The Trash Blog

The Trash Blog Gets Real

Up until now we’ve been staying with Phil’s family, living the cush trash blog life. We’ve had our meals cooked for us, our sheets turned down for us, and have been sent on our way each day with more food than we had when we arrived.

IMG_6352Entering Oregon, everything changed. I’ve done a lot of things with Phil before, but camping has not been one of them. This experience tested the metal of our relationship.

We write like Noah, seeking refuge in a delicate bark that promises but slim protection from the beasts outside. Raindrops the size of baseballs beat down on all sides with no sign of stopping, but we digress.

Saturday night we arrived at Oxbow Regional Campground just outside Portland with high hopes that were immediately dashed by the No Alcohol sign. Tent set-up went smoothly and Phil only got poked in the eye twice.


When you want dinner done right, ask the professionals.

Our dinner was to be a significant gastronomic event: beef perfectly roasted with charcoal grill lines, slathered with special sauces; french bread handmade by artisians who were recently imported from France; fresh seasonal vegetables so colorful it hurt your eyes to look at them; and to top it off a supreme delicacy of a dessert, perfected over the decades and fit for royalty.

Dinner went down well. But we had no idea what was coming for us.

Oxbow lures us into her clutches with a beautiful first evening...

Oxbow lures us into her clutches with a beautiful first evening…

Nothing bad happened that night, except my hips got bruised by the hard ground. Two mats simply aren’t going to protect these babies! We woke up later than we expected, but we were only half an hour late to Mass.

We had a full day in Portland before returning to our campsite eager for another culinary adventure, and a rejuvinating evening spent in Mother Nature’s company. We enjoyed some friendly raindrops on our windshield as we meandered over country roads towards Oxbow.

Ever striving for gender-equity, we decided that I would be in charge of making the fire and Phil would cook dinner on our trusty Coleman. Seeing as I couldn’t strike the match, Phil had to lend occasional assistance. Phil will say that I haven’t very good fire-starting skills, but I think the heavy downpour had something to do with the high smoke to flame ratio.

They say 'where there is smoke, there is fire.' Whoever came up with that whopper never started a campfire in the rain!

They say ‘where there is smoke, there is fire.’ Whoever came up with that whopper never started a campfire in the rain!

When I looked up from my smokepile, I noticed that Phil also seemed to be struggling: our fresh ahi tuna on pan-crusted focaccia had turned into something that came from a can on soggy bread. Since when did tuna melts look like soup?

I post this photo with great hesitancy as I fear it will cause all 3 of our readers to leave in disgust. Still, the truth must be told!

I post this photo with great hesitancy as I fear it will cause all 3 of our readers to leave in disgust. Still, the truth must be told!

By this point the rain was getting the better of us. We agreed to trade places. I fled to the car to finish Phil’s disaster dinner and Phil stood in front of my smokepile and decided it wasn’t happening.


Struck down, but not defeated.

The rain got even harder. Both of us were in the car by now, although it was debatable whether there was more water inside or outside the vehicle. We guzzled down our yogurt-laced tuna salad and soggy bread and prayed our windshield would not crack.

Finally the torrents eased up a little, enough for us to make a dash for the tent. Unfortunately the car alarm went off when we opened the door. We gave Mother Nature and Oxbow Regional Campground a piece of our mind while we dug for the keys.

So ends our first bought with camping. We’ve thought about turning back and going to live with our parents… but our mission propels us on (plus, after showing that picture of the tuna sandwich, it is questionable whether they’d even let us in the house anymore). Onward to the Oregon Coast!

This entry was written by Margaret and published on May 15, 2013 at 10:31 pm. It’s filed under Camping, Trashblogging and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

9 thoughts on “The Trash Blog Gets Real

  1. Diana on said:

    I wish I could had (somehow) be able to appeared there and provide a dry place and delicious dinner for both of you! BUT dear little siblings, time to grow up and see what the real world is about 😉 I am proud you guys survived the storm!! The alarm going off remained me of us burning our apparent one weekend we were making dinner for Margarita Y Filipito! Keep going guys!!! YOU ARE THE BEST!!!

  2. I’m still laughing

  3. Still laughing. Just a moment, let me catch my breath. It’s gonna have to wait.

  4. I have friends with an empty (as in they are not there right now) apartment in Portland if things get worse. I think you are brave!!

  5. I have friends with an apt. you might be able to borrow in Portland. If things get worse. I think you are brave!

  6. Uncle Chris on said:

    We Phoenicians love you both and pray for your safety, health, welfare, and enjoyable trash tour. We are not expecting rain here for your arrival. Your tent and Coleman stove will NOT be needed. However, keep that sense of humor!

  7. Remember the backpack trip in Colorado, it was raining and we decided to skip dinner entirely and just stay cozy in our tents! Only 3 readers? LOL

  8. Christina on said:

    If you dig yourself a shallow hole for your hips before you set up the tent it really helps. From one big-hipped gal to another 🙂

  9. Pingback: Still Sticking Our Nose in Garbage | The Trash Blog

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