enthusiastic about.

Before we left, Rob barbecued lunch for the extended family on Sunday, as he often does.  He decided to make tator tots on the grill.  2 pans were lined with foil and the frozen tots were placed in them.  They were placed on the grill and the cover was lowered.  They took about the same time as the hamburgers.  He learned that they needed to be stirred occasionally, as they tend to burn on the bottoms.  He repeated this at the state park this week, as it worked well.


We enjoyed our time camping.  The park has 2 large lakes and many sand dunes.  We do not have ATV’s or sand buggies, or a boat, so we did not take advantage of those opportunities.  What we did was go out to a jetty and take a walk, take a drive and eat ice cream, do laundry, grocery shop, and drove back to the valley one day for business.


We feel like we are ready for a week at camp, where we are going to volunteer, cooking.  There is not wifi or cell reception, so I will be out of touch until next week.  I’m looking forward to staying put for an entire week!


Sunset Park–Keizer, Oregon


Sunset Park is a tiny park in Keizer, Oregon. It is between 1 and 2 acres and sits on the Willamette River.

On Friday, after house hunting, we took our picnic lunch there to eat it.  Parking was on the street and there was a little path to walk down closer to the river. There was 1 table and 2 benches in a pleasant grassy area near the river.

This hawk in the picture above, has a fish.  He ate a bit, then nervously flew off.  We did not see him catch it.  There were 3-4 hawks flying overhead at times, and even a bald eagle that made a hasty appearance.


We enjoyed watching the birds and eating our lunch, some of us choosing the bright sunshine and some the cooler shade.


It was a nice place for a picnic.

GF Peach Upside-Down Cake in the Camper


We were hungry for a treat last week while we were camping at Champoeg.  I had some nice New Haven peaches from my sister’s orchard, and was trying to figure out something good to make that wouldn’t be difficult in the camper.

I melted 4 Tablespoons of butter in the bottom of a pan in the oven.  I added 4 Tablespoons of brown sugar to the melted butter and stirred it around and then arranged 2 peeled, sliced peaches over that melted butter/sugar mixture.  This pan is an old aluminum one I keep in the camper.  It is rectangular, but I’m sure any pan that is around 8″ x 8″ would work.

I then mixed up 1 batch of muffins off the back of the bag of Pamela’s pancake and baking mix.  It uses 1-1/2 cup of the mix, plus some water and an egg.  I did not add any optional fruit, or extra water, because the peaches are both fruit and juicy:)  Pamela’s makes several gluten-free baking mixes, but this one says it’s for pancakes and baking and contains almond flour as well as other flours, so it  was a good combination with the peaches.  If I was not gluten-free, I could have used any packaged muffin mix, such as Jiffy or Betty Crocker, etc.


I spooned the muffin mixture over the peach mixture and smoothed it out, but didn’t worry about the fact that it didn’t completely cover the peaches up.  It puffed up when I baked it.

I baked it for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees in my camper oven.  I’ll bet it could be modified for a Dutch oven over the fire, as well.


It turned out so well!  I cut it into 4 pieces, and then flipped each one over onto a plate because I do not have any platters large enough in the camper to turn the entire pan out on to.  If I really had wanted to, I could have lined my little cookie sheet with foil and turned it out on that.  The family devoured it.  It should have served 8, but it was downed by 4 this time.

Champoeg State Park–Heritage Area


Our latest stop during our Summer of Adventure was Champoeg State Park and Heritage Area.  We stayed there for 4 nights last week.  I grew up only 7 miles from this park, so visited there many times, but never camped there before.  There were several miles of bike trails and we took several rides.  On one of the rides, we rode up to the visitor’s center, near the entrance.  Unfortunately, it had closed 15 minutes earlier, but we could still look at the heritage garden outside.  We were bummed, but there’s always another day!


Clearly, if we had been able to be there during “open” hours, we would have possible been able to see some demonstrations of splitting rails, making shingles, etc.  Instead, we contented ourselves with reading about the historic barn that was to the right of the bales. There were also a couple of museums we did not visit, either.  We just ran out of time.  We did visit the historic Butteville store last week, and again today and enjoyed ice cream.  I was delighted to see that one of the girls I babysat often when I was a young teenager was running the store. It was so nice to catch up with her and see the lovely lady she has become.

