Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Camping at Olive Lake

We had a wonderful Labor Day Weekend camping at Olive Lake, a little known lake in the heart of the Blue Mountains near Sumpter, OR. It is one of our favorite places to camp. The last time we were there, Josiah was 3 years old, this time Hailey was three. What a fun age! It was very cold in the mornings and at night, but we had a great time despite that. Some friends of our joined us, which made it even more fun.The first thing we did was go cut some firewood. Hailey enjoyed getting it to the truck, while Josiah complained the whole time. I told him that if I had a $1 for every piece of firewood I stacked as a kid, I'd be a very rich woman. He found that intriguing.When we got back to camp the first day, Michael took us on a "mile long" hike that we now affectionately call a "Michael Mile". Meaning it was at least three miles around the lake. He had to pack Hailey at least 2/3 of the way around and Josiah complained that his feet hurt because his shoes were too tight. Despite that, it was beautiful and a perfect day for a hike.This is the kids and Michael rowing out to check the crawdad traps. The fishing stunk for the first three days we were there, but we caught a lot of crawdads.Josiah was a crawdad huntin' fool!Hailey is warming her toes by the fire where we also cooked our meal every night in a Dutch oven. Eventually, I really want to do some Dutch oven cooking posts with some of the recipes we used that weekend. We did homemade corned beef and cabbage, beef stroganoff and easy smoked sausage and cabbage that weekend. All very good, easy Dutch oven meals. To us, Dutch oven cooking is half the fun of camping!Here are our friends, fishing for crawdads. They caught a slug of them! Here are all of us going on another "Michael Mile" hike to see the wooden water pipe leading to the Fremont Power Station. It was actually about 6 miles all together. I'm not much of a hiker, so luckily Josiah and I headed back early because he forgot to wear socks in his cowboy boots. He walked barefooted the whole way back.After freezing our bums off that night, we all decided to go down in elevation to the Sumpter Flea Market to warm up. While we were there, we stopped off at the Sumpter Valley Dredge and learned how to mine gold by hand. Josiah was in heaven! He got 4 pieces of gold that he showed to everyone he walked past that day. Our friend (she's from the Philipines) gave it a whirl as well. It was great fun!Here is our friend, standing in front of the gold dredge. Fascinating history of this valley. I'm thinking a homeschool field trip to Sumpter might be really fun!We went home that night and made Dutch oven sausage and cabbage while our friends made crawdad curry. It was delicious!  They just couldn't believe how many crawdads it took to produce one cup of meat, LOL. These lake crawdads are little.The last day we were there, we finally started catching fish and then we didn't want to leave. I had literally been praying, "God please help us catch some fish". He totally blessed us! We got a fish just a few minutes after that prayer, and then he blessed us with two others right after that. We cooked them over the fire for lunch. Hailey and Josiah both caught a fish but weren't able to get it all the way into the boat. Darn! Oh well, next time.

Was glad to get home and get warm and CLEAN that night, but we sure did have fun. Can't wait to do it again!

God Bless,


Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

Looks like so much fun, Jack! I loved the picture of Hailey carrying the firewood! Josiah, looks like a hill billy with his tooth missing. Too cute!

Valerie said...

Sounds like a GREAT weekend! We haven't been camping in a couple of years. Next time we go out, we may have to look that place up. Sounds like a great place. :) Beautiful!

Andi (RrlScrapGal) said...

Wonderful camping trip!
We camped at Olive Lake about 2 years ago.. August 30th.. opening day of Bow Season.. It was insane!!! Lots of crazy hunters, and yahoos shooting guns (late night party creeps).

And, it was cold for us, too! The four of us huddled together in one tent... and we had a boatload of deer come through out sight.

Lovely place... I like your dutch oven cooking idea!

Amy said...

Made me want to go camping again. We were waiting until Bri was older. Now that she will be six, I think it is time.

The picture of the boat on the lake is gorgeous.

Still hot here. Waiting for fall.

Started Bri in Awana. We are going to a new church. I have joined a ladies group.

Have a lovely day.

Catherine said...

Oh, it looks like SO much fun! Have you been to the Chinese Walls in that area? I have written a small book (called 'a paper') about the area's gold mining done by the Chinese. I'll send you the book if you like. And you are right, it IS a good field trip!

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

No I haven't seen that book. Would love to read it. I know about a few places where the Chinese mined, but would love to know more. Please send! Thanks, Jackie

Sarah said...

Wow Jackie that looks like so much fun!...Even though you posted a picture of what it looks like, I still have NO idea of what a 'crawdad' is! Is it a type of prawn/shrimp? ;)

Loved the photograph of Hailey hauling logs...so sweet!

I am hoping upon hope that you would post the recipe for the Dutch sausage and cabbage! It looks so delicious...Mmmm!

The Sumpter Valley Dredge looks like so much fun...I know my guys would love to mine gold by hand!

Glad you all had a fabulous time!

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

A crawdad looks and tastes like a tiny little lobster. It is a fresh water shellfish.

The gold mining was so fun! Wouldn't want to do it all day every day though. What a hard way to earn a living!

RaD said...

Oh that sounds like so much fun! I still gotta finish my vacation posts so I can include the Sumpter Train Ride in there.

Is Josiah crying in the background of the picture of you with the fish or was it just that cold>

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

Nope he wasn't crying. He was actually really excited. He was our official fish netter. Just a goofy picture of him I guess. Looking forward to seeing your Sumpter pics!

Deborah Ann said...

What a beautiful place! I love to go camping, but it would be much more fun to go to places like this, and see new views of nature.

We just bought a dutch oven, so please do share those recipe's!

Regina @VestPocketFamilyFarm said...

So where do I grip the crawdad? Kai found one in the creek behind the place. We thought we'd eat it if I could figure out where to grab it.

We camped when I was child in the Blues, Sumpter Valley. I learned to pan for gold although all I ever got was garnets.

Goose Hill Farm said...

Hi, Jackie~

Oh, you all had so much fun! I love camping and I look forward to when we will be able to go again!

Great pics....beautiful family!


Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

You grip it right behind the pinchers, just like Josiah is in the picture.

We also got a couple of garnets, too.

Grandma Becky said...

Sounds like you had some fun and the photos were great. I want to get over to eastern Oregon sometime. Thanks for sharing! The dutch oven food sounds yummy! Hugs!

OurLilFullFam said...

What a fun time! Camping means hiking "just a bit more" just to find out exactly how long it really is!!


Camille said...

What a fun time Jackie! I'm sure the kids will enjoy remembering these days. They are precious! :)

LOL...the "Michael mile" is great!



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