Saturday, April 30, 2011

Northwest Campers, Hoodstock Jamboree, Part 6—Circling Mt. Hood and a last goodbye in Sandy

Morning crept up quietly on us the next day and I surprised myself by actually being the first person up. A quick, hot breakfast was consumed and I began the work of loading back up any gear I’d gotten out the night before.

By the time I had the camper pretty much ready to go, the others had awoken and it was decide that while they took care of their morning needs and readied for departure, I would make a quick drive in to Parkdale and refuel, my tank being low enough that I didn’t want to risk trying to go over over Highway 35 without a mostly full tank.

$77 dollars in fuel later, I reunited with the group at the park and we set off to try and recreate a photo from an old Winnebago brochure that was shot on Mt. Hood many many years ago.

The drive up started with the wonderful and dry weather we’d been enjoying in Odell as we climbed up Highway 35, stopping part way for a traffic light on a section that was down to one lane for repairs.

It quickly turned into light blowing snow and sleet as we climbed higher and higher as we skirted around the base of Mt. Hood.

Near Government Camp, we pulled off at a Sno-Park to shoot the wanted Winnebago photo, but clouds obscured Mt. Hood from this side and the wind blew mercilessly.

Moby was not enthused with his very brief walk outside. We didn’t stay long on the mountain before it was decided to descend down to a lower elevation beneath the snow level to stop for lunch.

We stopped at a small convenience store, somewhere near Marmot or Rhododendron and had lunch, I joined Les and Sophie for some rather delicious salad and cheese before we all hit the road and went our separate ways in Sandy, Oregon.

Moby and I journeyed north again for a short while from the Highway 26 to Wood Village where we got back in Interstate 84 and drove towards home. The weather was with us and were able to unload the camper back into its site and get settled back in before the rainy weather returned once more.

Northwest Campers, Hoodstock Jamboree, Part 5—Breakfast, Antique Stores & Toll bridge County Park

The evening was happily dry and the ground continued to firm up, albeit slowly. Moby and I slept well and in the morning, we were greeted with a nearly cloudless view of Mt. Adams (Which I kept thinking was Mt. Hood up till I finally got my directions sorted out).

Those of us that had been told of it, gathered together for a shared breakfast of Sausage, Gravy and Biscuits. Those that drank coffee did and plotting and planning discussions for the Fall rally in September were discussed.

Eventually, the time came for us to leave. I never did encounter the fella I was supposed to pay for the campsite stay, so “Thank You!” to the Hood River Fairgrounds for the visit, I’ll hopefully be back again next year, and with luck, this time I will actually meet the money fella and pay him for my stay Embarrassed smile.

Most of the group went there separate ways, but three of us decided to hang together and visit some antique stores closer in to Hood River. There was a fair bit of discussion on where to go before we ended up settling on visiting the Tollbridge County Park up near Parkdale, Oregon.

View Larger Map
When we arrived, we pretty much had our pick of sites in the park at this time of year. Most of the main full hookup sites were empty, aside from the camp host which was pretty much a resident trailer, denoted by the skirting around the base of the small 5th wheel to help keep the bitter Mt. Hood cold from freezing them out any faster.
The fun began when we went to register. There were exactly two envelopes left, and three of us. So, we improvised. The two motorhome folks used one envelope since they were paying with cash, and I used the other as I was writing a check.
Problem solved.

The park has full bathroom facilities (Without coin boxes, I might add) but the bathroom facilities were in pretty bad shape, the men’s side was near to completely trashed and the women’s side wasn’t far better.

After much fiddling, I managed to get a lukewarm shower out of it and decided that that was my last shower using the park’s facilities.

We managed to throw together a nice campfire that night, though the wind kept stealing most of the heat as it blew through that night, but at least there was a nice group campfire spot between the end sites and it was quiet at night.

Northwest Campers, Hoodstock Jamboree, Part 4—Potluck Time, Hawaiian style?!

By the time Moby and I returned to camp, the stragglers of our group had finally arrived at the fairgrounds.

They all wisely parked somewhere other than on the grass, well except for the lucky folks that were tent camping with us for the night.

Getting pretty crowded down in my little corner of the mud Smile with tongue out.