We had quite a few appointments, including house hunting, orthodontist, etc., so didn’t get to stay in camp as much as we usually do.  We have looked at many, many houses over the past few weeks.  Many we have seen on the internet are gone before we can even view them.  We have made 2 offers so far and  were outbid on one by quite a bit over the asking price, decided against the other (too much repair work–couldn’t afford to fix all the problems) and now have to keep looking.

Having a campground near our regular lives was handy, and we got to enjoy a camp ground while still doing our regular errands.  We emptied our tanks.  I was able to tidy up some cupboards in the camper and do some cooking between things.  I got the r.v. vacuumed and cleaned up.  It’s amazing how dirty it gets so quickly.  It also cleans up quickly.  We got all of our laundry done at a laundromat.

Now, we are parked back at my sister’s house for the next week.  It is peach season.  I helped sell u-pick peaches all day Saturday, and am going to help can green beans tomorrow and sell peaches for a while both Monday and Tuesday.  Then, we will be off to the coast and to volunteer to cook at a camp after that. The Summer of Adventure continues!

Cooking a Crab


Last week, Rob caught this crab on his fishing pole.  We couldn’t wait to eat it, but of course, had to cook and clean it first.  Here’s what we did:


We kept Mr. Crab alive in a bucket and took him back to our campsite where we heated a large pot to boiling on our outside stove.  Rob added 1/4 cup salt to the water.  Some people add spices.  We just use salt.



You can see that he started turning red immediately.  We brought the pot back to boiling and left him in there for about 20 minutes.  Some sources said to wait until he floated.  Then he was  plunged into ice water, as shown in the top photo.  We used the cooler.



As you can see, the narrow band on the underside of the crab indicates that he is a male crab.  That piece is lifted up, and peeled back.  The insides follow right along and all of that is removed along with the top shell.  The crab is then broken in half and washed out, removing any remaining insides.


And there you go!  1 crab, ready to put inside a Ziplock bag and store in the fridge until we are ready to crack it,  which we did the next day.  We laid newspaper out on the picnic table and used forks to crack it out, putting all shells, etc. onto the newspaper.   The crab meat went into a plastic cup.  When we were done, we rolled up the newspaper and burned the shells and paper in the fire and devoured the crab.  It was so good!

Bike Ride At Champoeg State Park


Today, Rob loaded my bike and Patsy’s bike up in the back of the Rav4 so we could go bike riding at Champoeg Park.  It was a tight fit, but somehow he managed it.  She is an only child this week, as the other girls are counseling at 2 different camps, so I wanted to give her a special day.

We drove down to the Oak Grove Day Use Area and parked.  Then, she and I wrestled those bikes out of the back of the car and she made sure the tires were inflated properly.  It was a gorgeous day for a ride with perfect weather–not too hot and not too cold.

I had been down these trails before, but it has been years since those days.  In some ways, it was all new, in some ways, very familiar.  We rode down the path towards the campground area, and then followed the signs towards the town of Butteville.  There were numerous signs promising that there was a little store there as a destination.  We thought we’d try to get down there and 2-1/2 miles didn’t sound like it was very far!  After all, this was my second bike ride in about 10 years and the one last week went well….

We did very well until the last 1/2 mile before the store.  The trail ends and you finish the ride on a country road.  It is almost all uphill that last 1/2 mile, so we walked our bikes.  That seemed like a long ways to push a bike, but we were able to ride the last little bit to the store itself.

The store was charming.  It is connected to Champoeg Park, so had historical pictures and items on the walls and tables.  We got some ice cream to fortify ourselves after our ride.  After all, we still had to go all the way back.  We played checkers at our table, as the top of the table was covered with a large, wooden checkers board and pieces.  We had a very relaxing time, and enjoyed our ice cream and each other’s company.

The ride back was a piece of cake.  Of course, since we had come so far uphill, we got to go downhill just as far.  We easily retraced our 2-1/2 miles, and even took a detour to check out the campground itself, as we will be camping there next week.  We had a delicious picnic lunch we had packed, and came home.  We were nicely tired and feeling extremely virtuous, even after the ice cream.  We finished off the afternoon with several rounds of Yahtzee.  Hopefully, she enjoyed her special time.  Ja’Ana comes home Friday night, and Lovana on Saturday and our usual chaos will re-erupt.  Of course, that’s fun, too!