We LOVE Lower Falls campground!! It is a must visit site for us each year since we discovered it a few years back.

In our typical fashion we hit the road on Sunday afternoon with plans to return Friday evening. There was a dinner stop at the Woodland Washington Burgerville before heading east toward Cougar.

Once you are within a handful of miles of the campground the road degrades to dirt and scattered gravel. I’m surprised that the state isn’t doing a better job (read ANY job) of repair. That said we regularly see big rigs in camp, from ~30 foot class A motorhomes to large fifth wheels.

This trip we planned to utilize one of our Kelty Noah 16 tarps and hang from the newly installed aluminum side rail shown here:

AWDvanAluminumRail

We were able to get the tarp up within a few minutes with a combination of gear-ties and line. We used 3 adjustable aluminum poles to assist on the non-van side of tarp. The setup worked as planned with only a small amount of water hitting the stock gutter rail. Next trip we will be testing the Noah 20 tarp and will be sure to set the tarp snug against the fiberglass top. An update will follow.

We also set up two of our hammocks:

HammockssetupTATO

We are still experimenting with setting up our two Warbonnet Superfly tarps in such as way as to promote lounge/chill/chat time rather than putting them up in the traditional hunker down mode shown below:

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This trip was also an opportunity to test out our Optimus Polaris Optifuel stove. I had two ~10 minute burns of stove, the first as stock, the second with the “whisper” attachment which significantly quieted the stove to a manageable noise level. In the stock mode I would have a hard time using it as a daily stove around a public setting, on YT you hear peeps calling it a small jet engine : ) that’s actually pretty close!

The first three days were dry and mid 70’s but by the fourth day’s afternoon there were sprinkles falling. Fortunately that morning we decided to pack up the hammock gear and would sleep in the van the next two nights. And by dinner it was raining fairly steady and we were sitting comfortably under the Noah 16 off the van.

We took a few short hikes down to the river and falls and enjoyed the views.

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For those looking for an enjoyable picturesque spot to visit, put Lower Falls campground on your list. Keep in mind this is a primitive park and you must bring your own water and all supplies as the closest store is a half hour away. There are pit toilets available and there is a hand pump for supposedly potable water but we’ve not partaken.

Next month’s adventure we’ll be checking out a few campgrounds on the Oregon Coast near Newport and Florence.

Until then,

Thom

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