Adventures, History, People, Things I've Learned

Hike – Champoeg State Park

TLDR: This is a long post about our hike and some history at Champoeg State Park. Please do follow the links to read even more about the park and town!

On Friday we chose to go to Champoeg State Park at Kangaroo’s suggestion. It has many trails and a lot of neat history to learn about. It’s only about 20-30 minutes away from our town taking the back roads. We hiked around 9 miles.

Champoeg State Park is the site of the Champoeg State Heritage Area. The little town of Champoeg was quite hopping in its day in the 1840s-1850s, until 1861 when the Willamette River rose 55 feet above normal summer stage and flooded the town with over 7 feet of water. All the buildings were destroyed except for (of course) two saloons. All that’s there now are flat parts of a field with street signs erected by the park to show the town’s layout, and a monument put up in 1900 to the 52 men who voted to form a provisional government in 1843, a vote that eventually led to Oregon’s becoming a state. Unfortunately there are few photos left of the town. Oh, we enjoyed learning all the history! I hadn’t been to Champoeg since I was a girl and don’t think the visitor’s center was there back then, as I have always been fascinated by pioneer history and would have remembered seeing all the things.

The visitor center wasn’t open yet when we arrived, so we started in back of the center at the Manson barn and kitchen garden. (If you want to biggify the photos to see them more closely, right-click on the photo and click “Open image in new tab.”)

Barn.

Manson Farmstead.

Inside the front of the barn.

One of the apple trees in the small orchard.

Kangaroo gets the shot.

I love to see old kitchen gardens and this one even had kohlrabi! It’s like a turnip. I think Dad grew some in his garden when we were kids. There were a few kohlrabi and turnips left in the garden, as examples, I guess. We are definitely going to have to come back in summer when everything is growing and blooming! Kangaroo said they do reenactments and I’d love to see that too.

Manson Farmstead Kitchen Garden.

After we explored the Manson Farmstead, we headed down the trail to the rest of the park. There is a nice campground there and Kangaroo and her Hubs had stayed there a few weeks before. Quite a few RVs were at the campground, and some cabins were occupied. They also have yurts. The camp hosts have these little rock areas around their signs and there were some nice painted rocks.

There was also this neat playground at the campground! The sign said it is for ages 5-12, but we played a bit anyway…

Kangaroo in the branch fort.

Me on the climb-y thing. My boots were too big to really get a grip on the little toeholds.

We noticed different things that told us spring is near…

Daffodils or narcissus, I think.

Buds!

After we visited the playground and the campground restroom, we continued on to the historic Butteville store, now owned by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. It’s about 2 miles (?) from the campground. The paths are paved and easy to walk on, but you do have to go downhill to (and then back up from!) the Butteville store. This involved a couple of road walks, but there was plenty of room to be out of the way of the cars. We made it to the Butteville store, and in spite of a sign we had seen that talked about summer hours, it was closed. There was no notice on the outside that said when the summer hours start, so I looked it up when we got home and still couldn’t find anything about summer hours. Next time we go I will make sure that it is open, because it has ICE CREAM, and I know in the summer that will be just what we’d like in the middle of our hike! The store does offer a lunch menu as well.

Butteville Store

Yum-O!!

Interior of Butteville Store through the window.

Library inside Butteville Store.

Near the campground there is a side trail to the gravesite of Kitty Newell, the Nez Perce wife of Robert Newell. Many of the men, especially the mountain men and trappers in the area, married Native American women (or girls!) because they were well-suited to the nomadic life the men lived. Robert and Kitty married when Kitty was probably 13 or 14, and Kitty had five sons before she passed away in her mid-20s. The Daughters of the American Revolution laid this gravestone here where Kitty’s ashes were scattered, and they keep up the Newell Pioneer Village near the park.

We found the dock and Kangaroo went down to get a photo of the river.

Kangaroo on the dock.

Dock and Willamette River — Photo by Kangaroo

The flood of 1861 destroyed the town of Champoeg, but miraculously nobody died.

The Highway Department survey marker in the middle of where the old town was.

The Parks Department has put up street signs to show where the town of Champoeg used to be, here is one of those signs.

Madison Street, Champoeg

Looks like rain coming.

When we got back to the visitor center the host lady invited us to watch a quick video about the Champoeg area and the meeting that led to them voting to start a provisional government. This is an original painting of that meeting, titled “The Birth of Oregon”. The painting is around 5 feet by 8 feet, I estimate. I wanted to photograph the informational signs about the painting, but the other people who watched the video with us were standing in front of the signs and I decided not to wait.

Portraits and photos of the men in the painting.

Me grinding flour like the Native Americans did. Do you like my new hat? It isn’t very becoming but it keeps my ears warm!

