Summer is almost here, and that means it's time to go Bike Camping. For those wrapping up the school term, the end is in sight with finals approaching next week. Itchy feet are running rampant and eyes are setting sights on the open road. My schedule is always crazy, and have practiced with artful precision the 24 hour road trip.  This one was much the same, only this time I did it on a bicycle.

As you can guess, bike camping is just a foot-powered alternative to car camping.  It's super easy to grab a tent, something tasty for dinner and three good friends and hit the open road.

Team North St. Bags recently hit the bricks with a few pals and rode out to Champoeg State Park, just west of Wilsonville.  The ride from SE Portland took us up Terwilliger Blvd  and out to Lake Oswego throu Tryon State Park.  After lunch we Pete's Mountain, the meanest climb I've ever encountered!   Keep in mind,  I'm from Central Illinois and consider the Williamsburg Bridge to be a mountain. We rode through Canby and took the ferrry across to Wilsonville.

We stopped for provisions outside of the park and arrived before dark to set up camp. The bike camping area was closed due to wet weather, but there was a nice spot near the trail for us. We unpacked, made dinner, told stories and sang loudly to the radio until exhaustion kicked in. No bugs, no creeps, no going hungry. What is this kind of camping? I can get used to the west coast style, and I'm looking forward to learning more about it!

The ride back was quieter, and we chose an alternate route to that horrible mountain.  We found our way back to the city down the massive hill from Taylor's Ferry down to the Sellwood Bridge.  I was back home in time to do laundry and plan out another trip. I can't wait to get outta town again.

Liz Clarkson