Bill Faris and his Faris Hilton had finally arrived. I still want his front hubcaps Winking smile.

The “Craft Room” of the rally Smile with tongue out.

A classic Caveman Camper had also joined us, though we don’t know who they were, they were never there when we were out and about.

Soups on! Look at all that food! Makes me drool just thinking back to it.

In case anyone is wondering, this is the Goats and Hogs Barn that’s normally used during the summer county fair for animal shows. We’re setup in the central aisle, huddling close together to try and stay warm.

In years past, Hoodstock was themed…. well, the name kind of gives it away, 60’s Woodstock/Hippie theme (Love and Peace, Bro!). This year, it was decided to mix it up a bit and a Luau Theme was adopted for this year, complete with authentic Hawaiian music.

Naturally, the year a warm weather theme is adopted, it rains, snows and generally is cold and wet Smile with tongue out.

Most of the dishes brought were Hawaiian themed, though, given my strong redneck streak, brought food based more on the current time of year and weather, namely pressure-cooker beef and vegetable stew. Hot, hardy food, not really Hawaiian at all….. I ate a lot of it myself, along with the meat balls and pulled pork.

Our club master, Les in his Winnebago apron Smile. As the eating died down, the group picture taking (and desert) took off Smile.

The Northwest Campers, minus me, I’m hiding behind my camera for this shot.

You can see me in this one, though, just look for the big fella that standing taller than everyone else Smile with tongue out.


After dinner, we all chatted for a while, then some of us gathered for evening gossip over at the “Craft Room” I mentioned earlier. I’m really horrible with folks names, so forgive me if I don’t say whose rigs is who a lot, I just can’t remember all that well.

Eventually, we all said our goodnights and returned to our separate campers. I took Moby with me for his evening walk while I went to the shower building once more, then fixed him a good dinner of beef stew, which he liked better than the wet food that I had bought him.

Then it was off to bed to sleep hard and wake up for biscuits and gravy with my fellow campers in the morning.

Northwest Campers, Hoodstock Jamboree, Part 3

Well, after a rather lengthy delay, its time to resume posting this trip report Smile.

Saturday was the first day of the Blossom Festival, and after visiting with my fellow campers for a little while, Moby and I set off to take the long way over to the Blossom Festival. The ground at the time was still quite soggy, so rather than slog through, we went around to the road that we’d driven in on.

Sadly, no sidewalks were available, so I had to keep Moby on a very short leash as cars went zipping past every few minutes.

We eventually made our way to the entrance road to the parking area that our group normally would have been in.

Though, I don’t exactly know how, the fields were even worse here than they were where we parked.

One of the shuttle buses had made it to the end of where the cars were parked and promptly sank in.

While I continued to make my way into the festival, a tractor with a couple of tow ropes was making its way out to rescue the floundering bus.

Further along and right next to the access road I might add, was a wonderfully restored classic Ford Pickup truck.

And the folks that owned the Fireball Express! Whom I later confirmed were food vendors at the festival.

Word to the wise, stay away from the Keystone Valley corndog booth, if a dog who likes just about anything human-food wise spits it out, it ain’t good.

Browsing through the various vendors, wishing I had more spending money…

Amongst the many booths, I came across the Yolande Nolten and her Moyo Crafts and More booth. They have a wide selection of different embroidered RV related products, including doggy scarfs for our furry traveling companions, like Moby Smile.

The full story of Moyo Crafts and they’re humble beginnings can be read about here.

I bought two for Moby Smile.


Eventually I ran into the rest of my fellow campers chowing down at the little food booth area in the same build as Moyo Crafts and joined up with them. We made small talk, whilst some of the wives snuck off to buy out the baking group directly to our right.

Moby was quite ready for a rest, he’d been a very good puppy and had received a lot of attention from folks at the Festival, but he was ready to relax. I think he deserved his nap.

But, it wasn’t too long before we broke up and continued on our separate ways. Moby and I returned outside once more to check out a few of the outside vendors that we hadn’t seen yet and visit the Quilt Show going on.

After that, I cleaned out the last of the nasty corndog breading that I had foolishly stuck in a pocket of my jacket and we made our way back to camp, dinner was coming.