Artifacts from Champoeg. I’m wondering if they still have any archaeological digs here. I’d love to get in on that!

More artifacts.

Map of Champoeg

The monument in honor of the 52 men who voted to start a provisional government. It was put up in 1900. We didn’t see it this time, next time we visit we will go that way first.

Oregon beaver.

Beaver pelt.

Can you guess the animals and how many beaver pelts they were worth? The dark brown one in the middle is a grizzly bear hide. Can you believe a whole grizzly bear hide was only worth one beaver pelt?!

Beaver pelts were used as currency. The trappers pretty much decimated the beaver population in the area, but the beavers have come back now.

Herbs

We had a very fun time hiking and learning the history of Champoeg. I can see that it would be a neat place to go camping in the summertime when they have a lot of activities going on. The paths are great for bike riding as well. We can’t wait to go back and explore more!

Just keep walking!

Ninja

Animals, Health, Things I've Learned

Allergy

I went to the pulmonary doctor this week because my primary care doctor is concerned that my asthma isn’t well controlled. She prescribed the Trelegy inhaler, which has another medicine in it compared to my other inhaler. The Trelegy inhaler is just one puff once a day, which is better than the 2 puffs twice a day the other one required.

They asked what respiratory allergies I have, and I’ve always known cat dander is one of them, along with grass, trees, mold, etc. The doctor ordered a blood allergy test and the results are a bit surprising. The normal range for cat dander is <=0.34 kU/L. Guess where my results landed? 19.40. That means I’m a bazillion times over the normal range for allergy to cat dander. Next was birch tree, at 15.00 (normal range <=0.34). Alder tree, grass, and oak tree also play a big part in causing my allergy problems. I grew up in an oak savannah surrounded by fields of grass, and we had 20 cats (outdoor) at one point and I enjoyed spending time with them. I mean, I’ve known I was allergic to cats and grass since I was a little girl (funny nobody ever said anything about the trees) but no wonder I’ve always been a mess of allergies! The asthma came along when I was 7 years old, about a year after we moved out to the country full of all the allergens. When I was young there were no asthma inhalers, and no helpful allergy meds that didn’t cause me to sleep all day. If I had an asthma attack I just had to suffer through it, until I was 11 or 12 years old and they invented albuterol rescue inhalers. Then they invented Seldane allergy pills in the late ’80s or so, and those were awesome. They took it off the market for some reason, which is too bad.

We had an aspen tree out in the front yard here for many years until half of it fell down. It was sort of two trees growing out of the same spot and the other one was leaning toward the neighbor’s, so The Hubs cut it down a couple of years ago. Aspen and birch are in the same family so it’s good that that tree is gone now. We also live in what used to be a walnut orchard with some really big walnut trees, but I am only at 0.10 kU/L (normal range <=0.34) for walnut, thank goodness, and the same for maple tree. Our neighbor has a huge maple tree that is on our side of his yard and it drops pollen like crazy all over our cars during the pollen season.

Other surprises included that I didn’t show as much of an allergy to dust mites as I thought I would, and that most of the mold allergens didn’t show much of a reaction. Whatever A. Alternata mold is showed up the highest at 6.87 kU/L (standard range <=0.34). Our valley is a fairly humid environment so fungi/mold is to be expected, but thankfully God has blessed us with a dry house. I’m concerned there may be mold in my office ceiling because of the roof leak above, but I haven’t seen any mold so far.

I had my tonsils and adenoids out when I was 5 years old because of chronic ear infections. I don’t know if those were caused by allergies or not. I remember being in the hospital eating grape Popsicles, and a lady from church brought me a Fisher Price Little People circus set. They wanted me to let a little girl with a broken arm play with some of the pieces and I remember not wanting to share, ha!

A really annoying thing about having allergies (other than, you know, not being able to breathe and stuff) is that my eyes are constantly itchy so I want to rub them. This causes bags under my eyes. My nose and the face around it is also always itchy. I have in the past gotten hives (urticaria) which caused my lip to swell up in a very strange manner. It happened at work when I was in my early 20s, and I actually walked a mile in the snow to go to the allergy doctor (I walked to work so didn’t have my car with me, and wanted to make sure the doctor saw my swollen lip before it went away). The result of that appointment was that my hives had “no known cause”. Hmph.

So unfortunately my allergies will have to stay around for awhile, specifically the cat dander allergy. Philip isn’t going anywhere that we know of, and we love him so. He is especially a daddy’s boy and would be sad if he had to go to a new home, and I wouldn’t want to put him through that. <Ahchoo! Snif> excuse me — I might just have to find a way to keep him out of our bedroom though. And I should set the Roomba to vacuum more. I do take an allergy pill (Xyzal) and that keeps some of the allergies at bay.

