Camping with the Rodlis

Well, I’ve been far too busy taking advantage of the precious sunshine to do much blogging of late. If you don’t live in this beautiful part of the world, you are probably not aware that western Oregon decided to start summer just this past week. Not bad…only about a month and a half late.

That being the case, I haven’t done much work on the final two installments of our ten-part series on identity. I will, I will. But in the meantime, I’m going to do something I rarely do – ramble on about our latest adventure and share a few pictures!

This last weekend was the first annual camp-out for our church’s college group. The weather couldn’t have been better—sunny and in the eighties the whole time! The attendance, however, was somewhat modest. Instead of the 20 – 30 students we expected see over the course of the weekend, the party consisted of our family and a small handful of college students.

We thought perhaps the promotional material would have been more accurate if it had read “camping with the Rodlis” instead of “Trinity Fellowship college group camp-out.”  I suppose we could just play it off as intentional and call it an “intimate group.” In any case, it was a lovely getaway—sort of a family vacation that we got to share with some neat college students.

We were on a family farm west of Portland. We camped in tents on the grassy area in the first picture below. We did most of our cooking around a campfire, but it was nice to have the fully equipped kitchen in the “barn” for storing and prepping the food. The building had a rec room, a loft, a cozy sitting/dining area, kitchen, and primitive shower. It was charmingly rustic, but it took most of the “rough” out of “roughing it.”

The one thing the house was lacking was a toilet. There is always an outhouse on the property, but we were fortunate to also have the use of four port-a-potties that were still onsite from a large group that had been there a couple of week previous. I became altogether too familiar with the characteristics of each of those four units before our stay on the farm ended. Number one had a hazardously high water level. (Back-splash in a honey-bucket is NOT ok!) Number two smelled worse than the others. Number three had suspicious stains in it. Number four was the safest, but we did meet a spider and a salamander in that one.

The most popular activities for the boys were catching salamanders (the ponds were stocked with a disturbingly large population), and rolling around in the human ball (pictured below). We also enjoyed lots of visiting around the campfire and pleasant walks in the woods. Huckleberries, salmonberries, and wild raspberries were all in season. We helped ourselves. There was also plenty of wood-sorrel. I love the lemony-tart aftertaste of that stuff!

The clay floor of the pond was a bit too slimy and squishy for me to brave wading much. I just ended up being plagued with horrifying imaginations of what I may be stepping on…or what may be poised to nibble on my tender little toes. It was very pleasant, though, to sit on the raft and put my feet in the cold water, or to meander around in the little paddle boat.

Probably the most extreme activity I participated in over the weekend was forest skateboarding. My husband discovered that we could sit on my son’s oversized skateboard and go flying down a particular steep path through the trees. It was pretty intense! Fortunately, there are no pictures.

But please enjoy the pictures I do have…

"The Barn"
Paddle boat on the pond with Dad.
My eight-year-old hunting Salamanders in the pond.
Walk in the woods with Dad.

Ripe Huckleberries.
Eating wood sorrel (a personal favorite of mine).
Me and the little guy just hanging out.
Chillin' by the campfire-side.
The human ball.
The loft.
Checking out the view from the loft.
Mystery machine in loft.
Playing with dust particles in the sunbeams.
Nothing like spending a few days in the out-of-doors to make you feel healthy and strong!