We’ve been missing camping since we haven’t been doing SCA stuff this year, so we decided to head out to a regular ol’ campground for a few days to get at least one use out of the tent this year.
We ended up choosing Lazy Bend Campground on the Clackamas River because:
- It was available for reservations – I hate the stress of walk-up camping
- It has flush toilets. Every other camp in Oregon has vault-type toilets, which are amazingly somehow worse than a porta-john.
There was also an entry in a guidebook saying how the camp was far enough away from the road that you wouldn’t be able to hear passing traffic, and that the site rated an 8 or 9 out of 10 for scenic qualities.
They lied about the road.
Really, either that or they managed to get all of their notes out of order when they sat down to write up their review. The highway is only between 25 and 75 feet away from all the sites in the camp, and a few of them are visible directly from the road which gets traffic at all hours, including semi trucks. The saving grace for about half of the sites is that the river is also really loud due to the rocky shallows it passes through and it drowns out the traffic.
There was another bummer in that we were hoping to get some swimming in, but the river is low, fast and rocky at that point (not to mention bone-jarringly cold) so that wasn’t an option. Promontory Park is about a mile down the road though, so you can drive down there if you feel like leaving the site.
The biggest disappointment for me, however, was arriving on-site just past check-in time to discover that not only had someone screwed up the reservation cards attached to each campsite, the Camp Hosts had changed their days off and were not in attendance. Tolerant and I were forced to drive the 10 miles back to Estacada to get a signal and make a few calls. We did eventually get things figured out, but it took until the next morning to finalize the arrangements and could have gone much easier if the Camp Host wasn’t such a crotchety old coot.
Thankfully, Tolerant and I were accompanied by one of our best pairs of friends, and we still managed to get a fair amount of fun packed into an extended weekend. We’re going to plan farther ahead for next year and reserve a site early at one of the really popular sites like Detroit Lake where we know they’ll have all the amenities we’re looking for.