Philip and his Daddy

Also, Happy Groundhog Day! I’m up too early to know if Punxsutawney Phil will see his shadow, but I hope spring is just around the corner!

Punxsutawney Phil – famous rodent meteorologist
Bible, Christian Life, God, hiking, Life, Things I've Learned

Running

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Hebrews 12:1-2

12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 3:12-14

These passages have been hard for me to get through my head, and I’ll tell you why. I ran track when I was a sophomore in high school. The Sis and The Sis-In-Law and the rest of our friends were on the track team, and I thought it would be fun to join them. Because I wasn’t fast enough to run sprints and couldn’t run for long enough to do the longer races, I ran the 400 meter race. (I am told now it’s one of the hardest races to run. Thanks for letting me know then, track coach (not).) Turns out I am just a very slow runner, and I lost every single race. I mean, I came in dead last. Every. Single. Race. I went to every practice and every meet, but since I wasn’t one of the winning team members the coaches pretty much ignored me and didn’t give me any pointers. When it was time to give out awards, I really hoped that I could get a letter just because I tried as hard as I could and ran every race regardless of my lack of talent and subsequent embarrassment, but you only got a letter if you received a certain number of points and that meant you had to win events. (Our school didn’t offer letters in choir. If they had, I totally would have gotten all the letters.)

Hebrews 12:1 talks about running with endurance, and Philippians 3:14 talks about winning the prize. Well, I ran but I didn’t have much endurance (hence my not being able to run the longer races), and I never won a prize. The only competition I’ve ever won on my own was a spelling competition in middle school, and then when it came to the bigger contest I didn’t come close to winning that one. Not being a competitive person by nature, I don’t enter contests if I know I will be competing directly against others. I don’t like competition. I mean, I enjoy winning but really don’t have confidence that I will.

So I have always been rather flummoxed when reading these Bible passages about running and winning, since now I can’t even run at all (Well, I can run half a block. Then I have to stop because I can’t breathe. Ow. Running hurts.) and I have never been good enough at anything to win any important competitions. And I am not that great at pressing on toward goals I set for myself, so there’s also that.

I have decided, however, to replace “run” with “hike” in my thinking. I can hike with perseverance and reach the hiking goal, so that speaks to me better then the idea of running. I have reached many summits (though not any 14ers, but then I haven’t tried) and have only had to turn around a couple of times, mostly because of sketchy snow on the trail. This gives me hope that although I will never be like Jesus completely, I can move forward and become more like Him as I hike through life. I’m a slow hiker, but I get places.

Me on a summit

Obviously there is so much more to these scriptures, but that is for another post!

Backpacking, hiking, Observations, PCT, Things I've Learned

The Social Side of Layering (from REI’s blog)

This is something I hadn’t considered, but a new post from REI that I received in an email today takes the idea of layering clothing to a different level. It never occurred to me that who you’re hiking with might influence what you should wear!

Click link below to read the post:

The Social Side of Layering

Hiking group at Tumalo Falls, OR
Marnie (Kangaroo) wearing a t-shirt and shorts for a warm summer backpacking trip

In summer I always take (or wear in the morning) a light merino jacket when hiking, and in spring/fall/winter I take my puffy (Patagonia Micropuff) in my pack for lunch stops. I hardly ever start out wearing my puffy because I just get too warm too fast and have to stop to take it off, so I try to start off “cold” because I know I’ll warm up, especially if hiking uphill. When it is raining or snowing, I wear my rain jacket to stay dry, with a merino or fleece underneath. In cold weather I’m usually wearing a merino base layer top under my merino jacket or fleece, and if it’s very cold I’ll wear some base layer leggings under my hiking pants or rain pants. Sometimes if I know I will be exerting myself a lot I’ll wear my merino knee warmers instead of leggings, because my knees/shins get cold faster than the rest of my legs and then there is no danger of getting uncomfortably warm. I also wear a merino Buff to keep my neck cozy. I wore a sunshirt in the desert on the PCT with light pants, and with shorts for our July/August PCT backpacking trip in southern Oregon. (Advantage: get a great “hiker tan” from where your shorts hit down to where your socks come up to!) When backpacking, I always have my puffy for cool nights. I pretty much layer the same way no matter who I’m hiking with, but will think more about that from now on!

What’s your layering strategy? Comment below!

Miscellaneous, Observations, Things I've Learned

Be Prepared

Quote from last week’s James Clear email (he is the author of Atomic Habits, a book I have but haven’t read yet):

“Many people are not ready for their lucky break when it comes to them.
Develop your skills. Study your craft. Save some money. Build a network before you need it. Lay the ground work.
The prepared person is positioned to benefit from unexpected opportunities.”