Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Overnight Camping at Ohanapecosh

Area Around the Camp Site

See all this trip's photos on Flickr.

I had written this post right after the camping trip, but I only just now (20 days later) realized that I had never clicked the "Publish Post" button. Oops!

Last Saturday around noon, Forrest proposed that we go camping. We stopped by Fred Meyer to pick up a Coleman lantern and some food, hit some traffic on the way to the library (for reading material that we ended up not actually reading), and drove the two hours out to Ohanapecosh campground in Mount Rainier National Park. It was raining on the drive up through Enumclaw, but then it cleared up and turned sunny. The weather's like that in Seattle — never assume that bad weather now means bad weather in 5 minutes.

We were a little concerned about the campground being full, since we were heading out somewhat late Saturday rather than on Friday afternoon. But as we started up the road to Cayuse Pass, we passed several private campground that looked populated but not crowded. We figured that, worse case scenario, we could stay at one of these if Ohanapecosh were full.

Snow on the Mountains

Just past some rental cabins, Forrest said he thought he'd seen a patch of snow. "No way!" I dismissed what must have been his eyes going crazy. But then around another turn, suddenly there was snow all over the place. That'll teach me. Soon everywhere was snow-covered, and the mountains across the river looked like they'd come straight out of winter.

Down below the pass again, the snow let up but didn't disappear. When we rolled into the Ohanapecosh campground late in the afternoon, we saw plenty of scattered snow patches hanging around. We had been hoping for one of the walk-in sites, but several sections of the campground were closed and we weren't able to find them. Instead, we settled on the most "isolated" (not really) drive-up site. At least the campground was only about 50% capacity.

Forrest Tending the Fire

We bought a bundle of firewood from an enterprising man selling them out of the back of his truck, then set up camp with the last of the daylight. A few weeks ago, we had purchased a fancy-dancy six-pound backpacking tent from REI, the Marmot Aeros 3P. The "purpose" of this camping overnighter, apart from camping for camping's sake, was to give the tent a trial run before the annual Davie backpack trip this summer. I'm happy to report that the tent went up very easily, was just as roomy as it appeared to be in the store, and was otherwise a very respectable tent.

Near White-Out Foggy Clouds

The trip itself was fairly uneventful, being just one night out car-camping. But it was fun nonetheless. (This is also the result of not having finished this blog post immediately after the trip, so further details of interest escape me...) On the drive back the next afternoon, we drove through some especially thick low-lying clouds.